Nellie Hermann Delivers an Educating the Whole Physician Lecture in Collaboration with the Creative Writing Program

Author: Joyce Zurawski

Nellie Hermann Lecture

Nellie Hermann Poster

Nellie Hermann, Novelist and Creative Director of the Program in Narrative Medicine at Columbia University, delivered the second lecture in the Educating the Whole Physician series titled "Narrative Medicine, Writing, and the Work of Creativity" on December 3, 2019. This event was in conjunction with the Reilly Center's Medicine and the Liberal Arts program and in collaboration with the Creative Writing program.

Nellie Hermann is the author of novels The Cure for Grief and The Season of Migration (named a New York Times Editor's Choice), and co-author of The Principles and Practice of Narrative Medicine. She is a recipient of a NEA literature grant and was a 2017-18 Cullman fellow at the New York Public Library and 2018-19 fellow at The Institute for Ideas & Imagination in Paris, France. She teaches creative writing at Columbia University where she is the Creative Director at The Program in Narrative Medicine. She has taught and lectured widely on the use of creativity in nontraditional contexts.

Abstract: Narrative Medicine posits that healthcare can benefit from a more robust practice in the work of listening to, thinking about, and creating stories. In this talk, I will explore the general concepts behind the work of Narrative Medicine (as it is practiced at Columbia University) through my particular lens, which is the work of creativity. Why should those in the clinical realm know anything about how to write, or cultivate creativity? I will explore these questions and more, sharing my own experience as an example of how the work can be entered into and practiced.