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Symposium – Beyond Empathy: Critical Perspectives on Medicine, Society and Culture

Date: Sat. March 24th, 2018, 8:30 am-4:15 pm
Location: Lecture Hall, Cleveland Museum of Art, 11150 East Boulevard, Cleveland, OH  44106

This day-long symposium will feature presentations on the vibrant field of medical humanities, addressing a variety of unsettled questions, such as: How can humanistic and social science disciplines take account of one another’s insights for the study of health and medicine? How should these fields best inform clinical practice? And what, ultimately, is medical humanities for? Participants will include faculty and students from the humanities and social sciences, the School of Medicine, and the Cleveland Clinic. The program will include a demonstration in the Cleveland Museum of Art on the critical study of visual arts to train medical students in the skill of clinical observation.





8:30-9:00 am:
Coffee and urbane wit available immediately outside the room.

9:00-9:10 am:
Words of welcome from Symposium Organizers Julia Knopes and Jonathan Sadowsky, BNC Director Peter Knox, and MSC Director Eileen Anderson-Fye

9:10-10:25 am: Morning Session One: “Methods in Medical Humanities”
Chair: Eileen Anderson-Fye

10 minute presentations on what their fields contribute to medical humanities by:
Arthur Frank (Writing Lives)
Kenny Fountain (Rhetoric)
Vanessa Hildebrand (Ethnography)
Jonathan Sadowsky (History)
Katherine Burke (Arts)

To be followed by group discussion and Q & A.

10:35 am -12:00 pm:
Morning Session Two: “Engaging with (Bio)medical Systems: Graduate Student Research in the Medical Humanities and Social Sciences”
Chair: Peter Knox

Julia Knopes (Anthropology, CWRU): “‘Triage the Knowledge’: Ignorance and Sufficient Understanding at an American Medical School”
Sonya Petrakovitz (Anthropology, CWRU): “Ancestral Medicine and Identity in the Commodified, Neo-Colonial Context of Rapa Nui”
Naomi Rendina (History, CWRU): “The Fungus that Changed American Childbirth: Maternal Mortality and The Ergot Controversy, 1927-1932”

Kimberly Emmons (English)
Susan Hinze (Sociology)

12:00-1:15 pm:  Lunch Break

1:15-2:40 pm:
Afternoon Session One :  “Making the Invisible Visible: Art, Identity, and Hierarchies of Power”
Chair: Cyra Levenson
Cindy Crusto, M.D. Candidate, Yale University
Robert Rock, M.D. Candidate, Yale University

2:50-4:15 pm:
Afternoon Session Two : “Making Stories Matter: An Exercise in Narrative Medicine”
Chair: Susan Stagno

Presentation by Narrative Medicine students

Discussant: Arthur Frank

This event is co-sponsored by the Program in Medicine, Society, and Culture and Department of Bioethics, Cleveland Museum of Art, and the Baker-Nord Center for the Humanities.

About the Participants: 

Eileen Anderson-Fye directs the Medicine, Society and Culture (MSC) concentration in the Bioethics MA program. As a medical and psychological anthropologist, she studies how adolescents and young adults adapt to changes in their environments in ways that both advance and harm their well-being. An award-winning teacher and mentor, she founded the MSC degree track to give students a more comprehensive understanding of non-biological factors that affect health, as well as also our ideas about well-being and illness.

Katherine Burke, MFA, is a multidisciplinary artist, teacher, and activist. Her work in health humanities at Cleveland Clinic Lerner College of Medicine engages Cleveland residents, medical students, health care workers, and physicians in an ongoing examination of health and well- being in Cleveland. As the directing and devising force behind the acclaimed verbatim play May 4th Voices, she brought to life the oral histories of witnesses to the 1970 shootings at Kent State University. An activist who uses Theatre of the Oppressed and other arts-based techniques to foster dialogue and inspire action, Burke is a past president of Pedagogy and Theatre of the Oppressed, Inc., and has taught and implemented applied theatre for social change methods nationally and internationally.

Kimberly Emmons is associate professor of English at CWRU.  Her research broadly focuses on medical rhetoric, with special concentration on constructions of mental health and illness. Among the courses she teaches are “Rhetorics of Health and Illness,” “The History of the English Language,” and “Language and Gender.” She is author of Black Dogs and Blue Words: Depression and Gender in the Age of Self-Care (Rutgers UP, 2010), and various articles and chapters in medical rhetoric and writing studies.

Kenny Fountain is an associate professor in the Department of English at Case Western Reserve University. He is the author of Rhetoric in the Flesh: Trained Vision, Technical Expertise, and the Gross Anatomy Lab (Routledge, 2014). His primary research and teaching interests include the rhetoric of science and medicine, visual culture, and the history and theory of rhetoric.

Arthur W. Frank received his doctorate from Yale in 1975 and spent his entire teaching career at the University of Calgary, where he is professor emeritus. Since 2014 he has been Professor II at VID Specialized University in Norway. He is best known for his memoir of illness, At the Will of the Body (Mariner Books, 1991, most recently translated into Korean, 2016) and his work on illness narratives, The Wounded Storyteller (University of Chicago Press, 1995, second edition 2013). Recently he has written more generally about how storytelling affects lives (Letting Stories Breathe, Chicago, 2010). His recent articles appear in the Journal of Medical Humanities, Literature and Medicine, and Narrative Works, among other journals. He is an elected fellow of the Royal Society of Canada and 2008 winner of their medal in bioethics. In 2016 he received the lifetime achievement award of the Canadian Bioethics Society.

Vanessa M. Hildebrand is assistant professor of anthropology at Case Western Reserve University and chair of the Council on Anthropology and Reproduction. She has conducted research in Indonesia since 2000 on the complexities involved in caring for women and infants in communities where women are vulnerable as a result of structural and social disenfranchisement. In the last two years she has expanded her research to include Cleveland, Ohio. Hildebrand’s research also focuses on the experience and practice of heath care practitioners who specialize in the health of women and infants. As a professor she trains undergraduate and PhD students in anthropology and women’s health, global health, the ethnography of Southeast Asia, and ethnographic writing. Hildebrand sits on several boards of directors of organizations working to improve the health of infants and women.

Susan W. Hinze is Associate Professor of Sociology at Case Western Reserve University. She holds a doctorate from Vanderbilt University, with research areas in medical sociology, gender, social inequality and the work/family or work/life nexus. She has employed quantitative and qualitative methodologies to study sexual harassment and gendered experiences in medical training, family life and the career paths and patterns of physicians, and racial/ethnic disparities in physician decision-making and medical care. She has published work on health and human rights, and the intersections of gender, race, and class on health outcomes for older women. Her work appears in range of journals including Women’s Health Issues; The Handbook of Sociology and Human Rights; Research in the Sociology of Health Care; Health: An Interdisciplinary Journal; American Journal of Public Health; The Annals of Internal Medicine; Academic Emergency Medicine; The Sociological Quarterly; and Social Forces.

Julia Knopes is a PhD candidate in anthropology at Case Western Reserve University, and the program coordinator of Medicine, Society & Culture in the CWRU Department of Bioethics. She is also an Adjunct Instructor of Bioethics at Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine. Julia is the founder and current administrative chair of the CWRU Graduate Society of Medical Humanities, a graduate and professional student organization centered on scholarship in the medical humanities and medical social sciences. She holds an M.A. in Humanities from the University of Chicago and a B.A. in English from Washington and Jefferson College. Julia’s ethnographic dissertation explores American medical students’ experiences of knowing, not knowing, and knowing “enough.” Her work draws widely from the medical humanities, social medicine, and Science and Technology Studies (STS.)

Peter Knox (Director of the Baker-Nord Center for the Humanities) teaches a wide range of courses in Greek and Latin literature, as well as on topics in Roman culture, ancient epic and classical reception, using sources in translation. His research interests focus primarily on Latin poetry and Greek poetry of the Hellenistic period, and he has published over a hundred articles and reviews on a wide range of subjects within those areas. His books include Ovid’s Metamorphoses and the Traditions of Augustan Poetry (1986); Ovid, Heroides: Select Epistles (1995);Oxford Readings in Ovid (2006); and A Companion to Ovid (2009). Most recently he published The Oxford Anthology of Roman Literature (2013) in collaboration with J. C. McKeown, with whom he is also working on a companion anthology of Greek literature. His other projects include an edition of the Greek and Latin poetry of Angelo Poliziano, forthcoming in the I Tatti Renaissance Library, and a new edition of Ovid’s Metamorphoses for the Loeb Classical Library. He has served as the Editor of The Classical Journal and is a Past President of the Classical Association of the Middle West and South.

Cyra Levenson, Director of Education and Academic Affairs at the Cleveland Museum of Art, oversees the interpretation of the collection, ensuring that the museum’s programs foster active, meaningful engagement with art and the surrounding community. Appointed in 2016, she most recently served as Curator of Education and Academic Outreach at the Yale Center for British Art and as Director of the Yale – Smithsonian partnership. Ms. Levenson holds a Master’s degree in Art Education from Teachers College, Columbia University and brings more than two decades of museum and art education experience to the position. She previously held positions at the Rubin Museum of Art, The Heritage School in East Harlem, and the Seattle Art Museum. She is a lecturer in American Studies at Yale University. Her research interests include creativity and cognition, visual literacy and object based teaching. Publications include, “Seeing, Connecting, Writing: Developing Creativity and Narrative Writing in Children” in Handbook of Writing, “Re-presenting Slavery: Underserved Questions in Museum Collections” in Studies in Art Education and “Haptic Blackness: The Double Life of an 18th-century Bust” in British Art Studies.

Lutetia Li is a M.D./M.A. Bioethics dual-degree student. She is currently a second-year medical student at Case Western Reserve School of Medicine. Lutetia is incredibly fortunate to have discovered Narrative Medicine, which has brought a new dimension to her pursuit of a medical career. She is honored to be able to help coordinate the Narrative Medicine Panel.

Sonya Petrakovitz is a PhD student in the Department of Anthropology at CWRU. She has a BA in Classical History from Kalamazoo College, BS in Photojournalism from Central Michigan University, and an MA in Anthropology from CWRU. She is also working towards a second MA in Bioethics and Medical Humanities with a focus on Medicine, Society, and Culture in the CWRU School of Medicine. Her research explores the importance of ancestral medicine for Rapanui identity and everyday resistance in the post-colonial, tourism industry-dominated context of Rapa Nui (Easter Island). Her research aligns with the goals of Medical Humanities and Social Medicine by examining how social and economic conditions impact the practice of medicine. Fostering better understandings of the intersections of culture and economic or geographic constraints, combined with interdisciplinary approaches of history, ethics, religion, and anthropology, lead to a more successful approach to the complex questions surrounding human health and well-being.

Joe Pecoraro is a Masters candidate in Bioethics who studied Classics as an undergraduate at Arizona State University. After time spent studying law and working in academic advising in higher education, Joe plans to attend medical school and believes that the Medicine, Society, and Culture concentration will make him a more well-rounded and effective clinician.

Naomi Rendina is a PhD candidate in the History Department at Case Western Reserve University. Rendina’s research examines the development of the natural childbirth movement in the United States as a form of resistance to pervasive medicalization. Her work not only revises the periodization of the natural childbirth movement, but places it at the intersection of consumerism, feminist health activism, and the longer patients’ rights movement. Rendina’s work on this topic has earned her the Medical Humanities and Social Medicine Research Grant, the Medicine, Society, and Culture Travel Award, and research grants from the CWRU History Associates. She recently published an article addressing maternal mental health in Narrative Inquiry in Bioethics.

Robert Rock is a fourth-year medical student at the Yale School of Medicine (YSM). He is a co-founder of the US Health Justice Elective Course and co-leader of the US Health Justice Collaborative at the health professional schools. He is also the co-creator and co-facilitator of the Making the Invisible Visible art tour, which has been incorporated into the mandatory curriculum at the Yale School of Medicine in New Haven, Connecticut.

Jonathan Sadowsky is the Theodore J. Castele Professor of Medical History at Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland. He is a former chair of the History Department, holds secondary appointments in Psychiatry and Bioethics, and serves as Associate Director of the Program in Medicine, Society, and Culture. In addition to degrees in History from Wesleyan, Stanford, and Johns Hopkins, he has studied psychiatric epidemiology at Columbia. He is the author of Imperial Bedlam: Institutions of Madness and Colonialism in Southwest Nigeria (University of California Press, 1999) and Electroconvulsive Therapy in America: The Anatomy of a Political Controversy (Routledge, 2016), and his new book project, Depression: A History is under contract with Polity Books.

Susan Stagno, MD is Professor of Psychiatry and Bioethics at Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine and holds the Sihler Family Professorship in Psychiatry. She is the Director for Education for the Psychiatry Department and faculty lead for the Humanities Pathway for CWRU SOM. Dr. Stagno’s clinical focus has been in the area of Psychosomatic Medicine (Consultation-Liaison Psychiatry) with special interest in the area of care of patients with epilepsy and other neurologic conditions. She completed a fellowship in Clinical Bioethics at the Cleveland Clinic Foundation, and has served as an ethics consultant at UH, and teaches ethics in the psychiatry residency program. She is a distinguished life fellow of the American Psychiatric Association, and is board certified in general psychiatry and psychosomatic medicine. She was the recipient of the APA’s Irma Bland Excellence in Teaching Residents Award in 2014. Dr. Stagno graduated from the University of North Dakota School of Medicine in Grand Forks, North Dakota and completed her residency training in psychiatry at The Ohio State University where she served as chief resident during her residency. She joined the faculty of CWRU SOM in April 2007.




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