Medical Humanities, Social Sciences, and the Environment Conference


Fri - Sat, Sep 29 to Sep 30, 12:00pm - 2:30pm


Friday: Belfer Case Study Room, CGIS South // Saturday: Yenching Common Room, 2 Divinity Ave


The Harvard community is invited to attend the conference “Medical Humanities, Social Sciences, and the Environment” (29- 30 September 2017). Scholars will be considering ways the medical humanities can respond to the challenges of environmental change and uncertainty in order to engage more fully the ecology of health, disease, and nature.

Due to space restrictions, those interested in attending have to register on this Google Form

29th September 2017 (Friday)– Belfer Case Study Room, CGIS South

12.00pm-1.00pm   Registration

1.00pm- 1.10pm    Welcome Speech 

1.10pm- 1.30pm     Keynote (Professor David Jones)

1.30pm- 2.15pm    Panel 1: Planetary Health In A Global Age 

            Ocean Stories and Human Futures: The Environmental Humanities in The Anthropocene (Jeffrey Mathes Mccarthy)

            Attunement with Nature in The Face of Pain (Charles Paccione)

2.15pm- 2.30pm     Break

2.30pm-3.15pm     Panel 2: The Social Environment of Healthcare

            Human-Pet Relationships and Health in Toronto's Urban Poor and Homeless Communities (Rachel Levine)

            “Natural Rights”: Children with And Without Disabilities and Nature Therapy In Europe And The US, 1850-1950 (Walton O. Schalick)    

3.15pm- 3.45pm    Break

3.45pm -4.45pm    Panel 3: Postcolonial Environments, Framing Epidemics    

            The Rhetoric of Local Resistance Against International Medical Personnel During the West African Ebola Epidemic (Kejia Wang)

            Invisible Victims in The Prosperous Port-City: Hazardous Exposures and The Constraint of Science in Colonial and Post-Colonial Hong Kong (Harry Yi-Jui Wu)

            Mineral Exploitation and Dust Exposure in Post-War Hong Kong: Colonial Government’s Response in Combating Silicosis Amongst Workers in The Mining Industry (Stephen Ng)           

4.45pm- 5.00pm    Day 1 Closing Remarks 


30th September 2017 (Saturday) – Yenching Common Room, 2 Divinity Ave

9.00am- 10.00am    Registration

10.00am- 11.15am  Panel 4: Narrative, Literature and Environmental Imaginaries 

            The Anthropocene Is A Chronic Illness: Mary Gaitskill’s Veronica and A.L. Kennedy's  Paradise (Alyson Bardsley)

            SARS And the Unmasking Power of Rhetoric and Narrative Practice in Strengthening Resilience in the Health Humanities (Wendy Shilton, Deborah Tregunno)

11.15am- 12.15pm  Lunch

12.15pm-1.15pm     Panel 5: Teaching Health and the Environment 

            Reconnecting Medical Students (And Western Medicine) to an Understanding of Healing Contact with Nature (Nina Stoyan-Rosenzweig)

            Indigenous Imaginaries: Land, Resistance, and Beyond (Saljooq Asif)

            A “Fine Balance”: The Risks and Rewards of Teaching South Asian Literature as Medical Humanities (Roanne Kantor)

1.15pm- 1.30pm      Break

1.30pm- 2.15pm      Panel 6: The Politics of Knowledge in Environmental History 

            Silent Springs: The Development of Scientific Knowledge in the Caribbean and the Americas (JamesDowns)

            From Biochemical Contagion to Geophysical Force: Elements for a Historical Epistemology of the Notion of Anthropocene (Mathieu Corteel)

2.15pm- 2.30pm     Conference Closing Remarks (Professor Karen Thornber)

Please note the different venues for each day. All food and beverages are for panelists and invited faculty only. This conference is generously supported by the Ackerman Program of Medicine & Culture and Harvard University Asia Center.