Humanities, Health & Medicine
The field of Health and Medical Humanities explores and promotes relationships among the arts and humanities on the one hand and health and health care on the other. The substance, methods and passions of the humanities have the potential to transform health care for all by enhancing human connections, deepening the capacity for empathy, and improving our understanding of the cultural and social contexts in which health, illness, and care occur. At the same time, focusing on health and health reinvigorates and reveals new relevance for humanities scholarship and teaching in a society increasingly dominated by STEM fields.
Our Health Humanities initiatives have convened researchers, educators, and students from colleges and schools across campus to, for example, explore the crucial significance of stories and storytelling, investigate how humanities training can advance inquiries into health disparities, and address the roles played by racism and ableism, among other forms of discrimination, in health care. Collaborators come from the College of Liberal Arts, as well as from the Dell Medical School, the Steve Hicks School of Social Work, the College of Natural Sciences, the College of Communication, the College of Pharmacy, the School of Nursing, the Bridging Disciplines Program in the College of Undergraduate Studies, Planet Texas 2050, the Center for Health and Social Policy at the LBJ School of Public Affairs, and other units, as well as from the Central Texas community.
Over the past several years, our Health Humanities programming has included, for example, the 2018-2018 Faculty Fellows seminar, whose theme was "Health, Well-Being, and Healing." In Spring of 2018, we brought together scholars and communty health practicioners for a Health & Humanities Pop-Up Institute. The Pop-Up Institute gave birth to the Health Humanities Research Seminar, which sponsors monthly speakers. Humanities Institute Director Pauline Strong and Associate Director Phil Barrish serve with several of our faculty affiliates on the faculty panel that supports the Bridging Disciplines undergraduate certificate program, "Patients, Practicioners & Cultures of Care. Our most recent initiative is a new Master of Arts Degree in Humanities, Health, and Medicine. Please check the Humanities Institute events page for upcoming HHM events!
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Health & Humanities Team
Dr. Phillip Barrish, Associate Director for Health & Humanities
Dr. Barrish oversees Health Humanities programming at the Humanities Institute, directs the Master’s program in Humanities, Health, and Medicine, and teaches Health Humanities courses to undergraduate, graduate, and medical students. You can read his full bio here.