This class focuses on narratives we create about illnesses and what those narratives reveal about our discourse of the body: who has authority to speak about an illness, disease, or condition? Why and for what reasons? What kinds of narratives to people construct when they write or speak about an illness or disease? Why do they construct these texts and what are the effects of such narratives on how we understand medicine, patients, and medical professionals? Students examine these sources in order to discuss the implications of these narratives both at an individual and personal level, and more broadly in terms of the global, political, cultural, and social implications. Assigned readings come from from a variety of authors, including academics, journalists, medical professionals, and patients, and may include a range of media types (original medical reports, popular news articles, autobiographical memoirs or plays, radio programs, TV shows, and film excerpts). Affiliate department: English.