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Medical Humanities

The IAH, in partnership with the Institute for Comparative Literature and Society at Columbia University, and the Centre for the Humanities and Health at King’s College London, has received a planning grant from the Consortium of Humanities Centers and Institutes (CHCI). This CHCI initiative is funded by the Mellon Foundation.  The planning grant is to support conversations that explore possible collaborations among CHCI members, of which there are over 400 worldwide.

On March 2-3, 2012, participants from 10 Institutes and Centers (representing four continents) gathered in Hyde Hall on the UNC campus to continue a planning process begun in Seattle during a two day meeting in early January 2012.

The March meeting focused on curricular initiatives in the medical humanities at both the undergraduate level and within medical schools; on research projects that would benefit from health care professionals, humanists, and health scientists working together; and on public policy issues relevant to health.

Possible joint projects identified at the March meeting were presented to the CHCI membership at its annual meeting in June 2012 and funding is being sought for implementation of projects deemed feasible and that generated widespread interest.

The IAH has co-sponsored two conferences in the Medical Humanities - one in 2007 and another in 2010.  The Departments of English and Anthropology in the College of Arts and Sciences, and the Department of Social Medicine in the Medical School have been the primary on-campus partners for these two events, with faculty from King’s College London  also playing a prominent role.  The second conference coincided with the inauguration of a “cluster” in Medical Humanities available for undergraduates in the College of Arts and Sciences.  That cluster has just recently become an official minor called “Medicine, Literature, and Society.”

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