Sayantani DasGupta

AB, Brown University. MD, MPH, Johns Hopkins University. Writer of fiction and creative nonfiction. Originally trained in pediatrics and public health, she teaches courses in illness and disability memoir—as well as narrative, health, and social justice—at Columbia University’s Program in Narrative Medicine and in the Health Advocacy graduate program at Sarah Lawrence College. Author of a memoir, a book of folktales, and co-editor of an award-winning collection of women’s illness narratives, Stories of Illness and Healing: Women Write their Bodies. SLC, 2001–

Previous Courses

MA Health Advocacy

Illness and Disability Narratives

Graduate Seminar—Spring

The experience of illness and disability is both intimately personal and reflective of larger social, political, and cultural realities. In order to effectively work in direct patient care or in broader scholarly or organizational arenas, a health advocate must be able to interpret and understand personal, communal, and institutional narratives. This course will introduce students to written and visual narratives of illness and disability, narrative and cultural theory, as well as media studies. Students will write their own illness or disability narratives during the course session, exploring issues such as selfhood, perspective, memory, family, and caregiving. Finally, students will elicit, transcribe, and interpret the oral narrative of an individual with a chronic illness or disability.