Skip to main content

Unit information: Literature and Medicine in 2021/22

Unit name Literature and Medicine
Unit code ENGLM3022
Credit points 20
Level of study M/7
Teaching block(s) Teaching Block 2 (weeks 13 - 24)
Unit director Dr. Lee
Open unit status Not open




School/department Department of English
Faculty Faculty of Arts


This unit will explore the interrelation between medicine in literature across a range of literary genres and historical periods. Topics will include: representations of the body in literature; the complex interaction of literature and psychoanalysis; illness and the nature of artistic experience; the representation of doctors in literary texts; nervous disorders and the novel of sensibility; Shakespeare and medicine; literary constructions of physical and mental illness; and illness as metaphor.

Intended learning outcomes

  • Be familiar with a wide range of literary texts that engage with medicine.
  • Understand several critical approaches that have characterised recent scholarly discussion in the interdisciplinary field of literature and medicine.
  • Be able to construct a reasoned argument supported by appropriate use of evidence and analysis.
  • To understand some of the ways in which illness has been imagined, represented, and theorized in both literary texts and criticism.
  • to understanding of how of ideas about physical and mental illness develop and change over different historical periods.

Teaching details

Teaching will involve asynchronous and synchronous elements, including group discussion, research and writing activities, and peer dialogue. Students are expected to engage with the reading and participate fully with the weekly tasks and topics. Learning will be further supported through the opportunity for individual consultation.

Assessment Details

  • 1 x 5000 word essay (100%)


If this unit has a Resource List, you will normally find a link to it in the Blackboard area for the unit. Sometimes there will be a separate link for each weekly topic.

If you are unable to access a list through Blackboard, you can also find it via the Resource Lists homepage. Search for the list by the unit name or code (e.g. ENGLM3022).