McGovern Center hosts annual conference
The 6th Health Humanities Consortium was recently held at Marriott at the Texas Medical Center from Thursday, March 9 through Saturday, March 11. Nathan Carlin, PhD, Alma Rosas, and faculty and staff of the McGovern Center worked diligently to coordinate the conference on behalf of the Health Humanities Consortium, an organization that promotes scholarship, education, and practice in the health humanities. The conference theme for this year’s meeting was, “Diversity, Cultures, and Health Humanities,” in efforts to highlight Houston’s position as a highly diverse city and the Texas Medical Center.
The conference welcomed about 150 attendees and featured close to 90 presentations, which included panels, papers, posters, and flash presentations. Three keynote speakers also offered insightful talks into issues related to diversity and the health humanities: Teresa Blankmeyer Burke, PhD (Gallaudet University), spoke about deaf health humanities; John Hoberman, PhD (The University of Texas at Austin), discussed medical racism whose remarks were responded to by Keisha Ray, PhD (Texas State University); and Sayantani DasGupta, MD, MPH (Columbia University), shared her thoughts on “Visionary Medicine: Envisioning a Future of Health and Racial Justice.”
To open the meeting, a special film screening about the McGovern Medical School’s standardized patient program was held. The film, Scenes of Disclosure, was presented by film creators Kaisu Koski, DA, and Kirsten Ostherr, PhD (Rice University). Actors participating in the standardized patient program also participated in a post-screening Q&A. Members of the McGovern Center also presented their work. Postdoctoral fellows, Alina Bennett, MA, MPH, PhD (“The Infectious Character of Existential Suffering in Three Prison Memoirs”), and Christine Wieseler, MA, PhD (“Troubling Thought Experiments: Assumptions about Disability and Gender within Biomedical Ethics”), and staff member, Angela Polczynski, MBA (“A Road Map for Applying Culturally Responsive Teaching in the Health Humanities”), presented papers and a poster, respectively. Former postdoctoral fellows of the McGovern Center also were among presenters: Benjamin Saxton, PhD (“In a Shadow of Charity Hospital: Mental Health Care in New Orleans”), Woods Nash, PhD (“Going ‘Off Script’: Launching a Storytelling Event within an Academic Medical Center”), and Keisha Ray, PhD (Response to John Hoberman’s “Introduction to Medical Racism”).
The next annual meeting will be held at Stanford University School of Medicine from April 20-22, 2018. The conference theme will be “Frankenstein@200.”