Skip to main content


This page was compiled by Erik Maloney, who wrote the following:

The following list aims to include periodicals that regularly publish articles relevant to the health humanities. I have focused on publications that host interdisciplinary conversations between the humanities, the social sciences, and the health sciences. The first category, “Primary Journals,” features journals whose core mission involves putting medicine into dialogue with the humanities. Another, “Social Sciences and Medicine,” lists journals which are primarily located in social science disciplines but which are theoretically consonant with much work in the humanities. Other categories list periodicals devoted to specific topics (disability, aging, mental health, bioethics) which regularly publish health humanities work or which offer content likely to be of particular interest to health humanities scholars. I have not attempted to indicate all the publications within the medical profession itself that might be useful to health humanities projects, but I have included a few titles that have indicated particular willingness to  engage with the humanities. Articles of interest to scholars of, say, literature and medicine, also appear, of course, in periodicals devoted to particular historical periods, genres, or theoretical approaches; their relevance depends on a researcher’s specific project, so I have not listed these here. I have also, broadly, excluded publications dedicated to single disciplines or topics—from Anthropological Quarterly  to Food and Energy Security —where health humanities material might occasionally appear but where its particular interdisciplinary conjuncture is not stressed.

Overall, I have aimed to list journals that would repay a health humanities scholar’s attention (at least to the degree of, say, scanning the tables of contents of new issues) and journals that might offer publication outlets for interdisciplinary projects based in the humanities. Where relevant, I have quoted from the journals’ mission statements or provided the titles of recent articles to suggest what kind of health humanities material they publish.

Primary Journals

– Medical Humanities (2000 – Present)

Medical Humanities, published by the Institute of Medical Ethics, “presents the international conversation around medicine and its engagement with the humanities and arts, social sciences, health policy, medical education, patient experience and the public at large.” The journal publishes “scholarly and critical articles on a broad range of topics” including “history of medicine, cultures of medicine, disability studies, gender and the body, communities in crisis, bioethics, and public health.” Access is provided as a membership benefit to members of the Association of Medical Humanities.

–  Journal of Medical Humanities (1989 – Present)

Publishes “original interdisciplinary studies of medicine and medical education” in three core areas: medical humanities, cultural studies, and pedagogy. Their broad conception of medical humanities includes “history, philosophy, and bioethics as well as social and behavioral sciences that have strong humanistic traditions.” Cultural studies topics of interest include “multidisciplinary activities involving the humanities, women’s, African-American, and other critical studies; media studies and popular culture; and sociology and anthropology,” and they welcome studies of pedagogy that “elucidate. . . how knowledge is made and valued in medicine, how that knowledge is expressed and transmitted, and the ideological basis of medical education.”

– Health: An Interdisciplinary Journal for the Social Study of Health, Illness, and Medicine (1997 – Present)

An interdisciplinary journal “that engages with and interrogates health and healthcare from the perspectives of the social sciences and the humanities,” focusing particularly on “critique of norms and power relationships.” Health attracts a wide readership in the social sciences and the medical profession, and prioritizes papers that take “an explicit and nuanced theoretical position within the social science and humanities literature.” All submissions must respond to specific calls for papers.

– Literature and Medicine (1982 – Present)

This journal publishes scholarship that explores “representational and cultural practices concerning health care and the body. Areas of interest include disease, illness, health, and disability; violence, trauma, and power relations; and the cultures of biomedical science and technology and of the clinic, as these are represented and interpreted in verbal visual, and material texts.” It appears semiannually, with one thematic issue and one general issue per year.

– Journal of Applied Arts and Health (2010 – Present) “The Practice of Humanities in Medicine

Serves “a wide community of artists, researchers, practitioners and policy-makers evidencing the effectiveness of the interdisciplinary use of arts in health and arts for health.” Health is defined broadly as “physical, mental, emotional, spiritual, occupational, social and community health.” Titles include “The Practice of Humanities in Medicine at Mayo Clinic” and “Using a Second-Language Drama Competition to Foster Medical Humanities Education.”

Social Sciences and Medicine

– Social Science and Medicine (1982 – Present)

Provides “an international and interdisciplinary forum for the dissemination of social science research on health.” Publishes little health humanities work, but engages with key debates from social science perspectives.

– Body and Society (1995 – Present)

A companion journal to Theory, Culture and Society , Body and Society  publishes on “a wide range of critical approaches to the body” and privileges “trans-disciplinary” work. Among the disciplines included are anthropology, communications, cultural studies, film studies, medical history, philosophy, religious studies, and science studies. A wide range of theoretical approaches are also welcomed, although post-humanism seems particularly well represented.

– Sociology of Health and Illness (1979 – Present)

Publishes “sociological articles on all aspects of health, illness, medicine and health care.” The new editorial team stresses “engagement”; “international, comparative data and concepts”; and “sociological work that is historically informed.”Although the journal rarely engages the health humanities directly, many articles use cultural theory in ways consonant with health humanities approaches.

– Journal of Health Psychology (1996 – Present)

Publishes “traditional empirical analyses as well as more qualitative and/or critically oriented approaches” to the psychology of health. The journal “also addresses the social contexts in which psychological and health processes are embedded.”

– Qualitative Health Research (1991 – Present)

Provides an “interdisciplinary forum to enhance health care and further the development and understanding of qualitative research in health-care settings.” Regularly publishes on narrative and offers broad reviews of other qualitative analytical approaches.

– BioSocieties (2006 – Present)

Explores “the crucial social, ethical and policy implications of developments in the life sciences and biomedicine” and how these developments are “transforming our understanding of personal identity, family relations, ancestry and ‘race’. . . reshaping global economic opportunities and inequalities. . . and generating new social, ethical, legal and regulatory dilemmas.” Encourages articles that “break out from narrow disciplinary boundaries within the social sciences and humanities, and between these disciplines and the natural sciences.”

– Human Nature: An Interdisciplinary Biosocial Perspective (1996 – Present)

A journal dedicated to “advancing the interdisciplinary investigation of the biological, social, and environmental factors that underlie human behavior,” Human Nature  focuses on “the evolutionary, biological, and sociological processes as they interact with human social behavior; the biological and demographic consequences of human history; the cross-cultural, cross-species, and historical perspectives on human behavior; and the relevance of a biosocial perspective to scientific, social, and policy issues.”

– Social Theory and Health (2003 – Present)

Publishes “theoretically informed work on the role of health in modern societies,” particularly “theoretical reflection and debate on contemporary health issues” and  “the planning and delivery of services.” Titles include “Methods of Resistance: A New Typology for Health Research Within the Neoliberal Knowledge Economy,” “Explaining the Absence of the Lay Voice in Sexual Health,” and “Foucault’s Progeny: Jamie Oliver and the Art of Governing Obesity.”

Health, Risk, and Society (1999 – Present)

Focuses on “the social processes which influence the ways in which risks and uncertainties regarding health are identified, communicated, assessed and/or managed,” publishing articles that “show a critical awareness of contemporary risk theory, critically evaluate and review evidence and contribute to understandings of the relationship between health, risk and society.” Titles include “Metaphorical Mediation inWomen’s Perceptions of Risk Related to Osteoporosis” and “Genetic Risk and Reproductive Decisions: Meta and Counter Narratives.”

–  Ethos (1973 – Present)

The journal of the Society for Psychological Anthropology publishes on “the interrelationships between the individual and the sociocultural milieu, between the psychological disciplines and the social and cultural disciplines.” Titles include “Troubling Love: Gender, Class, and Sideshadowing the ‘Happy Family’ in Vietnam,” “Culture, Psychology, and National Security Against War on Terror Detainees,” and “Dreaming of the Kardashians: Media Content in the Dreams of US College Students.”

Medical Anthropology Quarterly (1983 – Present)

Aims “to stimulate development of important theory, methods, and debates in medical anthropology and to explore the links between medical anthropology, the broader field of anthropology, and neighboring fields in the humanities, social sciences, and health-related disciplines, including public health and clinical medicine.” Recent health humanities titles include “Cancer and the Comics: Graphic Narratives and Biolegitimate Lives.”

Journal of Religion and Health (1961 – Present)

Publishes on “the most contemporary modes of religious and spiritual thought with particular emphasis on their relevance to current medical and psychological research” and to “the study of human values, health, and emotional welfare.” Titles include “American Medicine as Religious Practice: Care of the Sick as a Sacred Obligation and the Unholy Descent into Secularization,” “Narrative Medicine and Contemplative Care at the End of Life,” and “Impact of Quran in Treatment of the Psychological Disorder and Spiritual Illness.”


These lists do not attempt to provide guides to the core literature of their topics, but to indicate journals that encourage interdisciplinary work engaging the humanities.

Disability Studies

– Journal of Literary and Cultural Disability Studies (2007 – Present)

Publishes work situated “in the interdisciplinarity of literary studies, cultural studies, and disability studies.” Focuses on “representations of disability,” seeking “textual analyses that are informed by disability theory and. . . experiences of disability.”

Disability and Society (1986 – Present)

Provides a space “for debate about such issues as human rights, discrimination, definitions, policy and practices.” The journal seeks to “represent a wide range of perspectives including the importance of the voices of disabled people.” Includes sections for “Student Perspectives” from undergraduate or graduate students.

Disability Studies Quarterly (2008 – Present)

Open-access “multidisciplinary and international journal of interest to social scientists, scholars in the humanities, disability rights advocates, [and] creative writers.” Publications relate to “the full range of methods, epistemologies, perspectives, and content that the multidisciplinary field of disability studies embraces.”

Disability and Rehabilitation (1992 – Present)

This journal and its companion (Disability and Rehabilitation: Assistive Tech- nology) encourage multidisciplinary work aimed at all aspects of disability. It publishes research articles, case studies, and material on education and training.

Mental Health

Mental Health Review Journal (2003 – Present)

A UK-based journal that “focuses on the delivery and evaluation of mental health services in the UK” but welcomes “international contributions. . .where these apply innovation and best practice do, or draw out the context for, the UK.” Recent health humanities titles include “Creative Practice as Mutual Recovery in Mental Health,” “Teaching Madness and Literature in a Healthcare Context,” and “Memoir and the Diagnosis of Schizophrenia.”

Culture, Medicine, and Psychiatry (1997 – Present)

Publishes interdisciplinary work primarily in the fields of “medical and psychiatric anthropology, cross-cultural psychiatry, and associated cross-societal and clinical epidemiological studies,” along with research on “the cultural context of normative and deviant behavior.” Titles include “Trauma, Disability, and Embodied Discourse Through Cross-Cultural Narrative Modes” and “Narrative Phenomenology of Wandering in Autism and Dementia.”

Mental Health and Social Inclusion (2003 – Present)

An open-access journal “primarily written by practitioners for practitioners working to promote social inclusion of people with mental health conditions.” Publishes “applied research, case studies, commentaries, interviews,” policy analyses, and material on education, arts, and culture. Recent health humanities titles include “Creative Practice in a Group Setting” and “The Perspectives of People Who Use Mental Health Services Engaging with Arts and Cultural Activities.”

Child and Adolescent Mental Health (1998 – Present)

Publishes “mental health services research of relevance to academics, clinicians and commissioners internationally,” with a particular focus on “evidence-based clinical practice and clinically orientated research.” In 2016, the journal announced its intention to “start its own contribution to the field of medical, or perhaps more multidisciplinary, ‘health’ humanities,” publishing a special issue entitled “Narrative Matters.”

Academic Psychiatry (1997 – Present)

Publishes work that “furthers knowledge and stimulates evidence-based advances in academic medicine in six key domains: education, leadership, finance and administration, career and professional development, ethics and professionalism, and health and well-being.” Titles include “Integrating the Humanities in Psychiatric Residency Training” and “A Systematic Way to Use Short Stories in Psychiatric Training and Practice.”


Ageing and Society (1995 – Present)

An “interdisciplinary and international journal devoted to the understanding of human ageing and the circumstances of older people in their social and cultural contexts,” it “draws contributions and has readers from many academic social science disciplines, and from clinical medicine and the humanities. Titles include”Representing Violence Against Vulnerable Subjects and the Ethics of Care in Fictional Narrative,” “Narratives at Work: What Can Stories of Older Athletes Do?”, and “Embodied Vulnerability in the Art of J. M. W. Turner.”

Canadian Journal on Aging (2004 – Present)

Publishes the work of “researchers in the social sciences, humanities, health and biological sciences who study the older population of Canada and other countries,” with a focus on policy, quality of life, and interpersonal relationships.

Journal of Aging and Health (1989 – Present)

Explores the “complex and dynamic relationship between gerontology and health.” Publishes interdisciplinary work spanning the health and social sciences, on topics such as health beliefs, social support, the recovery process, and medical ethics.

Medical Ethics, Bioethics, and Philosophy of Medicine

American Journal of Bioethics (2001 – Present)

A central source on bioethics that publishes “serious discussion of the social implications of biomedicine” and claims to provide “an authoritative, annotated conversation that has been used by judges, Senators, journalists, scholars, schoolteacher, and millions of others as the key source on thousands of topics in the health sciences.” Titles include “Now Is the Time for a Postracial Medicine,” “Healing Without Waging War: Beyond Military Metaphors in Medicine and HIV Cure Research,” and “Swabbing Students: Should Universities Be Allowed to Facilitate Educational DNA Testing?”

Journal of Bioethical Inquiry (2004 – Present)

Publishes on “ethical, cultural and social issues arising in medicine, the health sciences and health care in general,” such as clinical practice, medical technology, policy analysis, and the implications of current events for global health. Recent titles include “Exploring Vaccine Hesitancy Through an Artist-Scientist Collaboration,” “Symptom and Surface: Disruptive Deafness and Medieval Medical Authority,” and “Addressing the Use and Abuse of Power in Medical Training.”

Bioethics (1987 – Present)

Publishes articles on “the ethical questions raised by current issues such as: international collaborative clinical research in developing countries, organ transplants and xenotransplanation, ageing and the human lifespan, AIDS, genomics, and stem cell research,” discussing either “concrete ethical, legal and policy problems” or the “fundamental concepts, principles and theories used in discussions of such problems.” Recent titles include “Balancing Bioethics By Sensing the Aesthetic” and “Merging Arts and Bioethics.”

Narrative Inquiry in Bioethics (2011 – Present)

Publishes case studies, qualitative and mixed-methods research articles, and personal stories aimed at “fostering a deeper understanding of bioethical issues by engaging rich descriptions of complex human experiences.” Recent titles include “Religion in Medical and Nursing Practice,” “Healing the Physician’s Story: A Case Study in Narrative Medicine and End-of-Life Care,” and “Art, Clinical Moral Perception, and the Moral Psychology of Healthcare Professionalism.”

Medicine, Health Care and Philosophy (1998 – Present)

Publishes “research data, theories, reports and opinions on bioethics, and the philosophy of medicine and health care,” drawing on disciplines such as history, ethics, anthropology, epistemology, logic, and metaphysics. Articles frequently draw on narrative analysis, continental philosophy, and phenomenology. Recent titles include “Heidegger, Communication, and Healthcare,” “Rethinking the Ethical Approach to Health Information Management Through Ricoeur’s ‘Little Ethics,’ ” and “The Uncanny, Alienation, and Strangeness: The Entwining of Political and Medical Metaphor.”

Philosophy, Ethics, and Humanities in Medicine (2006 – Present)

Publishes on “all aspects of the philosophy of medicine and biology, and the ethical aspects of clinical practice and research,” and considers “papers at the intersection of medicine and humanities, including the history of medicine, that are relevant to contemporary philosophy of medicine and bioethics.” Titles include “Medical Professionalism: What the Study of Literature Can Contribute,” “Conceptualizing Su ering and Pain,” and “Retrospective Diagnosis of a Famous Historical Figure: Ontological, Epistemic, and Ethical Considerations.”

Theoretical Medicine and Bioethics (1998 – Present)

Publishes on “clinical judgment and reasoning, medical concepts such as health and disease, the philosophical basis of medical science, and the philosophical ethics of health care and biomedical research.” Titles include “The Nature of Illness Experience,” “On the Notion of Home and the Goals of Palliative Care,” and “Wonder and the Clinical Encounter.”

Cambridge Quarterly of Healthcare Ethics (1997 – Present)

Designed “to address the challenge of biology, medicine and healthcare,” this journal seeks “to meet the needs of professionals serving on healthcare ethics committees in hospitals, nursing homes, hospices and rehabilitation centres. Titles include “Medical Humanities, Ethics, and Disability,” “Medical Student Attitudes about Bioethics,” and “Medical Humanities: An E-Module.” The journal has recently begun publishing a yearly special issue on neuroethics.

Journal of Medical Ethics (1975 – Present)

Publishes articles on “ethical reflection and conduct in scientific research and medical practice” aimed at “health care profesionals, members of clinical ethics committees, medical ethics professionals, researchers and bioscentists, policy makers and patients.” Titles include “Medical Humanities and Medical Alterity in Fiction and in Life.” (Medical Humanities, listed above, began its life as a special issue of the Journal of Medical Ethics.)

Neuroethics (2008 – Present)

Publishes “interdisciplinary studies in neuroethics and related issues in the sciences of the mind,” focusing on “ethical issues posed by new technologies. . . of intervening in the mind,” the practice of neuroscience, problems posed by imaging, the regulation of neuroscientific technologies, and “ways in which the sciences of the mind illuminate traditional moral and philosophical problems.” Titles include “Public Discourses on the Biology of Alcohol Addiction,” “Ethical Considerations in the Framing of the Cognitive Enhancement Debate,” and “Head Transplants, Personal Identity and Neuroethics.”

Journal of Medicine and Philosophy (1997 – Present)

Publishes on global bioethics and the philosophy of medicine, including “explorations of the nature of concepts of health and disease, as well as the character of medical explanation.” Recent titles include “The Body as Gift, Commodity, or Something in Between: Ethical Implications of Advanced Kidney Donation,” “Antiquity’s Missive to Transhumanism,” and “The Posthuman as Hollow Idol: A Nietzschean Critique of Human Enhancement.”

JAHR: European Journal of Bioethics (2010 – Present)

Publishes papers related to bioethics in the social sciences, the humanities, and biomedicine.

Death and Dying

Death Studies (1985 – Present)

Provides an interdisciplinary forum “with the aim of better understanding the human encounter with death and assisting those who work with the dying and their families.” Publishes on “bereavement and loss, grief therapy, death attitudes, suicide, and death education.”

Omega: Journal of Death and Dying (1999 – Present)

Publishes articles based in “psychology, sociology, medicine, anthropology, law, education, history and literature.”

Medical Publications

These journals are primarily directed toward practitioners in specific fields of clinical practice and medical education, but they frequently publish pieces relevant to the health humanities or host debates considering the status of the medical humanities in their particular fields.

Academic Medicine (1989 – Present)

The journal of the Association of American Medical Colleges publishes on education and training issues, health and science policy, institutional policy and values, research practice, and clinical practice in academic settings. Titles include “Bringing Home the Health Humanities: Narrative Humility, Structural Competency, and Engaged Pedagogy,” “Seeking Common Ground Between Medical Humanities and Basic Sciences,” and “Toward ‘Harder’ Medical Humanities: Moving Beyond the ‘Two Cultures’ Dichotomy.”

Medical Education (1997 – Present)

Hosts a robust ongoing conversation between the humanities and medical education. Titles include “Creative Art and Medical Student Development,” “A Review of Creative and Expressive Writing as a Pedagogical Tool in Medical Education,” “Knowing How We Know: An Epistemological Rationale for the Medical Humanities.”

BMC Medical Education (2001 – Present)

Open-access journal publishing research articles relating to the training of healthcare professionals at the undergraduate and postgraduate levels, focusing on “curriculum development, evaluations of performance, assessment of training needs and evidence-based medicine.” Contributions engaging with the humanities appear frequently. Titles include “More than Visual Literacy: Art and the Enhancement of Tolerance for Ambiguity and Empathy,” “Impact of a Narrative Medicine Program on Healthcare Providers’ Empathy Scores Over Time,” and “Life Imitating Art: Depictions of the Hidden Curriculum in Medical Television Programs.”

Nurse Education in Practice (2001 – Present)

Publishes on the “actual practice” of nursing education in university and clinical settings. Humanities-based contributions include “Bringing a Novel to Practice: An Interpretive Study of Reading a Novel in an Undergraduate Nursing Practicum Course,” “TeachingMidwife Students How to Break Bad News Using the Cinema,” and “Putting the Art into Nurse Education.”

Journal of Advanced Nursing (1976 – Present)

Frequently discusses medical humanities work from the perspective of nursing research and education. Recent articles include “How Education Must Reawaken Empathy,” “Ethics, Intimacy and Sexuality in Aged Care,” and “Narrative in Nursing Research: An Overview of Three Approaches.”

Lancet (1823 – Present)

A major international medical publication, this journal (and its subsidiaries, such as The Lancet Oncology ) frequently publishes work intersecting with the social sciences and humanities. Recent titles include “Imaginative Transformations: Breast Cancer and Art,” “Global Health Humanities: Defining an Emerging Field,” and “Experiences of Hearing Voices: Analysis of a Novel Phenomenological Survey.” “Global Health Humanities: Defining an Emerging Field” (2016).

Canadian Medical Association Journal (1911 – Present)

Another important medical journal that tracks developments in and publishes work based in the humanities. Titles include “Hearing Between Wor(l)ds: Rhetorical Space and Disrupting Narratives in Medicine,” “A Place for Humanities in Medical Education,” and “Improving Clinical Care Through the Stories We Tell.”

Public Health Genomics (2009 – Present)

A public health journal, focusing on policy and healthcare, that “combines theoretical and empirical work from a range of disciplines, notably public health, molecular and medical sciences, the humanities and social sciences.”

Other Health and Humanities Journals

Journal of Healthcare, Science, and the Humanities (2011 – Present)

The open-access journal of Tuskegee University’s National Center for Bioethics is “devoted to engaging the sciences, humanities, law and religious faiths in the exploration of the core moral issues which underlie research and medical treatment of African Americans and other underserved people.” Recent special issue topics include “Healing the Family through Social Justice,” “Making Latino/Hispanic Health Count,” and “Assuring Ethics from Generation to Generation.”

– Research and Humanities in Medical Education (2014 – Present)

An open access, peer-reviewed online journal devoted to the place of the humanities in medical education, RHiME  “encompasses all aspects of teaching and learning medicine” in an “inter-disciplinary way of looking at medical education and practice through the lens of philosophy, theology, art, drama, film, history, literature, anthropology, and other humanities subjects.”

– Health Humanities Journal of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

Aims “to inspire. . . interdisciplinary thinking and collaborative work while exploring ideas that relate to health, illness, caregiving and medicine.” Offers “an opportunity for students to publish original creative work, research, essays, and artwork that explores the intersection of literature/arts and healing.”

Rivista per le Medical Humanities

Published by the Commissione di Etica Clinica, this Italian-language journal includes case studies, considered from a variety of narrative and analytical perspectives; articles on clinical ethics, bioethics, and health policy; and interviews with influential figures in the humanities and the medical professions.