Welcome to the Literature, Arts, and Medicine Blog!

August 2, 2007 at 6:18 am

Purpose: This blog is intended to promote communication and discussion among scholars, educators, and students working in interdisciplinary fields that utilize humanities, social sciences, and the arts to address current issues in medicine and bioscience.

Why do we need this blog?
Many who work in this area of interest are based in small departments or units, or may be the single individual engaged in such scholarship and teaching in their institutions. Aside from attendance at a few annual professional meetings (for which there are limited travel funds), we do not have regular contact with each other or an ongoing forum for discussion. I have learned that there are many individuals and programs in the United States and Canada that are offering courses or have initiated programs that use literature and other humanities, social sciences, and the arts in premedical, medical, postgraduate, and graduate education; many individuals are doing interdisciplinary research in those fields. Yet much of this work may be known to only a small group of colleagues.

You may believe that there are listservs and e-mail that provide interaction among those who wish it, but I have found that listservs function primarily to make announcements or to pose specific questions requiring a quick answer. While listservs are valuable to quickly disseminate information or responses, they do not usually provide a searchable, stable resource for more considered topical discussion. This blog is intended to be such a resource.

Who will contribute?
As a start, the editor will invite individuals to contribute commentaries. We will look for responsive comments from those interested in the posted commentaries; such comments will help to provide an expanded network of contributors. In addition, scholars and students who are interested in submitting commentaries should contact the editor at: medhum@popmail.med.nyu.edu.

What topics will the blog cover?
Categories currently conceived of are: Teaching, Program Development, New Conceptual Frameworks, A Different Take, Regional Events

•Teaching; Program Development-Have you developed syllabi, curricula, or special programs that interdigitate medicine or bioscience with humanities, social sciences, arts in health care settings, undergraduate, graduate, medical, postgraduate, or nursing programs? Why did you think it was important to develop such curricula? Have you evaluated such courses, curricula, programs? How have they been received? What were the difficulties and rewards you’ve encountered in program development? Are there particular books, plays, artwork that you’d like to draw attention to, or caution against using?
•New Conceptual Frameworks— discussion of new interdisciplinary perspectives, for example, Biocultures
•A Different Take -Perhaps you have found reasons why standard texts or art work were not, or are no longer useful in your teaching. Perhaps some of the work you are using has been annotated in the Literature, Arts, and Medicine Database and you have a different "take" on the piece, or additional comments.
•Regional Events — Are there current plays, readings, other productions in your part of the country that would facilitate consideration and discussion of the illness/disability experience, caregiver experience, cross-cultural issues? A commentary would be appropriate, but we also have a sidebar that lists such events, accompanied by a brief description and links if possible. Let us know about such events!