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Communications and Marketing

‘Exchanging’ hearts

Barbara Newman, an expert on medieval religious culture, discussed how today’s heart transplant patients live the literary “exchange of hearts” motif.

She covered “the literalization of exchanging hearts — that is, the modern phenomenon of taking on the characteristics of the person whose organ was received in transplant surgery—in medieval romances and saints’ lives,” Assistant Professor of English and Chair of Medieval and Renaissance Studies Dustin Mengelkoch said. 

Newman, a professor of English, religious studies, and classics at Northwestern University, pulled together the literary, the religious, and the science of medicine in her talk.