Health and Humanities at Emory is dedicated to exploring a rich array of collaborations between world-class health scholars, healthcare professionals, and humanists involved in projects and pedagogy at the intersection of health, humanities and the human experience. Emory is an exciting place for both the 'medical' and 'health' humanities, as well as interdisciplinary programs and research squarely at the intersection of health and humanity.


Health+Humanities Spring 2018 Event Schedule


Rebecca Palpant Shimkets, MS

February 8, 2018

White Hall 103, 4:15pm

Highlighting mental health, journalism, and student internships


Film Series: Contagion

February 19, 2018

White Hall 101, 6:30pm

Post-film discussion led by Hammad N'Cho and Josh Doyle (CDC)


Marie Marquardt, PhD

February 28, 2018

Anthropology Building 303, 6:00pm

Reflections on storytelling, health, and transformative connection

Howard Kushner, PhD

March 2, 2018

PAIS 290, 11:00am

Thoughts on left-handedness, and its impacts on behavior, culture, and health

Visions of Health Collaborative Art Project

March 2, 2018 

Modern Languages 330, 5:00pm

Communicating ideas and experiences of health through artistic expression 




Film Series: And The Band Played On

March 26, 2018

White Hall 101, 7:00pm

Post-film discussion led by Dean James Curran (Rollins School of Public Health) and Harold Jaffe (Former CDC)

Film Series: Blindness

April 3, 2018

White Hall 101, 6:30pm

Post-film discussion led by Danielle Sharpe (Rollins School of Public Health)


The Emory Program in Health and Humanities is grounded in the liberal arts. Our educational programs focus on ways of knowing with roots in the humanities. Students are trained in core humanistic competencies to enrich their understanding of the human experience of health and to hone their skills as future scholars and empathic practitioners in health-related professions from nursing and medicine to health policy, business, and global health. Humanistic understandings sharpen our ability to perceive, know, think, and act in the natural and socio-cultural world. Our educational program understands humanistic competencies through the combined insights of art and art history, classics, film, history, languages, literature, music, philosophy, religion, theater and interdisciplinary fields including critical race studies, disability studies and women and gender studies.

In the NEWS

See what is new at the Center for Ethics and take part in their celebration of they celebrate ethics and the arts, Frankenstein

Martha Fineman, named Ruth Bader Ginsburg Lifetime Achievement Award  Read more here and hear about her work on "Life, Liberty and the Family" here

Madeleine Hackney receives recognition for her work documenting benefits of dancing Argentine tango with Parkinson's Disease patients. Read more here

Join our listserv to receive news, events and announcements! Contact to be added or for more information.


Health Screenings

Sari Altschuler (PhD, City University of New York), Assistant Professor of English, is a core faculty member at the Center for the Study of Human Health, and an Andrew W. Mellon Fellow in Humanistic Inquiry at Emory. She teaches and works at the intersection of health and the humanities, specializing in literature and medicine, disability studies, and medical history. Her book The Medical Imagination: Literature and Health in the Early United States is forthcoming from the University of Pennsylvania Press. Her work has also appeared or is scheduled to appear in leading journals, including American Literature, American Literary HistoryPMLA, and The Lancet.  Dr. Altchuler teachines "Health and Humanities", "Imagining Health", "“Narrative Medicine,” “Evolution and Culture,” “Race and Science in the Americas, 1700-1860”  “Labor and Ability in Nineteenth-Century America”. 

Jennifer Sarrett (PhD, Emory), Lecturer Center for the Study of Human Health, focuses on intellectual and developmental disabilities (I/DD) as they relate to culture, disability rights, and ethics. She has studied the role of culture in the identification, understanding, and treatment of autistic children, comparing parental and professional experiences of autism in Atlanta, GA and Kerala, India. She is dedicated to improving the ways parents receive a diagnosis of autism or intellectual disability to dispel the emphasis on difficulties; she is working with colleagues to develop a parent mentor program that pairs caregivers of children with specific disabilities with parents who are just receiving that diagnosis. The purpose is to show newly diagnosed families what living with a disabled child is like in order to dispel notions of tragedy, difficulty, and a lost future. She is presently focussed on neuroethical issues of recent technologies proposed to provide early detection of autism.

Susan Tamasi (PhD, University of Georgia) is Professor of Pedagogy and Director of Emory’s Linguistics Program. Her work focuses on attitudes toward linguistic variation, social and political issues connected to American English dialects, and health communication. Her early research in health communication investigated the language used in physician/patient interactions and the effects of nonstandard dialectal variation in healthcare settings. Currently, she is working on two health-related research projects: The first, carried out through collaboration with GA Tech’s Institute for People and Technology & Emory’s Department of Anesthesiology, is the creation of an Augmented Reality (AR) simulation for training healthcare providers about decision making in the operating room. The second is an analysis of discussions about women’s health through social media platforms.

Vincent Bruyere, (PhD, University of Warwick, UK), assistant professor of French, works on body imagery as expressed in literature and the visual arts. His primary interests include cultures of caregiving, narrative bioethics and critical disability studies. Drawing on literary and philosophical texts, films and visual arts, histories of the body and policy documents, he focuses on the language developed by individuals and institutions to negotiate the tensions that exist between past, present, and future, cultural recognition and participation, endurance and exhaustion. He is further interested in recent developments in graphic medicine and critical disability studies, philosophical and theological texts exploring vulnerability and despondency in the context of social abandonment, palliative care, and rehabilitation medicine, and the bioethics of caregiving cultures focused on convalescence, long-term disability, and degenerative diseases. Bruyere is co-director of the Disabilities Studies Initiative for 2016-17 and teaches two Humanities and Health courses, "Fictions of the body" (FREN341, in English) and"Language of Distress" (FREN351).



Ellen Idler (PhD, Yale), Director of the Religion and Public Health Collaborative, Samuel Candler Dobbs Professor in the Department of Sociology with a joint appointment in the Department of Epidemiology in the Rollins School of Public Health.  Dr. Idler  was a Rockefeller Brothers Fellow at Union Theological Seminary, New York.  She studies the influence of religious practices and institutions on the health of populations and communities; the effect of self-perceptions of health on mortality and disability; and the impact of social factors in the health and quality of life of elderly persons.  She is the author of Cohesiveness and Coherence: Religion and the Health of the Elderly (1994) and The Hidden Health Care System (2010).

Ken Hornbeck is an actor, director, playwright, designer and visual artist who has worked professionally in Dallas, New York City and Atlanta. He served as Artistic Director of Mount Sinai Medical Center’s STAR Theatre (now NiteStar) from 1989-1997 before founding and serving as Executive Artistic Director of the EN-ACTE Program at Emory University1997 - 2001. These programs created original theatre for teens around topics including HIV/AIDS and early pregnancy prevention, diversity, decision-making and abuse, among others. As director of Emory University student 'Issues Troupe,' Ken directed seven original short plays dealing with diversity for freshman fall orientation 2003 -2010, five original works—"War Daddy,” “Shrapnel,”  “Heliocentricity,” “What’s the Difference?” and “A Beautiful Disaster”, initiated 'Crossing Boundaries,' a theater-based initiative exploring race and diversity on the Emory campus in 2007, and  2009 saw the founding of First Light Interactive Theater Ensemble at Emory, a faculty/staff interactive outreach project, focused on social change across the campus.Ken recently completed co-writing a theater-in-education manual, published in 33 languages by the United Nations Population Fund, where he is a member of the International Peer Training Team. He has provided training for UNFPA in Estonia, Macedonia, Bulgaria, Turkey, Jordan, Tunisia and Morocco, as well as in Serbia, Bosnia and New York. He teaches "Human Health Through Performance" for the CSHH.


Paul Wolpe (PhD, Yale) is director of the Center for Ethics at Emory, the Asa Griggs Candler Professor of Bioethics, the Raymond F. Schinazi Distinguished Research Chair in Jewish Bioethics, and a professor in the departments of medicine, pediatrics and sociology. He also serves as the first bioethicist for the National Aeronautics and Space Administration, where he formulates policy on bioethical issues and safeguarding research subjects.Considered one of the founders of the field of neuroethics, which examines the ethical implications of neuroscience, Wolpe also writes about other emerging technologies, such as genetic engineering, nanotechnology, and new reproductive technologies. His teaching and publications range across multiple fields of bioethics and sociology, including death and dying, genetics and eugenics, sexuality and gender, mental health and illness, alternative medicine, and bioethics in extreme environments such as space.His teaching and publications range across multiple fields of bioethics and sociology, including death and dying, genetics and eugenics, sexuality and gender, mental health and illness, alternative medicine, and bioethics in extreme environments such as space. He is the author of the textbook "Sexuality and Gender in Society," and is editor and a key author of the end-of-life guide "Behoref Hayamim: In the Winter of Life."

Robert Paul (PhD, University of Chicago) is the Charles Howard Candler Professor of Anthropology and Interdisciplinary Studies with interests that focus on psychological anthropology, comparative religion, myth and ritual, and the ethnography of Nepal, Tibet, the Himalayas, and South and Central Asia. His extensive scholarly publications in these areas include The Tibetan Symbolic World (University of Chicago Press, 1982), served for many years as editor of ETHOS: Journal of the Society for Psychological Anthropology and was president of the Society for Cultural Anthropology from 1992-1994. He was certified by the Board on Professional Standards of the American Psychoanalytic Association in 1997, maintains a private clinical practice, holds an appointment as associate professor in the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences and established Emory's  Psychoanalytic Studies Program. His book, Moses and Civilization: The Meaning Behind Freud's Myth (Yale University press, 1996), received the Heinz Hartmann Award in Psychoanalysis, the L. Bryce Boyer Award in Psychological Anthropology, and the National Jewish Book Award in the area of Jewish Thought. Dr Paul is responsible for initiating the unique Emory-Tibet Partnership and the Emory-Tibet Science Initiative. 

Sander L. Gilman (PhD, Tulane), Distinguished Professor of the Arts and Sciences and Professor of Psychiatry, is a distinguished cultural and literary historian. He is the recipient of numerous awards for his work and a highly sought after lecturer. His work focuses on medicine and its rhetoric in social and political discourse at historical junctures. Dr. Gilman is the author or editor of over eighty books; most recently, Race and Contemporary Medicine: Biological Facts and Fictions, Illness and Image: Case Studies in the Medical Humanities and the edited volume, Judaism, Christianity, and Islam: Collaboration and Conflict in the Age of Diaspora

Kenneth Hepburn (PhD, University of Washington) Professor Department of Medicine, Director of the Emory Alzheimer’s Disease Research Center Education Core, is a gerontologist who is a Professor in Emory’s Nell Hodgson Woodruff School of Nursing.  His area of special interest for the past thirty years has been the development and testing of materials and programs designed to help persons caring for family members with Alzheimer’s. He is presently working with Patricia Griffiths, PhD on an NIH-funded test of Tele-Savvy, an on-line virtual education and support program to family members who are caring for Alzheimer’s patients at home. The goal is to reduce caregiver stress, improve the quality of life for both patients with Alzheimer’s and their caregivers, and enhance caregiver mastery and self-management behaviors. The trial also seeks to examine and refine the program’s efficacy across three racial/ethnic groups (African Americans, Caucasians, and Latino/Hispanics).

Benjamin Reiss (Ph.D. UC Berkeley, 1997), is Professor of English and co-director of Emory’s Disability Studies Initiative.  His work concerns how the tools and methods of humanities scholarship can shed light on problems of human health. For example, his book Wild Nights: How Taming Sleep Created Our Restless World takes perspectives from history, science, and psychology and literature in considering how society has created rules and expectations for sleep that are in constant need of micro-management, medical attention, and provoke pervasive worry. Reiss is also the author of The Showman and the Slave: Race, Death, and Memory in Barnum's America, Theaters of Madness: Insane Asylums and Nineteenth-Century American Culture, numerous essays in American LiteratureSocial Text, the Los Angeles Review of Books, the Chronicle of Higher Education, and Slateas well as serving as co-editor of the Cambridge History of the American Novel, and Keywords for Disability Studies. Reiss is the recipient of grants and fellowships from the Guggenheim Foundation, the Mellon Foundation, the NEH, the Louisiana Board of Regents, and Emory's Fox Center for Humanistic Inquiry. Professor Reiss teaches 'Literature and Madness'. 'Sleep Across the Disciplines'  and 'Disability and American Culture'. 

Kate Winskell (PhD, University of London) specializes in global public health communication, particularly as it relates to HIV/AIDS and young people in sub-Saharan Africa, and in qualitative research on gender, sexuality and HIV/AIDS. In 1996, she was part of a group that initiated an HIV/AIDS communication process called “Scenarios from Africa,” short fiction films on HIV-related subjects by top African directors.(,  based on winning ideas of young people competing in scriptwriting contests. By 2008, 150,000 young people from 47 African countries participated ( The narratives provide better understanding of  factors influencing both cross-national differences in young Africans’ social representations of HIV/AIDS and changes in these representations over time. We are applying these research findings in the development of innovative HIV communication programming. 

Chikako Ozawa-de Silva (PhD, University of Oxford), Associate Professor of Anthropology, studies cross-cultural understandings of mental health and illness, integrating Western and Asian (particularly Japanese and Tibetan) perspectives on the mind-body, religion, medicine, therapy, and health and illness. In her work, Dr. Ozawa-de Silva stresses a critical awareness of cultural biases in medical anthropology, and facilitates collaborative research projects on cross-cultural understandings of mental health and well-being. Her first book, Psychotherapy and Religion in Japan: The Japanese Introspection Practice of Naikan, investigated a Japanese Shin Buddhist self-cultivation practice secularized for use in prisons, hospitals, schools and general psychotherapy. Recent work focusses on internet group suicide, on the rise among young Japanese, and  the role of Tibetan meditation  in treatment of mental illness and depression.

Laura Otis (PhD., Cornell), Professor of English. Trained as a neuroscientist and literary scholar, Laura Otis studies the ways that literature and science intersect. In her research, she compares the ways that scientific and literary writers describe identity, memory, communication, and thought. Otis teaches interdisciplinary courses on literature, neuroscience, cognitive science, and medicine. Otis is the author of Organic Memory (1994), Membranes (1999), Networking (2001), Müller’s Lab (2007), and Rethinking Thought (2016). She has translated neurobiologist Santiago Ramón y Cajal’s Vacation Stories into English (2001) and has edited  Literature and Science in the Nineteenth Century: An Anthology (2002). Her current research project, Banned Emotions, analyzes the ways that physiology and culture interact to form metaphors for socially discouraged emotions such as self-pity. In 2000, she was awarded a MacArthur fellowship for creativity.

Elizabeth A. Wilson (Ph.D. University of Sydney), Chair of the Department of Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies studies how biological data, psychoanalysis, and affect theory can be used to foster conceptual innovation in feminist theory. Her new book, Gut Feminism, addresses the gut and depression, examining research on anti-depressants, placebos, transference, phantasy, eating disorders and suicidality with two goals in mind: to show how pharmaceutical data can be useful for feminist theory, and to address the necessary role of aggression in feminist politics. Dr. Wilson's work bridges the sciences and humanities, as she explains here.

Xochitl Marsilli-Vargas (PhD, University of California, Berkeley, 2014) is assistant professor of Spanish.With interests on the reception and circulation of health discourses, media technologies, intercultural communication, and linguistic analyses, her empirical research in Mexico, the United States and Argentina involves ethnographic fieldwork in rural, institutional, and urban contexts, including U.S. Latino/a populations. A Masters degree in semiotics from Columbia University focused on how talk is negotiated between doctors and patients during medical encounters, drawn from recordings of clinical psychiatric sessions. She has traced the historical contexts in which the concept of melancholy was transformed from a malady into depression (La Enfermedad del Mito). Drawn from fieldwork in Argentina, she is currently working on a book, “Genres of Listening: Psychoanalytic Listening as a Social Fact in Buenos Aires, Argentina,” examining listening genres, or frames of reference by which listeners create contextual frameworks of interaction that hold the capacity to direct behavior. Just as there are many ways of speaking, there are many possible ways of listening. Through her work assisting asylum seekers from Latin America communicate with US immigration officers, she is working to understand contemporary digital environments in the context of communicative practices as they involve different languages and linguistic codes in the context of a range of media technologies.

Robert Gaynes (MD, University of Chicago) is Professor of Medicine/Infectious Diseases in the Emory University School of Medicine, where he teaches courses on the History of Medicine.  Dr. Gaynes has served as the Chief of the Surveillance Activity, Hospital Infections Program and Director of the National Nosocomial Infections Surveillance (NNIS) System, and worked for over 20 years at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). He is presently Chair of the Infection Control Committee at the Atlanta VA Hospital where he works primarily on antimicrobial resistance/use, including surveillance of antimicrobial resistance connected to healthcare, identification and control of antimicrobial resistant infections, and the prevention of healthcare-associated infections. He serves on the Executive Committee of the Academy of Medical Educators and is an award-winning author of the book, Germ Theory: Medical Pioneers in Infectious Diseases. Dr. Gaynes is presently the CDC’s MMWR podcast host. 

Rosemary Garland-Thompson (PhD, Brandeis), Professor of English, works on disability studies, American literature and culture, feminist theory, and bioethics. Her work develops the field of critical disability studies in the health humanities, broadly understood, to bring forward disability access, inclusion and identity to communities inside and outside of the academy. She is the author of Staring: How We Look and several other books. Her current book project is 'Habitable Worlds: Disability, Technology, and Eugenics.'

Mark Risjord (PhD, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill),  Director, Institute of the Liberal Arts and Professor of Philosophy with a joint appointment at the Nell Hodgson Woodruff School of Nursing. Nursing Knowledge: Science, Practice and Philosophy. Philosophy of science, philosophy of anthropology, philosophy of language, logic, and the philosophy of mathematics. Dr. Risjord regularly teaches Health Bioethics.

Geshe Lobsang Tenzin Negi, Ph.D,is the co-founder and Director of the Emory-Tibet Partnership, a multi-dimensional initiative founded in 1998 to bring together the foremost contributions of the Western scholastic tradition and the Tibetan Buddhist sciencees of mind and healing, and a Professor of Practice in Emory University's Department of Religion. He is also the founder and spiritual director of Drepung Loseling Monastery, Inc., in Atlanta, GA. In this capacity, he serves as Co-Director of both the Emory-Tibet Science Initiative and the Emory Collaborative for Contemplative Studies. He also developed Cognitively-Based Compassion Training (CBCT), a compassion meditation program that is currently utilized in a number of research studies, including an NIH-funded study examining the efficacy of compassion meditation on the experience of depression.


Kylie Smith is the Andrew W. Mellon Faculty Fellow for Nursing and the Humanities at the Nell Hodgson Woodruff School of Nursing. Kylie has a PhD in history and worked in the School of Nursing at the University of Wollongong, Australia, where she researched mental health nursing history and taught reflective practice. Her current research explores the development of psychiatric nursing in the US during and after World War II and has been supported by the Karen Buhler Wilkerson Fellowship at the Univ. of Pennsylvania and grants from the Rockefeller Foundation and the American Association for the History of Nursing. At Emory, Kylie works across programs and units to develop collaborative approaches to teaching and research in the health humanities using critical theory, reflective practice and nursing history. 

Judy Raggi Moore, Professor of Pedagogy & Program Director, Italian Studies Program. Dr. Moore is the director of study abroad semester and summer opportunities in Italy and conducts an innovative interdisciplinary summer study program in Italy in collaboration with Ruth Parker, MD, School of Medicine. This program is sponsored by the Center for Ethics and was designed as an ideal medical humanities course for undergraduates and is entitled Medicine and Compassion, ( see Academic Exchange article).

Ruth Parker, MD is Professor of Medicine at the Emory University School of Medicine, Associate Director of the Faculty Development program in the Division of General Medicine, and on the faculty of Rollins School of Public Health in the Division of Epidemiology. Dr. Parker’s primary research interests and activities have been in the area of medical education and health services of underserved populations. She co-authored the most widely used definition of health literacy, which was used in Healthy People 2010 and is currently used by the IOM and by the NIH. 

Anna Leo (MFA, Ohio State) spent thirteen years in New York City dancing with choreographers Sharon Kinney, Kenneth Rinker and Bebe Miller. Her choreography has been produced in New York City, and she has taught and choreographed at colleges and universities in the U.S., and in studios and theaters in Canada and Germany. She has been a National Endowment for the Arts Choreography fellowship recipient, and in 1997 received the Emory College Excellence in Teaching Award. Her dedication to the practice of yoga has taken her to the Ramamani Iyengar Memorial Yoga Institute in Pune, India to further her studies. She incorporates yoga principles into much of her studio teaching. Her current teaching areas include modern and ballet techniques, dance history, solo composition, and a seminar on the history, philosophy and practice of yoga. Her teaching involves dance in expressions of grief and coping with terminal illness.

John Banja, (PhD, Fordham) Professor, Department of Rehabilitation Medicine, Medical Ethicist Center for Ethics, Director, Ethics Section of Atlanta Clinical and Translational Science Institute. His areas of expertise include medical errors and their disclosure, managing emotionally difficult painful conversations, neuroethics and the normalization of deviance. Dr. Banja is well-known as a lecturer, researc scientist and author.  He is a former board member of the Commission for Case Manager Certification.  His current research interests include developing error disclosure practices in healthcare organizations, and conducting model ethics consultations in clinical and translational research environments.  His most recent book, Medical Errors and Medical Narcissism, was published by Jones and Bartlett Publishers in 2005.

Jim Grimsley, Professor of Practice in English and Creative Writing is an award-winning playwright and novelist. Author of the novels Winter Birds,  Dream BoyMy Drowning, Comfort & Joy, Kirith Kirin, BoulevardThe OrdinaryThe Last Green Tree, Forgiveness, How I Shed My Skin; the story collection, Jesus Is Sending You This Message, short fiction in The Ontario Review and Asimov's and his stories have been anthologized in The Year's Best Science Fiction, Volume 16, Men on Men 4Men on Men 2000, and Best Stories From the South. He served as playwright in residence, About Face Theatre (Chicago, National Theatre Artist Residency Program grant,Theater Communications Group/Pew Charitable Trust (1999-2004); is playwright in residence at 7Stages Theatre in Atlanta since 1986 and received the George Oppenheimer/Newsday Award for Best New American Playwright for Mr. Universe. His books have been translated into German, French, Spanish, Portuguese, Dutch, Hebrew, and Japanese. 

Gary Laderman (PhD, University of California, Santa Barbara) Chair and Goodrich C White Professor of Religion is an expert on the sacred in American life with a specialty on death and dying.  He has published extensively, is a sought after media consultant and is founder of the online religion magazine, Religion Dispatches. Dr. Laderman has been involved in a variety of collaborative projects that have received funding from the Lilly Endowment, Center for Theology and Natural Sciences, and the Ford Foundation and has organized numerous health-related conferences at Emory University, including  "Science and Religion: Perspectives on Suffering and Healing," "Against Death: Scientific and Religious Perspectives on Prolonging Life," and "New Perspectives in Health and Healing: Can Science and Religion Work Together," Laderman teaches Mind, Medicine, and Healing; Death and Dying; Theory and Method; and Health and Healing.

Steve Levy (MD, Duke University), Bernard Holland Professor, Executive Associate Chairman
Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences and Editor of the Journal of the American Psychoanalytic Association. Dr. Levy is  a leader in psychoanalysist, he author of Principles of Interpretation Mastering Clear and Concise Interventions in Psychotherapy and co-editor of the volume, Influential Papers of the 1950s with Dr. Andrew Furman. co-teaches "Psychoanalytic Theory of Mind" with Andrew Furman and Robert Paul.

Andrew Furman (MD, Emory University), Associate Professor of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, member of the Emory Psychoanalytic Institute and Assistant Chief of Service at Grady Hospital in Atlanta. Dr. Furman co-teaches the class, "The Psychoanalytic Theory of Mind".

Clifton Crais  (PhD, Johns Hopkins), Professor of History has published widely on topics ranging from African History, inequality and comparative world history to biography, neuroscience and memory, trauma and narrative. He is the author of numerous books, including, History Lessons:  A Memoir of Madness, Memory, and the Brain (Overlook and Penguin, 2014). Dr. Crais is interested in how we remember, the stories we tell about ourselves and others and has taught a Maymester course on "Writing Memory". Hear about this here.

 Sharon T. Strocchia  (Ph.D., University of California, Berkeley),  Professor of History studies the history of health and healing in early modern Europe, particularly in relation to gender. Dr. Strocchia edited a special issue of Renaissance Studies (Vol. 28, no. 4, September 2014) devoted to the theme of Women and Healthcare in Early Modern Europe focussed on a reappraisal of women’s health literacy and medical activities across England and the continent from 1450 to 1750, situating female practitioners squarely at the nexus of household medicine, emerging structures of public health, and the production of medical knowledge, rather than on the margins of medical practice. She is presently working on Cultures of Care: Women, Knowledge, and the Pursuit of Health in Late Renaissance Italy examining Italian urban women as knowledge makers, commercial innovators and agents of health in the rapidly changing medical landscape of late Renaissance Italy. Her work suggests that increased demand for healthcare services and a renewed emphasis on preventive health between 1500 and 1650 opened new opportunities for Italian women across the social spectrum to both produce and circulate experiential knowledge and to participate extensively in the medical marketplace.  

Martha Albertson Fineman (JD University of Chicago), Robert W. Woodruff Professor at Emory Law School, is an internationally recognized law and society scholar. Fineman is a leading authority on family law and feminist jurisprudence; her expertise ranges from child advocacy and children's rights to sexuality and law, women and the law and reproductive issues. Her scholarly interests are the legal regulation of family and intimacy and the legal implications of universal dependency and vulnerability. Fineman's vulnerability theory has fundamental importance for health. She is founder and director of the Feminism and Legal Theory (FLT) Project and is the founder and director of Emory’s Vulnerability and the Human Condition Initiative. Read more about the initiative here. Fineman is the recipient of the 2017 Ruth Bader Ginsburg Lifetime Achievement Award.

Ani B. Satz (JD University of Michigan; PhD Monash University) is Professor at the Emory Law School, Professor of Health Policy and Management, Rollins School of Public Health, a Senior Faculty Fellow at the Center for Ethics, and an Affiliated Associated Professor at the Goizueta Business School. Her work focuses on how courts and legislatures respond to vulnerability from a law and ethics perspective involving access to health care, disability discrimination, genetics and the law, food and drug law, and torts. Satz's work is widely published (see here) and is the Chair of the Section on Animal Law of the Association of American Law Schools.

Abigail A. Sewell (PhD, Indiana University)  is  Assistant Professor  of Sociology. She focuses on the political economy of racial health disparities, the social construction of racial health care disparities, and quantitative approaches for studying racial inequality and structural racism. Her research has been published in the International Journal of Intercultural Relations, the Journal of Negro EducationRace and Real Estate, Rethinking Race and Ethnicity in Research Methods  Her work has garnered both quantitative and qualitative paper awards and received support through a National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship, a Ford Foundation Predoctoral Fellowship, a Ronald E. McNair Graduate Fellowship, the Chief Justice Earl Warren Institute for Race, Ethnicity, and Diversity (UC Berkeley Boalt School of Law), and a Karl F. Schuessler Graduate Scholarship. More information about her can be found at:

Colin L. Talley is a historian who specializes in the history of public health, medicine, and disease in the US in the 19th and 20th centuries. His current research focuses on community-based health promotion and the emergence of safe-sex among gay and bisexual men in San Francisco in the 1980s. His book, A History of Multiple Sclerosis (2008), focused in part on the changing illness experience of MS and the role of the National Multiple Sclerosis Society in advocating for scientific research on MS and for people with MS. His articles on the history of MS, the history of public health, and the history of sexuality have appeared in the Bulletin of the History of Medicine, Journal of the History of Medicine and Allied Sciences, Perspectives in Biology and Medicine, Journal of the History of Neurosciences, Journal of the History of Sexuality, and in Emerging Illnesses and Society, Negotiating the Public Health Agenda, edited by P. Brown and R. Packard. He has co-authored several articles with behavioral and social science colleagues focusing on dating preferences of self-identified gay men of Asian descent in the US, on substance abuse and IPV among Asian and Pacific Islander MSM, and on issues of stigma and mental illness in an urban African-American population.

Health, Science, & Ethics is a foundational focus in the Center for Ethics. In a time of biomedicalization of life, we face  unprecedented ethical challenges from medical and biotechnological progress.  How should we negotiate the challenges medical technology has created in how we are born, treat our illnesses, and die?  Who should guide us in these dilemmas and decisions about micromanaging our minds and moods with lifestyle drugs, or integrating computer technologies into the human body?  The Center for Ethics offers a Master of Arts in Bioethics, a minor in Ethics in Emory College, the Bioethics Consultation Program, the Health Care Ethics Consortium, the Neuroethics Program, the Religion and Bioethics Initiative, Public Health EthicsReligion and Public Health Collaborative, and contributes to teaching health and science ethics throughout the university.

 Emory University’s Religion and Public Health Collaborative (RPHC) is an interdisciplinary collaboration between Emory University’s Rollins School of Public HealthNell Hodgson Woodruff School of NursingCandler School of Theology, and the Department of Religion  to engage scholars and practitioners in world religions and public health to understand the sometimes converging, sometimes conflicting relationships of religion and public health and to bring religion into the larger picture of the determinants of public health as they are described by the World Health Organization: “the conditions of daily life — the circumstances in which people are born, grow, live, work, and age”  through innovative and transformative theories and practices in religion and public health that can be shared locally, nationally, and globally. The collaborative organizes research opportunities, faith-based community partnerships, including the Institute for Public Health & Faith Collaborations A certificate in religion, public health and development and Interdisciplinary courses are offered as well as an Interdisciplinary Certificate in Religion and Health, a combined MPH and Masters of Divinity or Master of Theological Studies.

Isabelle Alfandary Professor American Literature, Université Sorbonne-Nouvelle (Paris-3), "The Poetics of Speech in the Analytic Cure: A Lacanian Approach" Monday, November 14th, 2016, 4:15PM, Callaway C202 More information here. Fall 2016 courses  here. Certificate in Psychoanalytic Studies hereFaculty listing here 


Medical Humanities: A Focus on Compassion

A Quintessential Experience for Health Students and Professionals

Judy Raggi-Moore (PhD, Italian Studies), Ruth Parker (MD, Emory School of Medicine) and the Center for Ethics have developed the"ideal pre-health course." Designed to address, "What is compassion?" and using moral imagination as a tool for inquiry, students examine historical and recent works in literature, philosophy, the arts and socio-cultural concepts such as love, care, mercy, pity, sorrow and death to explore compassion both as private individuals and as professionals called to the work of healing. Exerience this here and summer 2017 information is here.