The health humanities is a rapidly rising field, advancing an inclusive, democratizing, activist, applied, critical, and culturally diverse approach to delivering health and well-being through the arts and humanities. It has generated new kinds of interdisciplinary research, knowledge, and communities of practice globally. It has also acted to bring greater coherence and political force to contributions across a range of related disciplines and traditions.

In this volume, a formidable set of authors explore the history, current state, and future of the health humanities, in particular how its vision of the arts and humanities:

  • Promotes creative public health.
  • Opens new routes to health and well-being.
  • Informs and drives better health care.
  • Interrogates relationships between ill health and social equality.
  • Develops humanist theory in relation to health and social care practice.
  • Foregrounds cultural difference as a resource for positive change in society.
  • Tests the humanity of an increasingly globalized health-care system.
  • Looks to overcome structural and process obstacles to cross-disciplinary ventures.
  • Champions co-construction, co-design, and mutuality in solving health and well-being challenges.
  • Showcases less familiar, prominent, or celebrated creative practices.
  • Includes multiple perspectives on the value and health benefits of the arts and humanities not limited to or dominated by medicine.

Divided into two main sections, the Companion looks at "Reflections and Critical Perspectives," offering current thinking and definitions within health humanities, and "Applications," comprising a wide selection of applied arts and humanities practices from comedy, writing, and dancing to yoga, cooking, and horticultural display.

chapter |8 pages


Global health humanities and the rise of creative public health
ByPaul Crawford

part Part 1|228 pages

Reflections and critical perspectives

chapter 1|7 pages

The health humanities, genealogies of health care, and the consolation of understanding

Towards a critique of “recovery” in mental health
ByBrian Brown

chapter 2|9 pages

On applying the arts and humanities in austere times

ByAndrea Charise

chapter 3|6 pages

Creative practices in challenging places

ByEmma Joyes, Charley Baker

chapter 4|6 pages

Visionary medicine

Race, health, power, and speculation
BySayantani DasGupta

chapter 5|4 pages

Digital life and health humanities

ByOlivia Banner

chapter 6|6 pages

The palimpsest

Black and ethnic minority perspectives in health humanities
ByNehal El-Hadi

chapter 7|5 pages

Representations of medical and health delivery paradigms

ByPhillip Barrish

chapter 8|6 pages

Post-conflict resolution and the health humanities

The Warrior Chorus program
ByPeter Meineck

chapter 10|6 pages

Medicine within health humanities

ByGail Allsopp

chapter 11|6 pages

A health humanities sublime

ByBradley Lewis

chapter 12|7 pages

Visualizing within health-care practice

ByColin Macduff

chapter 13|6 pages

Health humanities and the creative disciplines

ByVictoria Tischler

chapter 14|5 pages

Co-design as a democratizing force

ByAlastair Macdonald

chapter 15|10 pages

Indigenous health humanities

ByAllison Crawford, Lisa Boivin, Lisa Richardson

chapter 16|5 pages

Accessibility and advocacy in health humanities

BySusan Levy

chapter 17|9 pages

The role of the imagination in the practices of the health humanities

ByMarina Tsaplina, Raymond Barfield

chapter 18|14 pages

Inventing Edward Jenner

Historicizing anti-vaccination
ByTravis Chi Wing Lau

chapter 19|14 pages

Selling the de-pharmaceuticalization of insomnia

Semiotics, drug advertising, and the social life of Belsomra
ByLorenzo Servitje

chapter 20|15 pages

The problem with “burnout”

Neoliberalization, biomedicine, and other soul mates
ByShane Neilson

chapter 21|10 pages

Medical poetics

Representing global health humanities and the case of 心
ByLan A. Li

chapter 22|16 pages

Creative arts adult community learning

ByLydia Lewis

chapter 23|7 pages

What zombies can tell us about contemporary health care

BySteven Schlozman

chapter 24|8 pages

Finding the subject in the objectified

Problematizing the dependence on metrics for patient care in the United States
ByBrenda Hall, Paul Kadetz

chapter 25|11 pages

Establishing, promoting, and growing the health humanities in Japan

A review and a vision for the future
ByJeffrey Huffman, Mami Inoue

chapter 26|15 pages

Australia AND New Zealand

A circuitous path to health humanities
ByOlaf Werder, Kate Holland

chapter 27|7 pages

Imaginations of health humanities in African contexts

The development of existing critical consciousness and perspectives
ByIkem Ifeobu

part Part 2|216 pages


chapter 28|5 pages

Intervention theater

ByRick Iedema

chapter 29|4 pages

Gallery and museum visiting

ByJavier Saavedra

chapter 30|7 pages

Poetry and Male Eating Disorders

ByHeike Bartel, Charley Baker

chapter 31|7 pages


BySusan Hogan

chapter 32|5 pages

Fashion and textiles

ByRebecka Fleetwood-Smith

chapter 33|4 pages


ByPeter Meineck

chapter 34|5 pages


ByAnna Greenwood

chapter 35|6 pages


ByFrances Cadd

chapter 36|5 pages


ByPhilip Davis, Josie Billington

chapter 37|5 pages


BySara Houston

chapter 38|4 pages


ByPeter Meineck

chapter 39|6 pages


ByMarina Tsaplina, Cariad Astles

chapter 40|9 pages


ByCurie Scott

chapter 41|6 pages


ByDrew Luan Matott, Gretchen M. Miller

chapter 42|7 pages

Making music

ByRosie Perkins, Daisy Fancourt, Aaron Williamon

chapter 43|6 pages

Shared music listening

ByClaire Garabedian

chapter 44|5 pages

Clay modeling

ByElaine Argyle

chapter 45|6 pages


BySantiago Quesada-García, Pablo Valero-Flores

chapter 46|5 pages

Digital storytelling

ByCarla Rice

chapter 47|7 pages

Heavy metal music

ByCharley Baker, Alex Bishop

chapter 48|5 pages

Graphic medicine

ByMK Czerwiec, Brian Callender

chapter 49|5 pages

Horticultural arts

ByJonathan Coope

chapter 50|5 pages

Choirs and singing

ByStephen Clift

chapter 51|5 pages

Ancient texts

ByChristina Lee

chapter 52|4 pages


ByHavi Carel

chapter 53|5 pages


ByMel Jordan, Edward J. Wright, Aimie Purser

chapter 54|7 pages

Kundalini yoga

ByElvira Perez, Emily Haslam-Jones

chapter 55|8 pages

Musical composition and vocal expression

ByBrian Abrams

chapter 56|5 pages


ByAlan Bleakley, Mike Wilson, Jon Allard

chapter 57|6 pages

Applied theatre

ByGretchen Case, Sydney Cheek-O’Donnell

chapter 58|5 pages

Visual arts

ByVictoria Tischler

chapter 59|5 pages


ByBetsan Corkhill

chapter 60|5 pages

Therapeutic filmmaking

ByJ. Lauren Johnson

chapter 61|7 pages


ByDanny George, Tomi D. Dreibelbis

chapter 62|6 pages

Aesthetics of space

ByHilary Moss

chapter 63|5 pages


ByLydia Bracken

chapter 64|4 pages


ByJacqueline M. Atkinson

chapter 65|8 pages

Sensory design and smart textiles

ByJenny Tillotson