Health Humanities Scholars Program

The International Health Humanities Consortium (2021) defines the health humanities as “the study of the intersection of health and humanistic disciplines (such as philosophy, spirituality, and literature) fine arts, as well as social science research that gives insight to the human condition (such as history, anthropology, sociology, and cultural studies.) The Health Humanities use methods such as reflection, contextualization, deep textual reading, and slow critical thinking to examine the human condition, the patient’s experience, the healer’s experience, and to provide renewal for the health care professional.”

MUSC’s Health Humanities Scholars Program offer students the opportunity to investigate health and health care using the described methods and on a flexible, individually-paced schedule.

The plan of study is submitted as the student’s application using a form provided by the Office of Humanities.

To apply:

  1. Meet with Dr. Lisa Kerr, Director of the Office of Humanities (OH). Email kerli@musc.edu to start the process.
  2. Submit a “plan of study” in writing and receive approval.

To complete the program:

  1. Complete a brief (45-minute) online orientation/introduction to the Health Humanities.
  2. Select two of the following “major” activities and submit a one-page written or five-minute recorded (audio-visual) reflection about your take-aways of the experience. Each activity equates to approximately one-semester’s work (12 hours).
    • Read a health humanities-related book by doing one of the following:
      • Participate in one semester of the Student Government Association (SGA) book club.
      • Read the book associated with Waring’s Black History Month lecture (February) or another lecture.
      • Read an independently-selected book approved by OH faculty.
    • Serve as an active member on the Humanitas Student Editorial Board.
    • Serve as a student member of the Waring Historical Society Board.Earn credit for an approved Interprofessional (IP) humanities elective.
    • Design and complete an independent research or scholarly project in the health humanities.
    • Complete self-paced health humanities modules in narrative medicine and expressive writing (access provided online).
  3. Select two of the “minor” activities and submit a one-page written or five-minute recorded (audio-visual) reflection about your take-aways of the experience. Each activity equates to approximately 2 hours of work.
    • Interview a health care professional about the value the arts, humanities, social sciences, or cultural studies play in their life/practice.
    • Attend a meeting of the Medical Humanities Student Interest Group (Join Engage group to receive updates)
    • Attend a lecture sponsored by the Waring Historical Library: Sawyer Lecture, Black History Month Lecture, Waring Lecture, or one of the Student History Club monthly lectures/events.
    • Get approval for another related activity.
  4. Complete a “capstone collage” using an artistic or humanistic medium to represent your collective take-aways from the fellowship and attend end-of-year celebration to share capstone with other scholars. This “collage” is a creative way of “drawing together” various elements from what you’ve learned. You might engage one or several media: fine and performing arts, creative writing, podcast, etc.