Literature and Medicine

edited by Anna M. Elsner and Monika Pietrzak-Franger

 Literature and Medicine. Pietrzak-Franger, Monika (Editor); Elsner, Anna (Editor). Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2023.


The experiences of health and illness, death and dying, the normal and the pathological have always been an integral part of literary texts. This volume considers how the two dynamic fields of literature and medicine have crossed over, and how they have developed alongside one another. It asks how medicine, as both science and practice, shapes the representation of illness and transforms literary form. It considers how literary texts across genres and languages of disease have put forward specific conceptions of medicine and impacted its practice. Taking into account the global, multilingual, and multicultural contexts, this volume systematically outlines and addresses this double-sidedness of the literature–medicine connection. Literature and Medicine covers a broad spectrum of conceptual, thematic, theoretical, and methodological approaches that provide a solid foundation for understanding a vibrant interdisciplinary field.


Anna M. Elsner
is Associate Professor of French Studies and Medical Humanities at the University of St Gallen. She is Principle Investigator of the European Research Council project ASSISTED and was awarded the Marie Heim-Vögtlin Prize 2022 for outstanding women researchers by the Swiss National Science Foundation.

Monika Pietrzak-Franger is Professor of British Cultural and Literary Studies at the University of Vienna and specializes in Medical Humanities, adaptation, transmediality and (neo-)Victorianism. She is PI of the interuniversity cluster Post-Covid-19 Care. She received the BritCult Award (2015) for her VolkswagenFoundation-founded project Syphilis in Victorian Literature and Culture (2014).