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.
- 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. 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
- “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, 2023. [In Press]
- “Illness Narratives: From Analysis to Answerability.” Arthur Frank and Danielle Spencer. Handbook on the Sociology of Health and Medicine, edited by Alan Petersen, Edward Elgar, 2023. [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
- “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
In the News
A Commitment to Patient Stories Guides Clinical Pathways in Narrative Medicine
Narrative Medicine faculty and graduates discuss the potential of the transdisciplinary field.
Narrative Medicine-NECR Project Receives Faculty Seed Grant to Address Structural Racism
The Office of the Provost’s Addressing Racism initiative awards funding to SPS-based collaboration.