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Danielle Spencer, Ph.D.

Academic Director, Narrative Medicine Program; Senior Lecturer in the Discipline of Narrative Medicine

Academic Director of the Columbia University Narrative Medicine Program. 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). Research interests include retrospective diagnosis, contemporary film and bioethics, and healthcare pedagogy; 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, a Ph.D. from Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz. She is a 2019 MacDowell Fellow and a 2022 Yaddo Fellow.

Education

  • Ph.D., Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz
  • M.S., Columbia University
  • B.A., Yale University

Publications

Books

Essays / Articles / Chapters

  • “Narrative Medicine: The Book at the Gates of Biomedicine” Danielle Spencer. The Use and Abuse of Stories: New Directions in Narrative Hermeneutics, edited by Hanna Meretoja and Mark Freeman, Oxford University Press. [In Press]
  • “Illness Narratives.” Danielle Spencer. Handbook on the Sociology of Health and Medicine, edited by Alan Petersen, Edward Elgar. [In Press]
  • “Wizards, Masks, and Metagnosis: Is the Pandemic Truly Changing Us?” Literature and Medicine, vol. 39, no. 2, Fall 2021, pp. 198–211. PDF
  • Three Quarks Daily columnist, 2021–present
  • Psychology Today columnist, 2021–present
  • "Drifting Out to Infinity." Danielle Spencer. Ploughshares, vol. 45, no. 3, October 2019, pp. 86–115. (Ploughshares Solo Vol. 7, No. 4.) PDF
  • “Mutant Bodies, Human Viewers: Dissolving Boundaries in Logan.” Saljooq M. Asif, Madeline Disner, Folarin Odusola, Danielle A. Rojas, Danielle Spencer. Literature and Medicine, vol. 37, no. 1, Spring 2019, pp. 141–65. PDF
  • ​“Illness Doula: Adding a New Role to Healthcare Practice.” Annie Robinson, Danielle Spencer and Bradley Lewis. Journal of Medical Humanities, vol. 40, June 2019, pp. 199–210. PDF
  • ​"Review: 4 3 2 1: A Novel by Paul Auster". Danielle Spencer. The Mathematical Intelligencer, vol. 40, no. 1, March 2018, pp. 80–83. PDF
  • ​​​“Narrative Medicine.” Danielle Spencer. The Routledge Companion to Philosophy of Medicine, edited by Miriam Solomon et al., Routledge, 2017, pp. 372–82. PDF
  • ​​​ “All Creatures Great and Small.” Danielle Spencer. The Lancet, vol. 386, 2015, pp. 22–23. PDF
  • “Sebald in Moszkva Tér.” Danielle Spencer. The Hungarian Review, vol. 6, no. 2, 2015, pp. 79–81. PDF
  • ​​“Critical Conversations: A 360º Clinical Portrait.” Danielle Spencer and Stephanie Adler Yuan. Esopus, vol. 22, 2015, pp. 137–52. PDF
  • ​​“Looking Back.” Danielle Spencer. Creative Nonfiction, vol. 47, 2013, pp. 34-38. PDF Included in Beautiful Flesh: A Body of Essays, edited by Stephanie G’Schwind, Center for Literary Publishing, 2017, pp. 35–43. 
  • ​​“Your Data is Showing.” Danielle Spencer. WIRED, vol. 13.11, 2005.
  • ​​“It’s Like a Thing of Everything….” Danielle Spencer.  davidbyrne.com, 2002. PDF