In recent decades, both medical humanities and medical history have emerged as rich and varied sub-disciplines. Medicine, Health and the Arts is a collection of specially commissioned essays designed to bring together different approaches to these complex fields. Written by a selection of established and emerging scholars, this volume embraces a breadth and range of methodological approaches to highlight not only developments in well-established areas of debate, but also newly emerging areas of investigation, new methodological approaches to the medical humanities and the value of the humanities in medical education.
Divided into five sections, this text begins by offering an overview and analysis of the British and North American context. It then addresses in-depth the historical and contemporary relationship between visual art, literature and writing, performance and music. There are three chapters on each art form, which consider how history can illuminate current challenges and potential future directions. Each section contains an introductory overview, addressing broad themes and methodological concerns; a case study of the impact of medicine, health and well-being on an art form; and a case study of the impact of that art form on medicine, health and wellbeing. The underlining theme of the book is that the relationship between medicine, health and the arts can only be understood by examining the reciprocal relationship and processes of exchange between them.
This volume promises to be a welcome and refreshing addition to the developing field of medical humanities. Both informative and thought provoking, it will be important reading for students, academics and practitioners in the medical humanities and arts in health, as well as health professionals, and all scholars and practitioners interested in the questions and debates surrounding medicine, health and the arts.