Health Humanities: Building the Future of Research and Teaching

Authored on:

Mar 20, 2014
Health Humanities image

Health Humanities: Building the Future of Research and Teaching, a two-day Obermann Working Symposium, promises to be a paradigm-shifting moment for the University of Iowa and a leap forward in the larger field of the health humanities. The six keynote speakers include the editors of the two forthcoming health humanities anthologies, Paul Crawford and Tess Jones, as well as the editor of a graphic medicine series, an artist who pioneered an arts-based training program for medical students, a founder of the best-known narrative medicine program, and the co-director of a center for literature and medicine.

Inspiring Cross-Campus Research Collaborations

Obermann Center Director Teresa Mangum, who organized the symposium along with Obermann Postdoctorate Fellow Andrea Charise, believes the symposium will have a significant impact on campus: “This stunning international group of artists, humanists, and health care professionals from our campus and from three countries has the potential to inspire new cross-campus research collaborations as well as course proposals for the undergraduate health humanities track under discussion in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences.”

Charise and Mangum both hope that the symposium is an opportunity to build bridges that strengthen connections among the humanities, arts, and health campuses at the University of Iowa. Already there have been a series of spirited and well-attended planning sessions with people from across the University. It is also an opportunity to contribute to “the sedimentation,” as Charise puts it, of this burgeoning subfield. In planning speakers and panels, she has been especially keen to emphasize the breadth of health humanities, which can include American studies, anthropology, the visual and performing arts, English, ethnic studies, history, philosophy, psychology, religious studies, sociology, public health, nursing, physical rehabilitation, and many other disciplines, as opposed to the medical humanities, which are often narrower in scope and designed solely for medical students.

Symposium Celebrates Existing UI Models and Offers Space to Plan for the Future

The symposium will offer examples from work already going on at the University of Iowa, including an arts-panel featuring 2013 International Writing Program poet Martin Dyar, who is also a lecturer in the Trinity College School of Medicine in Dublin; Jason Lewis, director of the Writing and Humanities Program in the Carver College of Medicine; Chuck Swanson, executive director of Hancher Auditorium; and Amy Richard from the Center for the Book. An "agenda lunch" on Saturday will allow participants an opportunity to envision future projects and collaborations on our campus. And a final panel involving all six keynote speakers will ask, "Where to from here?"

Please Register in Advance

Please register for this conference in order to receive lunch on Friday and Saturday. All events will be take place in the UI College of Public Health.