Narrative Medicine

Summer School of Health and Humanities, 5 ECTS
Humanities, social sciences, communication and arts

Institution University of Southern Denmark (SDU)
Campus Odense
Duration 2 weeks
Tuition per term (Non-EU/EAA/CH) 513 EUR
Tuition per term (EU/EAA/CH) 320 EUR
By “narrative medicine” we mean medicine and health care studies practiced with narrative skills of recognizing, absorbing, interpreting, and being moved by the stories of illness. The field is defined by MD and Professor Rita Charon, Columbia University, around 2000. Narrative medicine aims for a deep integration of humanities and the arts, particularly literature, in medical and healthcare education. Additionally, narrative medicine has been used in health promotion and humanistic rehabilitation of ill and vulnerable people. The cross-disciplinary field is committed to the realization that a portion of the evidence in the medical and health humanities will be found not in numbers but in language and stories. 

Generally biomedical sciences are interested in the generalities and categories, whereas narrative medicine privileges particular individual narratives and attends to the meaning that the patient develops. The ability to see each patient as a complete human being is the basis for the trust and understanding that helps the person through the hard times. This narrative competence is built mainly through close reading of literary texts and creative writing of participants’ own stories.  

The Summer School on narrative medicine is open for everyone in health care and in the humanities. Whether you are a bachelor or a master student, you will be offered an individualized, and all exams are portfolio exams.  
The Summer School is led by scholars of humanities who have extensive experience from our regular courses of narrative medicine at University of Southern Denmark. Guest lectures are given by medical professors and clinicians associated with narrative medicine. Sessions of facilitated close reading and creative writing are combined with group work and small presentations. 

Course material is the new research anthology Narrative Medicine in Education, Practice, and Interventions (in process, 2022) edited by scholars from University of Southern Denmark and a selection of primarily literary texts, but also art works and films. 

Mandatory prerequisites:
One year of studies at university level (equivalent to 60 ECTS) within a relevant field of study, before the summer school starts. 

Exchange students from a partner university pay no tuition. 
Guest students pay tuition fees. Please read more: 
For Further Information: 
Information from the Danish Agency for Higher Education can be located at You will find information about the Danish assessment of foreign qualifications in Guide to diploma recognition. About the Educational System in general, visit the section The Danish Higher Education System. 

Summer School 2023

Application date
May 01
Start date
Aug 07



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