Medical Humanities Colloquy 9.0

Title: Medical Humanities, Literature, and Methodology: on the Challenges of Studying Epilepsy Narratives

Date: 10/05/ 2022

Time: 5:00 PM IST


Epilepsy is one of the most common neurological diseases globally, impacting approximately 50 million people (WHO, 2022). Nevertheless, patients still suffer from stigmatization and a lack of appropriate care. In my research, I suggest that the study of epilepsy narratives can inform the therapeutic follow-up. However, analyzing these texts requires precise epileptological knowledge as well as ethical questioning. In this paper, I am going to present my methodology and the different challenges this research presents.


Claire Jeantils is a third-year PhD student from CNRS – Sorbonne Nouvelle, in modern literature, specializing in medical humanities. She researches epilepsy in French and British contemporary literature. Drawing on epileptological knowledge, she aims to underline the narrative features of the disease and to suggest a literary epistemology of the use of narrative medicine in the medical follow-up of epilepsy. She is in charge of the PhD students’ network of the Medical Humanities IRN of CNRS in France. After a 10 months-placement at the Maison Française d’Oxford, she is now back in Paris, teaching literary analysis at Sorbonne Nouvelle.

Her work is supervised by Alain Schaffner (Sorbonne Nouvelle) and Catriona Seth (All Souls College).