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Syracuse University, College of Arts and Sciences

Medical Humanities: An Introduction and Research Discussion

plastic heart in a human hand

Posted on: Feb. 10, 2021

The medical humanities investigates the human experience of health and illness through an interdisciplinary lens and lies at the intersection of the social sciences, the humanities, the arts, the biomedical sciences and the caregiving disciplines. Each panelist will share her understanding of the medical humanities and provide a brief introduction to her scholarship. Their presentations will be followed by a facilitated discussion between the panelists and between panelists and attendees. Register now for the virtual event on March 5 at 2 p.m. EST.


Rebecca Garden, Associate Professor of Public Health and Preventative Medicine, SUNY Upstate University

Rebecca Garden’s research draws on fiction, autobiography, graphic health/care, film, and vi, as well as critical approaches to disability, deafness, gender, sexuality, and race/ethnicity, to examine socio-cultural and ethical issues related to illness, embodiment, health, and health/care. Her current research interests include dementia and aging and the experiences of deaf and disabled refugees.

Haejoo Kim, Ph.D. Candidate, Department of English, Syracuse University

Haejoo Kim’s research focuses on “alternative” practices of health and wellness in nineteenth-century Britain, such as vegetarianism, hydropathy, and anti-vaccinationism. Her dissertation, “Organic Victorians: Alternative Health Practices and Medical Liberty in Nineteenth-Century Britain,” explores the centrality of such marginalized health practices to the historical formulation of liberal moral agency. Her project reflects her larger research interests in nineteenth-century British literature and culture, health humanities, history of medicine, disability studies, and food studies.

Sarah Berry, PhD, Visiting Assistant Professor, Department of English and Creative Writing, SUNY Oswego

Sarah Berry G‘00, G‘08 (A&S) researches 19th-century intersections among race, gender, health, and social change and their legacy extending into the 20th and 21st centuries. She also works on curriculum design, program support, and field-building in Health Humanities.


Lois Agnew, Professor, Writing Studies, Rhetoric, and Composition, Syracuse University

Lois Agnew’s current scholarship includes an archival research project that explores the social, economic, and political forces that shape central lines of argument about cancer in the twentieth-century U.S. She led A&S' recent establishment of the health humanities integrated learning major and in 2018 joined Andrew London and Stacey Langwick in co-organizing the Mellon Corridor working group “Health Humanities: Medicine, Illness, Disability, and Culture.”

This event is sponsored by the Department of English, the Humanities Center and Syracuse University.

Register now.