New Book: The Medical Imagination

From Sari Altschuler: I’m delighted to share the recent publication of my book The Medical Imagination: Literature and Health in the Early United States with you.

The Medical Imagination is an extraordinary intervention in the fields of the medical humanities, American literary studies, and American social and cultural history. Sari Altschuler has mastered and synthesized a large body of research, which she delivers with panache and passion. This multidisciplinary book puts her on the front lines of current scholarly discourse, teaching us the lesson that both medical history and literary history are the poorer for ignoring each other.”

—Laura Dassow Walls, University of Notre Dame

The checklists and clinical algorithms of modern medicine leave little space for imagination, and yet we depend on creativity and ingenuity for the advancement of medicine—to diagnose unusual conditions, to innovate treatment, and to make groundbreaking discoveries. We know a great deal about the empirical aspects of medicine, but we know far less about what the medical imagination is, what it does, how it works, or how we might train it. In The Medical Imagination, Sari Altschuler argues that this was not always so. During the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, doctors understood the imagination to be directly connected to health, intimately involved in healing, and central to medical discovery.

The Medical Imagination traces the practice of using imagination and literature to craft, test, and implement theories of health in eighteenth- and nineteenth-century America. This history of imaginative experimentation provides a usable past for conversations about the role of the humanities in health research and practice today.

20% discount code: PJ28

And, for a limited time, 30% off using the code: PE14

See the press website for more details: