Skip navigation Jump to main navigation

Health Guidance

Masking is strongly recommended in all indoor settings. New students and faculty and staff are required to sign an updated version of the Columbia Community Compact. Learn more.
Close alert

Arthur W. Frank


Arthur Frank is Professor Emeritus in the Department of Sociology, University of Calgary, and currently Professor II at VID Specialized University, Norway. He writes and lectures on illness experience, narrative, and ethics of care. He has spent his career studying three interrelated issues: how people come to think of themselves as the persons they believe they are (the problem of the subject); how people understand, or fail to understand, each other (the problem of intersubjectivity); and the problem of what people believe is right to do, when the stakes on action are high (the problem of ethics). He studies these three questions with particular respect to stories and narrative, which he believes enable humans to have what they know as experiences. His particular concern is stories of illness and suffering, and how those who suffer can benefit from telling their own stories and hearing others’ stories. He is the author of At the Will of the Body: Reflections on IllnessThe Wounded Storyteller: Body, Illness, and Ethics; and The Renewal of Generosity: Illness, Medicine, and How to Live. He lives in Calgary, Alberta, Canada.


Ph.D., Yale University

M.A., University of Pennsylvania

A.B., Princeton University