Principal Investigator: Brian Callender, Assistant Professor of Medicine 

Graphic medicine is an emerging discipline within the health humanities. Combining comics and the discourse of health and healthcare, graphic medicine is literally and figuratively mapping new terrain in narrative medicine, patient education, and the iconography of health, disease and illness. Images and narrative have long been integral to knowledge formation and dissemination in medicine, from the individual level to medical education to public health campaigns to the “selling” of healthcare. In particular, Dr. Callender is interested in how graphic medicine portrays the experience of illness and how comics, as a medium and practice, can be used for self-discovery and personal knowledge formation about illness and health.

The field of graphic medicine has significant potential to add to our understanding of the experience of illness. The phenomenology of illness outlines the various ways one embodies illness and how it affects, among other things, time and space. As a medium, comics is particularly adept at manipulating time and space for narrative effect, and this is well utilized in many of the seminal works of graphic medicine. However, little scholarship has been done on the connection of phenomenology of illness and graphic medicine.

Related Reading

Graphic medicine: Coming to a doctor's office near you (UChicago Medicine)

MK Czerwiec Blog