Modern Languages & Literatures (MLLT)

MLLT 301  Medicine, Literature, and Illness 3 Credits

Prerequisite(s): PHIL 204 or approval of the Medical Humanities Program Director. This course explores how writers portray the experience of illness in works of fiction, drama, and poetry. Students will read a selection of such classics as Shelley’s Frankenstein, Tolstoy’s Death of Ivan Ilyich, Mann’s Death in Venice, Ishiguro’s Never Let Me Go, and Camus’s The Plague. The course also investigates the fundamental role that narrative plays in our understanding of health and illness. Students will examine nonfiction ranging from patients’ memoirs and advocacy narratives to the embedded narratives in the files, charts, and other records resulting from the clinical encounter. The course will explore a range of subjects over which both literature and medicine have a stake, including representations of disease and dying, the nature of madness and depression, medical authority and patients’ rights, and the importance of empathy in the treatment of illness. Cross listed with MEDH 301. 1 hour lecture, 2 hours seminar.

MLLT 367  Seminar in Modern Languages and Literatures 3 Credits

Prerequisite(s): Departmental approval. Changing topics to include in-depth studies of literary and cultural topics which involve more than one language or national boundary. 3 hours lecture.