Josh Spanogle ’93

Upon graduating from Yale, Josh spent a few years acting in New York before deciding to go to medical school at Stanford. In addition to acting, before going to medical school he worked as a National Park ranger, as a research assistant in medical ethics, and in business development in the dotcom sector. He has published two medical thrillers, Isolation Ward and Flawless, both with Bantam/Dell.

On the Humanities major: I enjoyed the balance between breadth and rigor in the major. Most importantly, I liked the focus on the interconnectedness of thought across disciplines. Many majors look at their disciplines as more self-contained, so they might not pay much attention to what impact philosophy has had on art, or to how art has effected history. Humanities provides what I feel is a more “real” or “organic” look at the past, by encouraging investigation into how these disparate elements of the past worked with and influenced one another.

 The Humanities major was also crucial for my writing. The broad education it provided exposed me to ideas that help me structure thematic elements and enabled me to enrich my novels with apt references for those who know their philosophy, history, and arts. In my books, for example, I might reference Vesalius—perfect for a medical thriller—or Nietzsche, or Caravaggio. And my experience as a Humanities major will have even more bearing upon any historically based books I may write in the future.

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