Syllabus - Durham VA Medical Center

Literature and Medicine: Humanities at the Heart of Heathcare

Durham VA Medical Center, Durham NC

April-October 2014

SYLLABUS

Hospital Liaison: Theresa Yuschok MD (ext. 6082)

NC Humanities Council Liaison: Donovan McKnight

Location: Durham VA Medical Center, Mental Health Clinic Conference Room

Sponsors: NC Humanities Council, Maine Humanities Council, Durham VA

Session 1: April 22 – Health Care Professionals

Danny Abse, “X-Ray,” in Abse, New and Collected Poems (London: Hutchinson, 2003), reprinted in Richard Reynolds and John Stone, On Doctoring (2001), 193. (poem)

Jay Baruch, “Frozen,” in Baruch, Fourteen Stories: Doctors, Patients, and Other Strangers (Kent, Ohio: The Kent State University Press, 2007), 107-113. (short story)

Andre Dubus, “The Doctor,” in Dubus, Separate Flights (Boston: D.R. Godine, 1975).

Mikhail Bulgakov, “Baptism by Rotation” (1925-1927), in Bulgakov, A Country Doctor’s Notebook, reprinted in IMAGINE, 498-505. (short story)

Henri Barbusse, “The Eleventh” (1918), in Barbusse, We Others: Stories of Fate, Love and Pity, reprinted in IMAGINE, 495-497. (short story)

Session 2: May 20  Loss

Anton Chekhov, “Misery: To Whom Shall I Tell My Grief?” (1886), reprinted in Richard Reynolds and John Stone, On Doctoring (1995), 44-49. (short story)

Richard Selzer, “Sarcophagus” (1979), reprinted in Selzer, The Doctor Stories (New York: Picador USA, 1998), 176-185. (short story)

Pete Fromm, “The Topic of Cancer,” in Fromm, Dry Rain (New York: Lyons & Burford, 1997). (short story)

Marisa Silver, “What I Saw From Where I Stood,” in Babe in Paradise: Fiction (New York: Norton, 2001), reprinted in IMAGINE, 336-347. (short story)

Jay Baruch, “A Little Heart,” in Baruch, Fourteen Stories: Doctors, Patients, and Other Strangers (Kent, Ohio: The Kent State University Press, 2007), 47-53. (short story)

Session 3: June 17 – Cultures

Writing Assignment: “Where I’m From” – See page 4 – Be sure to bring your poem with you to read to the group.

Elizabeth Desimone, “The Gift: La Cumbre, Guatemala,” in Desimone, Guatemala in my Blood: How Nursing in Remote Jungle Villages Revolutionized My Life (Seattle: Travels in Guatemala Press, 2009), reprinted in Cortney Davis and Judy Schaefer, Between the Heartbeats: Poetry and Prose by Nurses (Iowa City: U of Iowa Press, 1995), 71-74. (memoir)

Schneiderman, LJ, “The Appointment,” Medical Heritage (May/June 1985), reprinted in Richard Reynolds and John Stone, On Doctoring (1995), 299-306. (short story)

Louise Aronson, “Snapshots from an Institution,” in Aronson, A History of the Present Illness: Stories (New York: Bloomsbury, 2013), 1-10. (short story)

Louise Aronson, “An American Problem,” in Aronson, A History of the Present Illness: Stories (New York: Bloomsbury, 2013), 11-22. (short story)

Zdravka Evtimova, “Blood of a Mole,” The Antioch Review, 61 (2003), 620-623. (short story)

Session 4: August 12 – The Body

Nathaniel Hawthorne, “The Birthmark” (1844). (short story)

Richard Selzer, “The Consultation” (1974), in Selzer, Rituals of Surgery (New York: Harper’s Magazine Press, 1974), 18-23. (short story)

Richard Selzer, “A Blue Ribbon Affair” (1974), in Selzer, Rituals of Surgery (New York: Harper’s Magazine Press, 1974), 121-126. (short story)

Raymond Carver, “The Autopsy Room,” in Carver, Ultramarine (New York: Vintage, 1986). (poem)

John Ciardi, “Washing Your Feet,” in Ciardi, Selected Poems (Fayetteville: University of Arkansas Press, 1984), reprinted in Richard Reynolds and John Stone, On Doctoring (2001), 155-156. (poem)

Edward Thompson, “A Morbidly Obese Patient Tests the Limits of a Doctor’s Compassion,” Washington Post, February 24, 2014. (essay)

Session 5: September 16 Patients

JM Coetzee, “The Blow,” The New Yorker (June 27, 2005), 76-89. (short story)

Louise Aronson, “After,” in Aronson, A History of the Present Illness: Stories (New York: Bloomsbury, 2013), 95-99. (short story)

WH Auden, “Musée des Beaux Arts” (1940), in Auden, Collected Poems, reprinted in IMAGINE, 7. (poem)

Robert Lipsyte, “Innocents Abroad,” in Lipsyte, In the Country of Illness: Comfort and Advice for the Journey (New York: Knopf, 1998), reprinted in IMAGINE, 17-24. (memoir)

Conrad Aiken, “Silent Snow, Secret Snow” (1932), in A Book of Contemporary Short Stories, ed. Dorothy Brewster (New York: Macmillan, 1937), 93-114, reprinted in IMAGINE, 78-91. (short story)

Session 6: October 14 – Family and Friends

Richard Selzer, “Witness” (1982), reprinted in Selzer, The Doctor Stories (New York: Picador USA, 1998), 342-346. (short story)

Jay Baruch, “Accident Room” in Baruch, Fourteen Stories: Doctors, Patients, and Other Strangers (Kent, Ohio: The Kent State University Press, 2007), 38-46. (short story)

Jay Baruch, “Dissections,” in Baruch, Fourteen Stories: Doctors, Patients, and Other Strangers (Kent, Ohio: The Kent State University Press, 2007), 91-106. (short story)

Felicia Nimue Ackerman, “Applicants,” Ascent, 10 (#2, 1985), 2-18, reprinted in IMAGINE, 25-38. (short story)

Marion Deutsche Cohen, “A Separate Species: Relationships with the World and with Ourselves,” in Cohen, dirty details: the days and nights of a well spouse (Philadelphia: Temple University Press, 1996), reprinted in IMAGINE, 591-599. (memoir)