Skip to main content


Care for the Polis: Cities, Health, and the Humanities

Public Humanities, Care for the Polis

dateMay 1, 2020 timeFriday, 3:00pm EDT locationVirtual Event
  • Center for Science and Society, Columbia University
  • Institute for Comparative Literature and Society - Medicine, Literature and Society, Columbia Univer
  • Temple Hoyne Buell Center for the Study of American Architecture, Columbia University
  • Arden Hegele
  • María González Pendás
  • Free and open to the public
  • Registration required. See details.

Care for the Polis is an online conference that exists in a multi-temporal and virtual space. The conference is designed to reimagine how medical humanities and public humanities shape, and are shaped by, the city and its diverse publics. In a series of weekly Z-Panels, our invited speakers will discuss the effects of health on the conception of cities and publics—including, in the context of pandemic, the foreclosure of public space and what it means to become an online yet domestic-bound public. Together, we will address emerging concerns such as economic impact and recovery, domesticity and democracy, public care and public reconstruction.

Click here to register for the Z-Panels.

Z-Panel Schedule:

Germ City Exhibition: A Conversation on Cities, Health, and Public Humanities

Friday, May 1st Z-Panel | 3:00PM

Rebecca Hayes Jacobs, Arden Hegele, María González Pendás

Emergency by Design

Thursday, May 7th Z-Panel | 3:00PM

Rishi Goyal, Graham Mooney

Designs of Urban and Medical Exclusion

Thursday, May 14th Z-Panel | 3:00PM

Alexandre White, Leslie Topp

Collectives of Care

Thursday, May 21st Z-Panel | 3:00PM

Meredith TenHoor, Camille Robcis

Urban Infrastructures of Violence

Thursday, May 28th Z-Panel | 3:00PM

Amy Chazkel, Jonathan Metzl

Expanding Ecologies of Care

Thursday, June 4th Z-Panel | 3:00PM

Rachel Adams, Bryony Roberts

Toxic Bodies in Place

Thursday, June 11th Z-Panel | 3:00PM

Samia Henni, Chisomo Kalinga

Ethics of Care and Space

Thursday, June 18th Z-Panel | 3:00PM

Kathryn Tabb, Joy Knoblauch

Speaking of Covid-19, Now and in the Future

Thursday, June 25th Z-Panel | 3:00PM

Rita Charon, Margaret Crosby-Arnold


Graham Mooney, Associate Professor in the History of Medicine (Johns Hopkins University)
Leslie Topp, Professor of Architectural History (Birkbeck University)
Patrick Blanchfield, Associate Faculty Member (Brooklyn Institute for Social Research)
Amy Chazkel, Bernard Hirschhorn Associate Professor of Urban Studies (Columbia University)
Meredith TenHoor, Associate Professor of Undergraduate Architecture (Pratt Institute)
Camille Robcis, Associate Professor of History and French (Columbia University)
Chisomo Kalinga, Wellcome Trust Medical Humanities Fellow (University of Edinburgh)
Kavita Sivaramakrishnan, Associate Professor of Sociomedical Sciences (Columbia Mailman School of Public Health)
Alexandre White, Assistant Professor of Sociology and History of Medicine (Johns Hopkins University)
Jonathan Metzl, Frederick B. Rentschler II Professor of Sociology and Psychiatry (Vanderbilt University)
Rebecca Jacobs, Trust Mental Health Curatorial Research Fellow (Wellcome)
Rishi Goyal, Assistant Professor of Emergency Medicine and Director of Medicine, Literature and Society (Columbia University)
Rachel Adams, Professor of English and Comparative Literature (Columbia University)
Kathryn Tabb, Assistant Professor of Philosophy (Bard College)
Joy Knoblauch, Assistant Professor of Architecture (University of Michigan)
Rita Charon, Executive Director, Program in Narrative Medicine; Professor of Medicine (Columbia University Medical Center)
Bryony Roberts​, Graduate School of Architecture, Planning and Preservation (Columbia University)
Margaret Crosby-Arnold, Professor, Department of History, Southern University

Organized by Arden Hegele, Medical Humanities Fellow and Lecturer in English and Comparative Literature (Columbia University) and María González Pendás, Coordinator of the Public Humanities Initiative and Lecturer in Art History and Archaeology (Columbia University)