Final Exam



Final Exam Word Document

Final Exam PDF Version

Instructions: There are two parts to the exam, and it is timed to take 3 hours, though you will have until due Thursday, April 30th at 3:00pm to complete it. Read the prompts very carefully! Because this is a take home online exam, we expect you to quote your primary texts and include a bibliography at the end of the exam. You may refer to your own class notes, lecture PowerPoints, and online discussion posts as well. You do not need to do research to answer these prompts.


If you choose to use online resources to help support your argument, keep in mind we will be assessing you on your engagement with the primary texts of the class (please see “Course Texts” at the end of this document). Make sure to cite ALL sources!


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PART ONE: Key Words (60 minutes, 40 points). Please select EIGHT terms from the list below. For each one, a) define the term and b) give an example of the term at work in one of the texts we read for the course.       Note: your example may be drawn from a work other than the source text; please do not use a given work in more than tworesponses in this section.


  1. Graphic medicine
  2. Structural Violence
  3. Epistemic violence
  4. Narrative
  5. Temporality
  6. Chart Talk
  7. Free Indirect discourse
  8. Temporality
  9. Restitution Narrative
  10. Chaos Narrative
  11. Quest Narrative
  12. Cultural competency
  13. Medicalized Nativism
  14. Sickness
  15. Disease
  16. Illness
  17. Biopolitics
  18. Disability
  19. Stigma 

PART TWO: Essays (60 minutes each, 30 points each, length:  800-1,200 words.). Please select TWO prompts from below. For each, write an analytical essay that treats at least three works from the class. Make sure to draw on both analytical and creative texts and use different works in the two essays.


  1. Narrative Perspective. Compare and contrast Damon Tweedy’s Black Man in a White Coat and Linda Villarosa’s “Why America’s Black Mothers and Babies are in a Life-or-Death Crisis.” Arguably, both Tweedy and Villarosa treat racial inequities, discrimination, and poor medical outcomes; and, both muster stories to illustrate their larger points. However, there are key differences in how Tweedy, as a memoirist, and Villarosa, as a journalist, construct their narratives. Identify and describe three differences, and evaluate the strengths and significance of their different approaches. In your response, you may call on terms from PART ONE. Be sure to ground your comparison in specific passages.


  1. Illness and Society. News reports about Covid-19 have emphasized that certain populations seem either more at risk or statistically overrepresented among reports of mortality. Select one such group – it might be older adults, racial minorities, uninsured individuals, or those working in low-paying jobs – and discuss how three or more of our course concepts (e.g. epistemic violence) might help to explain the differential experiences as having social, emotional, economic, or political causes. Be sure to incorporate specific examples as you describe these experiences. Explain the course concepts you use in this answer as originally given and provide an example of how they pertain to class themes.


  1. Mary Oliver said “Every poem contains within itself an essential difference from ordinary language, no matter how similar to conversational language it may seem at first to be. Call it formality, compression, originality, imagination… a vital difference, of intent and intensity… differences that are constant, subtle, intense, and radiantly interesting.” Referring to at least two poems from the semester – these may have been assigned or presented on a ppt slide – either affirm or complicate her assertation. How do different poetic devices (structural, rhythmic, metaphorical, and visual elements) contribute to the poem’s richness, complexity, or emotional tone?


  1. Genre and Illness. We have examined a range of expressive and analytical forms in the class, from memoir, poetry, and fiction to film, graphic narrative, and ethnography. Select two or more works and explore the affordances of each. We suggest you consider relating the documentary 5B and Metzl and Hansen’s article about structural competency, OR Bauby’s written narrative and Julian Schnabel’s filmic portrayal. Compare/contrast examples with an eye to discussing the ways that different modes of expression are able to capture aspects of the experience of sickness, healing, and/or mortality.


  1. Health Humanities (and/or medical anthropology). In light of the COVID-19 pandemic, what particular affordances do the medical humanities bring to help us better understand the experience of widespread illness and suffering? Be sure to ground your analysis in specific passages.

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Submitting your exam:  Please write your responses in a word document and label the file name with the following format LastName_TAName.docx example Smith_Villa-Palomino.docx. Turn in your exam on the “Turn In Final Exam” page ( Make sure to scrupulously quote and cite any and all sources. Also, include the following section in your word document:

 Sign the honor pledge (you can just type your full name), indicating that you have abided by UNC-CH’s honor code throughout:

I PLEDGE: ____________________________________________________________________




COURSE TEXTS | SPRING 2020 | in order from the syllabus

Rita Charon, “Honoring the Stories of Illness,” 2011.

Katharine Treadway and Neal Chatterjee, “Into the Water: The Clinical Clerkships,” 2011.

Arthur Frank, The Wounded Storyteller: Body, Illness and Ethics, 1995.

Nancy Mairs, “My Life as a Cripple,” 1986.

Arthur Kleinman, “The Personal and Social Meanings of Illness, in The Illness Narratives: Suffering, Meaning and the Human Condition, 1988.

John Berger, A Fortunate Man: The Story of a Country Doctor, 1967.

Cheryl Mattingly, “In Search of the Good: Narrative Reasoning in Clinical Practice,” 1998.

Kate Chopin, “The Story of an Hour,” 1894.

Jonathan Metzl and Helena Hansen, “Structural Competency: Theorizing a New Medical Engagement with Stigma and Inequity,” 2014.

Linda Villarosa, “Why America’s Black Mothers and Babies are in a Life-or-Death Crisis,” 2018.

Jean-Dominique Bauby, The Diving Bell and the Butterfly, 1997.

Julian Schnabel, dir., The Diving Bell and the Butterfly, 2007.

Joyce Sutphen, “Living in the Body,” 1995.

Mary Oliver, “Poem (The Spirit/Likes to Dress Up Like This),” 1986.

Dana Walrath, “Graphic Medicine and Medical Anthropology,” 2016.

Peter Dunlap-Shohl, My Degeneration: A Journey Through Parkinson’s, 2015.

Robin Morgan, “Four Powerful Poems about Parkinson’s and Growing Older,” 2015.

Cesc Gay, dir., Truman, 2017.

John Donne, “Holy Sonnets: Death, be not proud,” 1633.

Daniel Defoe, A Journal of the Plague Year , 1722

Priscilla Wald. Contagious: Cultures, Carriers, and the Outbreak Narrative, 2008.

Edgar Allan Poe. “The Masque of the Red Death,” 1844.

Dan Krauss, Paul Haggis “5B,” 2019

Hisko Hulsing, “Undone” 2018.

Cheryl Mattingly, “Reading Minds and Telling Tales in a Cultural Borderland,” 2008

Aleksandra Kollantai, “Make Way for Winged Eros,” 1924.

Natalya Baranskaya, “A Week Like Any Other Week,” 1974.

Ludmila Ulitskaya, The Kukotsky Enigma, 2016.

Marina Tsaplina, The Invisible Elephant Project, 2018

Damon Tweedy, Black Man in a White Coat: A Doctor’s Reflections on Race and Medicine, 2015.

Eliza Barclay. “How Canceled Events and Self-Quarantines Save Lives, in One Chart,” 2020.

Toni Morrison, “Recitatif,” 1983.

Countee Cullen “Yet I do marvel,” 1925.

Paul Laurence Dunbar, “We Wear the Mask,” 1896.


Author: Grant Glass

English and Comp Literature