Events

House for King and Slave: Patients and Medical Practice in the Medieval Islamic Hospital

Public Humanities, Explorations in the Medical Humanities

February 26, 2018 Monday, 6:00pm–7:30pm EST The Heyman Center, Second Floor Common Room, Columbia University
Organizers
  • Lan Li
  • Arden Hegele
  • Carmel Raz
  • Heidi Hausse
Notes
  • Free and open to the public
  • No registration necessary
  • First come, first seated

As a set of disciplines, the humanities face the challenge of how to write about embodied experiences that resist easy verbal categorization such as illness, pain, and healing. The recent emergence of interdisciplinary frameworks such as narrative medicine has offered a set of methodological approaches to address these challenges. Yet conceptualizing a field of medical humanities also offers a broader umbrella under which to study the influence of medico-scientific ideas and practices on society. Whether by incorporating material culture such as medical artefacts, performing symptomatic readings of poems and novels, or excavating the implicit medical assumptions underlying auditory cultures, the approaches that emerge from a historiographical or interpretive framework are different from those coming from the physician’s black bag.

This lecture series will explore the enigma of how what we write relates back to the experience of bodies in different stages of health and disease. Our speakers will explore how the medical humanities build on and revise earlier notions of the “medical arts.” At stake are the problems of representation and the interpretation of cultural products from the past and present through medical models.

Participants
  • Speaker Ahmed Ragab Richard T. Watson Associate Professor of Science and Religion Harvard Divinity School
  • Discussant Marwa Elshakry Associate Professor of History Columbia University