Danielle Spencer

Academic Director, Narrative Medicine Program Columbia University, New York

May 24, 2022, 12-1 p.m., 02.102 (Philo II)

This talk offers an introduction to Narrative Medicine, as well as the concept of metagnosis as the revelation of a longstanding condition. This can occur when an individual is diagnosed with a condition such as ADHD or Asperger Syndrome which was previously present, but undiagnosed; it can also happen when diagnostic boundaries shift. How do these experiences change our knowledge? We will also discuss broader applications of the concept, and ways in which it illuminates the principles and practices of Narrative Medicine.


Danielle Spencer is the author of Metagnosis: Revelatory Narratives of Health and Identity (Oxford University Press, 2021) and co-author of Perkins- Prize-winning The Principles and Practice of Narrative Medicine (OUP, 2017). Her research interests include retrospective diagnosis, contemporary film and bioethics, and healthcare pedagogy; her creative and scholarly work appears in diverse outlets, from Ploughshares to The Lancet. Formerly artist/musician David Byrne’s Art Director, Spencer holds a B.A. from Yale University, an M.S. in Narrative Medicine from Columbia University, and a Ph.D. from Johannes Gutenberg University, Mainz. She is a 2019 MacDowell Fellow and a 2022 Yaddo Fellow.

You can download the poster for this talk here.

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