Skip navigation Jump to main navigation

Applications for 2024 Columbia Summer Session programs are now open!

Close alert

Danielle Spencer, Ph.D.

Senior Lecturer in Discipline, Narrative Medicine

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, and has held fellowships at MacDowell and Yaddo.


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



  • Metagnosis: Revelatory Narratives of Health and Identity. Danielle Spencer. New York: Oxford University Press, 2021. 
  • Drifting Out to Infinity. Danielle Spencer. Boston: Ploughshares Solos, 2019.
  • The Principles and Practice of Narrative Medicine. Rita Charon, Sayantani DasGupta, Nellie Hermann, Craig Irvine, Eric Marcus, Edgar Rivera Colón, Danielle Spencer, Maura Spiegel. New York: Oxford University Press, 2017. Winner of the International Society for the Study of Narrative Perkins Prize for the most significant book published in 2017. Translated into Japanese, French, Polish, Chinese, Greek, and Korean.  

Essays / Articles / Chapters