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The Nordic Network for Narratives in Medicine

The Nordic Network for Narratives in Medicine is a forum for the exchange and interaction of research, teaching and practices within the interdisciplinary field of literature, philosophy and medicine in the Nordic countries.

Golden lamps in a library. Photo.

Narratives in medicine raise philosophical issues that touch on imagination, empathy, attention, reflection, ethics, truth, etcetera.

The Nordic Network for Narratives in Medicine focuses on four, mutually related approaches, each of which highlights ways in which the study of literature and philosophy can contribute to medicine.

  1. Literary narratives can by their content provide an insight into the individual experience of being ill and thereby a potential for empathy with the patients among medical practitioners.
  2. Close and/or shared reading of literary texts and creative writing can offer competencies in the communicative aspects of medicine – between physician and patient, or between physician and nurse or other health care workers as well as between these and relatives.
  3. Fictional and non-fictional narratives can stimulate a philosophical reflection on ethical and social dilemmas that face the participants in medical situations.
  4. Interpretations of literature, and the philosophical discussion about, what interpretation is, can shed light upon the relationship between the emergence of medical, evidence-based, knowledge and other knowledge forms in the humanities. 

As philosophy can address fundamental questions about the nature of literature, The Nordic Network for Narratives in Medicine will also explore philosophical approaches to literature in the field of medicine and how literature can benefit from philosophical reflections. Together, literature and philosophy form a potent partnership that can infuse different perspectives on narratives.

More information about the network organisation

We have an upcoming network meeting in Trondheim,Norway, in June 2024 on the theme Care and Community in the Arts of Narrative Medicine.

More information about network meetings and newsletters

Do you want to become a member of the The Nordic Network for Narratives in Medicine? Send an e-mail to: Asa [dot] Thormahlen [at] med [dot] lu [dot] se (Asa[dot]Thormahlen[at]med[dot]lu[dot]se)


Åsa Thormählen
Asa [dot] Thormahlen [at] med [dot] lu [dot] se (Asa[dot]Thormahlen[at]med[dot]lu[dot]se)