What does it mean to be healthy and how do you begin to define “health” for yourself and those around you? Do you take your definition from the World Health Organization, which states that health is, "a state of complete physical, mental, and social wellbeing and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity," or do you use another definition?
How we define health and illness gives us insight into society, issues around healthcare, and ourselves.
In this course, we will read and discuss works of fiction, nonfiction, and poetry as a means to explore how health and illness is defined in literature. Discussions will touch on themes of disability, culture, and bias in healthcare. The instructor also will lead the group in guided writing exercises that will allow each person to craft a personal health narrative.
EmmaLee Pallai, MFA, New Mexico State University; BA, Barnard College, is the Education Manager at the Community University Health Care Center, and has worked as a teacher, educator, and writer, throughout the US and abroad. Pallai specializes in using literature and creative writing to address the parts of healthcare education that are often implied, but not discussed in depth, including bias, ethics, identity formation, selfcare, and professionalism.