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SOF Alum Arden Hegele Interviewed by Columbia News

In the News, Fellows, SOF Fellows

March 24, 2022
Headshot of Arden Hegele

SOF/Heyman affiliated faculty and former SOF Fellow (2016-2019) Prof. Arden Hegele speaks with Columbia News about her new book Romantic Autopsy:

"In Romantic Autopsy: Literary Form and Medical Reading, Arden Hegele, a lecturer in the department of English and Comparative Literature, and a faculty member in Medical Humanities and Medical Humanities and Ethics at Columbia University Irving Medical Center, considers a moment at the start of the 19th century, when literature and medicine seemed embattled in rivalry. In fact, the two fields collaborated to develop interpretive analogies that saw literary texts as organic bodies and anatomical features as legible texts. Together, Romantic readers and doctors elaborated protocols of diagnosis-practices for interpretation that could be used to label disease, and to understand fiction and poetry.

This volume puts essential works of British Romantic literature that seem at first to have little to do with medicine—such as the lyrics of William Wordsworth, the elegies of Percy Shelley and Alfred Tennyson, and the novels of Mary Wollstonecraft, Jane Austen, and Mary Shelley—back into conversation with emergent medical disciplines of the period: anatomy, pathology, and psychiatry."

Read the full piece here.