Course Evaluations

Dear Students in Healing in Literature and Ethnography,

We hope your semesters have finished up smoothly and you are able to enjoy the beautiful spring, even despite covid-19.

We are writing to request your participation in the course evaluation. We always find it helpful to receive students’ feedback on what worked, what didn’t, and what suggestions you have for us to consider when we teach this course in the future. Today is the last day to do the evaluation.

Thank you all, and best wishes for a healthy and enjoyable summer,

Your ANTH 272/ENGL 264 Team

Final Exam and Paper Reminder

Hi all,

Just some friendly reminders for today:

  • If you are doing a final paper it must be uploaded to our class website by today,  Thursday, April 30, at 12:00 pm; no exceptions. If your paper isn’t uploaded by 12:00pm, then you must take the final exam.


  • The final exam must be uploaded to our class website  by today,  Thursday, April 30, at 3:00 pm; no exceptions. Please pay close attention to the instructions.


If there are any issues or questions, please be in touch with the teaching team long before the assignment is due.

Good luck!

All best,

Your Healing in Ethnography Team

Clarifying Due Date for Final Papers

Dear Students who have had paper proposals accepted for your final assignment:

We are writing to clarify some confusion about when your papers are due:

**Your paper must be uploaded to our class website no later than Thursday, April 30, at 12:00 pm.

**If your paper is not submitted by noon, you will need to take the exam (which must be submitted by 3:00 pm on April 30.

**We encourage you to submit your papers with time to spare (ideally by early morning Thursday).

**Noon on Thursday is an absolute, no-appeal deadline.

Good luck,


Your Healing in Literature and Ethnography Team


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.


Another Great Summer Course

Dear Students,

The Department of English and Comparative literature has opened a new section of ENGL 128: Major American Authors during SSI taught by Prof. Kym Weed. It is a great way to fulfill an LA or NA requirement, earn 3 credits in 6 weeks, and learn more about the history of protest in American literature.

Here is the full course description:
ENGL128: Major American Authors
Prof. Kym Weed
The United States was founded through dissent, and the tradition of collective action has shaped the country and its literature ever since. This course will focus on major American authors who engaged in forms of literary protest from approximately 1850-1950 including Henry David Thoreau, Harriet Jacobs, Stephen Crane, James Weldon Johnson, Kate Chopin, John Steinbeck, and Miné Okubo.

We will think of literature and protest as broadly as possible to make connections across time to consider the rich literary history that continues to inform our contemporary moment. The historical period covered in this class—from the dawn of the Civil War until World War II—established may political and cultural trends that continue to shape forms of protest in the 21st century. Accordingly, we will study the past with an eye to how it informs our present.


Through our study of major American authors, we will attempt to answer some of the following questions: How has literature been mobilized as a form of protest? What impact has dissent had on American literature? What cultural narratives shape our understanding of protest and dissent?

Please feel free to share it with anyone who might be interested and contact Prof. Weed ( if you have questions about the course.

Reminders for Today

Hi all,

Hope you all are enjoying the last day of classes. Just a reminder that we do not have class today! However, there are some important things to keep in mind for today:

  • If you are taking the final exam or have not had your final project proposal approved you will need to contribute one term (for Part 1 of the exam) and one essay prompt (for Part 3) in the Final Exam Forum ( The deadline to post is Today, Friday, April 24th by 3:00pm. We plan to use these contributions to construct the exam itself, so you will have a hand in constructing our final.


  • Julio and Grant are available to consult about any questions or concerns you have about studying for the final exam.   If you would like to chat with Grant, please sign up for a time at: or if you want to contact Julio you can email him at (


  • Finally, we know that you have a lot going on right now–especially at the end of a very long semester. But we would very much appreciate it if you would take the time to fill out the evaluation of teaching for this course. We are interested in what you thought of the course and the material, in light of the tough transition to an online course. The survey can be accessed here ( and you have until May 8th to fill it out. Thank you.

Thank you again for being such insightful and wonderful students! We look forward to reading your final papers and exams.

Take Care,

Your Healing in Ethnography Team


A Note about Paper Proposals and Final Exams

Hi all,

As some of you have opted to propose a paper rather than the final, we wanted to take a moment to clarify what you will need to complete if you want to do the capstone project rather than the final exam. Remember, you must propose a capstone project to the Professors by today (Thursday April 23rd).

1) You should email Professors Thrailkill and Rivkin-Fish to set up a time to talk about your project via either email or zoom.

2) Send Professors Thrailkill and Rivkin-Fish your proposal today. (details found at

3) Receive approval of project from Professors Thrailkill and Rivkin-Fish.

IMPORTANT: If the final capstone is not submitted to Professors Thrailkill and Rivkin-Fish via email by Thursday, April 30th at 3:00pm,  you forfeit the capstone and must take the exam.

What is a capstone project?

A capstone project has a precise focus (e.g. an illness narrative) yet also consolidates important ideas from the the full semester: about health experiences, their cultural significance, and/or wider existential and societal issues that are core to health humanities and medical anthropology.

Arthur Frank talks about what makes an illness story a “good story.” Crucially, as we have seen throughout, that stories are made significant by being linked with larger themes and concerns — otherwise they are narrowly therapeutic. Also, there is always a danger of falling into pat narratives, cliched writing, and unstructured description.

To have a successful capstone project, you will need to include analysis that unfolds the significance and makes explicit, more-than-surface connections to course readings and concepts. (You can look to our exam forums for a reminder of some core ideas… as well as your own notes and the readings themselves.)

For example: You might think of Tweedy’s careful linking of his own clinical stories and experiences to larger cultural, racial, and societal structures.

The writing matters too: we have talked about the importance of figurative language, and powerful, precise expression — think of Bauby’s lyricism and dark humor! Or Dunlap-Shohl’s visual personification of his Parkinson’s and his pain.

If you need additional clarification, please consult the Final Assignment Page ( or email us.

Good luck,

Your Healing in Ethnography and Literature Team

Summer Class?

Hi all,

Hope you are having a fabulous last week of classes (see some of you tomorrow in Zoom). Wanted  to see if anyone would be interested in taking this course with me in summer 2 (which will be all online), called ENGL 149: Multimodal Composition or as I am calling it: “Copywrong: Fan Fiction and the Internet.” The course attributes are LA- Literary Arts and CI- Communication Intensive. If you or someone else would like to take this course, please forward them this email! I have attached a little flier about the class–let me know if you have any questions.

As you might have seen, the university will now allow you to enroll in 9 credits in Summer I and 9 credits in Summer II, without requiring approval from your dean. I believe this is because all courses will be online only and will not meet at specific times. Also, please note that the College of Arts & Sciences will suspend the regular “no pass/fail” Summer School grading policy and will extend the Spring 2020 Emergency Grading Accommodation through the Summer 2020 terms. So it is a great time to take summer classes.

All best,


Forum Post Reminder

Please note that before the end of this semester (our last class is on Wednesday),  make sure you have posted two times (total) to our discussion forum, and responded one time to a classmate’s posting
Here is a link to the forums:
If you can attend lecture today and  have posted on any of the Tweedy readings, we will ask you to talk about your posting. This is a great opportunity to discuss the reading with your classmates.