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Medical Humanities Synapsis Writers Retreat

Public Humanities, Explorations in the Medical Humanities

dateNovember 22, 2019 timeFriday, 12:00pm EST location The Heyman Center, Second Floor Common Room, Columbia University
  • Registration required. See details.
  • Free and open to the public
  • First come, first seated

Livestream link available here.

This event is a workshop bringing together past and present writers for Synapsis: A Health Humanities Journal (, which Dr. Arden Hegele and Dr. Rishi Goyal have co-edited since 2017. While our writers—graduate students, postdoctoral fellows, junior faculty, and physicians—have collaborated in a digital space, they have had few occasions to meet in person, and never directly under the auspices of the journal. In this Friday afternoon event, then, we propose to invite writers to come together to discuss our shared goals for the medical and health humanities, to consider how our institutional contexts might work together to support collaboration, and to evaluate how our network of early-career scholars might make the strongest impact on the field (including the formation of an editorial board). The event will include an open conversation reporting on our current activities in the health and medical humanities; brief presentations from writers on their recent scholarship; group workshops led by members of the Justice-in-Education Initiative and the Creative Resilience Collective; and a working dinner where we will discuss future aims for the journal.

The workshop will continue the work of the Explorations in the Medical Humanities series (launched in 2017), with a new emphasis on creating collaborations among early-career scholars from a variety of institutions.

All events take place in the Fellows’ Lounge and Second Floor Common Room

All participants must pre-register with Arden Hegele ([email protected]) before Monday, November 18.

12:10-1:30pm Welcome and Working Lunch

1:30-1:45pm Break

1:45-3:15pm Conference Panel:

New Directions in Health and Medical Humanities

Kaitlin Pontzer (Cornell): “Movements of the Body: The History of Emotion and Theories of Feeling in Late 17th Century England”

Diana Rose Newby (Columbia), “The Problems with Porous Bodies in 19th-Century Novels.”

Emilie Egger (Yale), “Implementation of the Peruvian National Population Program and Early Outrage.”

Chia Lien (Washington University, St Louis), “Mapping Touch in the Nursing Home: a Way of Thinking about Affect”

Travis Lau (UT Austin), “Pained Poetics; or, The Crip Poetics of Pain.”

Chair: Arden Hegele (Columbia)

3:15-3:30pm Break

3:30-4:30pm Creative Resilience Collective:

Speculative Design Workshop

Leaders: Creative Resilience Collective: Andrea Ngan and Bennett Kuhn

4:30-4:45pm Break

4:45-5:45pm The Transformative Power of Holding Space:

A Workshop

Leader: Antoinette Cooper (Justice-in-Education & Medical Humanities)

5:45-6:15pm General Discussion