, Volume 19, Issue 1, pp 9-24

Reading Cultural Studies of Medicine

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Abstract

This article introduces cultural studies of medicine to medical humanities readers. Rather than offer extended definitions of cultural studies of medicine or provide a detailed history of the domain, I have organized this introduction around a close reading and review of three recently published texts in the field. These three texts, dealing respectively with “cyborg” technology, AIDS, and the medical “management” of sexual identity problems, represent excellent examples of the opportunities and possibilities of applying cultural studies approaches to medical topics. After working through these texts (and the semiotic “theories” which animate them), I devote my conclusion to a broader consideration of the role of cultural studies of medicine for both medical practice and medical humanities scholarship.