Apr 23rd 2021

Health Humanities in Times of Crisis

@ Smart Museum of Art


Opening Friday, April 23rd, from 10:45AM - 5PM

The first Health Humanities Symposium at the University of Chicago’s Smart Museum of Art explores the relationship between health, healing, and crisis.

As we’ve seen throughout this past year, health is a contested personal, cultural, political, and social state, where questions of health and healing intersect with issues of race, gender, class, citizenship, art, education, and more. In this symposium, we cultivate a dialogue across disciplinary and methodological boundaries with those invested in grappling with the role of humanistic work in both crises and futures of recovery, renewal, and restoration.

FREE, open to all. Please register in advance at http://bit.ly/health-humanities.



Friday, April 23, 2021

10:45 am–11:30 am • Register for Zoom link
Opening Remarks

  • Brian Callender, Assistant Professor of Medicine, University of Chicago
  • Nicole Bond, Lead Museum Educator, Smart Museum of Art
  • Introduced by Lauren Beard, Conference Organizer

11:30 am–12:30 pm • Register for Zoom link
Seeking belonging, community, and connection in a lonely world
This panel reflects the disparate ways that loneliness, isolation, and separation from others pervades social life, and how we can work to trouble and re-make this sense of loneliness across time, place, and community.

  • Abigail Taubman, Department of Visual Arts, University of Chicago
  • Toby Wu, Master of Arts Program in the Humanities, University of Chicago
  • Lauren Cottle, Master of Arts Program in the Humanities, University of Chicago
  • Trina Fernandez, Visual Studies, Minneapolis College of Art and Design

12:30–1 pm

1–2 pm • Register for Zoom link
Tracing intimate moments of grief, pain, and loss

In a moment of immense collective grieving, these panelists make known the intricacies and intimacies of experiencing grief and pain through the loss of a child, the erasure of chronic female pain, and living in a world of lapsed care.

  • Mia Morettini, Visual and Critical Studies, School of the Art Institute of Chicago
  • AR Keiner, Interdisciplinary Art Practice, San Francisco State University
  • Heather Snay, Geography, University of Kansas
  • Moderated by Vinh Cam, Department of English, University of Chicago

2–2:30 pm

2:30–3:30 pm • Register for Zoom link
Global perspectives: healing in an interconnected world

This panel addresses how the health humanities contextualizes and politicizes healing practices across space and time. Perspectives include spiritual practices in Haitian Vodou, the medicalized torture of Algerian rebels during the independence movement against France, and contemporary novels about the civil wars in Sri Lanka and Sierra Leone and their concomitant traumatic afflictions.

  • Isra Hasnain, Pritzker School of Medicine, University of Chicago
  • Mariah Bender, Master of Arts Program in the Humanities, University of Chicago
  • Bassam Sidiki, Department of English Language and Literature, University of Michigan

3:30–4 pm

4–5 pm
Body Mapping Workshop • Register for Zoom link

This workshop is centered on the arts-and therapeutic-based method of Body Mapping to explore questions of how people and communities heal and can heal in times of crisis. Body Mapping visually explores participants’ personal experiences and narratives and has emerged as a research method for critical reflexivity, participatory engagement, and community-building.

  • Adriana Brodyn, Sociology, The University of British Columbia
  • Soo Young Lee, Crown Family School of Social Work, Policy, and Practice, University of Chicago


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