Department of English

University of Toronto

Charise, Andrea

Andrea ChariseAndrea Charise 
Associate Professor; Graduate Faculty; Graduate English Department's representative for the Collaborative Master's and Doctoral Program in Women's Health
Office Phone: 416-208-4786
UTSC Office Location: MW 216
UTSG Office Location: Jackman Humanities Building, 170 St. George Street, Room 626
Office hours and/or Leave Status: On leave July 1, 2021 - June 30, 2022
Andrea Charise's Homepage:

Teaching and Research Interests: Health humanities and humanistic approaches to health, illness, and the body; English literature (emphasis: the nineteenth-century British novel); old age and age studies; narrative medicine and training; literary and critical theory; embodiment; science and literature; medicine and literature; interdisciplinarity

Ph.D, English (with collaborative program in “Healthcare, Technology, and Place”), University of Toronto M.A, Theory and Criticism, University of Western Ontario B.Art.Sc, Bachelor of Arts & Science (Comb. Hons. Comparative Literature, summa cum laude), McMaster University.

Dr. Charise joins UTSC’s Health Studies Program from the University of Iowa where she was Postdoctoral Fellow-in-Residence at the Obermann Center for Advanced Studies. Alongside her undergraduate duties at UTSC, Dr. Charise also holds a faculty appointment in the University of Toronto’s Graduate Department of English. Her teaching and research focus on health humanities and humanistic approaches to health studies; English literature, especially the novel and nineteenth-century British writing (the field in which she earned her PhD); old age and age studies; embodiment; critical theory; metaphorics; narrative training for health professionals; and interdisciplinarity. Dr. Charise is currently at work on a book entitled "Aging, Population, and the Nineteenth-Century Literary Imagination", which explores how the invention of population in the early 19th century impacted broader cultural conceptualizations of older age. In addition to receiving recognition for her teaching and scholarship in literature (most recently, the 2014 Polanyi Prize for Literature), Dr. Charise has had a productive career as a medical researcher (geriatrics, clinical epidemiology). She is an Associate Researcher on Concordia University’s Aging+Communications+Technologies (ACT) Project (a seven-year, $2.99 million SSHRC Partnership Grant), serves on the International Health Humanities Network (IHHN)’s International Advisory Board, and is one of four founding Executive Committee members of the Modern Languages Association (MLA)’s brand new Forum on “Medical Humanities and Health Studies”. Dr. Charise welcomes inquiries from students and colleagues interested in the interdisciplinary conceptualization of health and illness, especially arts- and humanities-based methods, theory, and creative practices (e.g., literature, film, visual arts). She can be found online at or on Twitter as @AndreaCharise.

Literary Studies and Humanities

“G.H. Lewes and the Impossible Classification of Organic Life.” Victorian Studies 57.3 (Summer 2015), forthcoming.

“The Future is Certain: Manifesting Age, Culture, Humanities.” Age, Culture, Humanities: An Interdisciplinary Journal, forthcoming 2014.

“Romanticism Against Youth.” Essays in Romanticism 20 (2013): 83-100. 

“‘Let the reader think of the burden’: Old Age and the Crisis of Capacity.” Occasion: Interdisciplinary Studies in the Humanities 4 (2012): 1-16.

“‘The tyranny of age’: Godwin’s St Leon and the Nineteenth-Century Longevity Narrative.” English Literary History (ELH), 79.4 (2012): 905-33.

Geriatric Medicine and Health Sciences
Diachun LL, A Charise, M Goldszmidt, Y Hui, L Lingard. “Exploring the Realities of Curriculum by Random Opportunity: The Case of Geriatrics on the Internal Medicine Clerkship Rotation.” Canadian Geriatrics Journal 17.4 (2014): 126-132. Print.

Diachun LL, A Charise, L Lingard. “Old News: Why the 90-year Crisis in Medical Elder Care?” Journal of the American Geriatrics Society 60.7 (2012): 1357-60.

Charise A, H Witteman, S Whyte, E Sutton, JL Bender, M Massimi, L Stephens, J Evans, C Logie, RM Mirza, M Elf. “Questioning Context: An Interdisciplinary Tool for Exploring Non-medical Factors Affecting Health Decision-making.” Health Expectations 14.2 (2011): 115-132.

Diachun L, L Van Bussell, K Hansen, A Charise, M Reider. “‘But I see old people everywhere’: Dispelling the Myth that Eldercare is Learned in Nongeriatric Clerkships.” Academic Medicine 85.7 (2010): 1221-28.

Massimi M, A Charise. “Dying, Death, and Mortality: Towards Thanatosensitivity in HCI [Human-Computer Interaction].” Proc. CHI 2009 Extended Abstracts, 2459-2468.

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