A newsletter from the Division of Medical Humanities at NYU Langone Health
May 22, 2020

What Shakespeare Actually Wrote About the Plague

In the works of the playwright, who lived his entire life in the shadow of bubonic plague, epidemic disease is present as a steady undertone, surfacing most vividly in everyday exclamations of rage and disgust.

Portraits from the Frontlines

Dr. Mike Natter, a resident physician at NYU Langone Health and a lifelong artist, is profiled by the Gold Foundation about his current series of illustrations, featuring his fellow healthcare workers: "Despite the rest of her face being hidden behind her N95 mask, her face carried all of the emotion and expression that we are all carrying during this difficult time. It compelled me to draw it...."

"'Post-AIDS' and Global Health Discourses": Journal of Medical Humanities Theme Issue

This special issue of the Journal of Medical Humanities includes voices on HIV/AIDS stigma and culture in Ireland, India, South Africa, and more, plus articles on a range of other topics, including South Korean historical television medical dramas, and rituals of childbirth and obstetrical medicine re-examined through John Milton.

The Case for Music in Times of Loss

Hospital chaplain Chris Sikora writes, “If we’re going to survive this pandemic we need music, more than ever. There is nothing else that can meet us in our heartbreak, elevate our spirits, move us to laughter and let us dream in the way that music can.”

Highlights from
Division of Medical Humanities Projects
at NYU Langone Health

BLR Featured Issue: "Reconstructions: The Art of Memory"

From Marcel Proust to Oliver Sacks, memory has been both a muse and a source of endless literary and scientific inquiry. This theme issue — "Reconstructions: The Art of Memory"— turns a literary lens to the relentlessly precarious process that is memory.

New Post: Medicine as Spectacle: Public Expectations of Physicians as Seen Through Art and Television

Rachel Martel, a 4th-year medical student at NYU Grossman School of Medicine, explores how physicians have been depicted through the ages: "Whether these representations are in paint or on screen, they provide evidence that as society has changed, so too have expectations of what the medical profession can provide, and how medical professionals should behave."

Calls for Submission & Other Opportunities


Caring and Sharing: Health and Humanities in Today’s World
The "Caring & Sharing…" conference—taking place at University of Lisbon (Portugal) on 24-25 June 2021—will provide a unique opportunity for researchers, research groups, academics and projects on the fields of Medical Humanities and Narrative Medicine to promote exchange of knowledge, of research outputs and experiences. Abstract submission deadline: 10/31/20. More information.

Events & Conferences


Atlas Obscura: Amabie and Japanese Creatures of Contagion


“Community of Voices, Sound and Music Perception, and a Resource for the Future”

Part of the Music and Mind Live series with Renée Fleming
Featuring Julene Johnson, PhD and Charles Limb, MD (University of California San Francisco); Sunil Iyengar (National Endowment for the Arts)

Atlas Obscura: Step-by-Step — Writing A Personal History

A three-part series on how to become a historian of your own research and stories.

MedHumChat: Life in Lockdown

Exploring "Life in Lockdown" in a #MedHumChat curated by Drs. Becca Omlor and Anoushka Sinha
(9:00pm-10:00pm, Twitter)

“Dying of Whiteness: How the Politics of Racial Resentment Is Killing America's Heartland”

A talk by physician and sociologist Jonathan M. Metzl
Virtual Narrative Medicine rounds

4th Annual UnLonely Film Festival

The 4th annual UnLonely Film Festival is a collection of 35 short-narrative, animated, and documentary films dealing with the issue of loneliness. For the first time, the festival will kick off with a virtual awards ceremony on Sunday, June 7 at 7 p.m. ET to allow viewers around the world to honor the festival award-winners and celebrate the power of the arts to connect in a time when feeling connected is more important than ever.

“Integrative Approach to COVID-19 and the Mind”

Part of the Music and Mind Live series with Renée Fleming
Featuring Deepak Chopra, MD (The Chopra Foundation)

“Using Music for Health and Wellbeing during COVID-19”

Part of the Music and Mind Live series with Renée Fleming
Featuring Wendy Magee, PhD (Temple University); Tom Sweitzer, MMT, MT-BC (A Place to Be)

Narrative Medicine & The Creative Impulse

Hosted by the Division of Narrative Medicine at Columbia. Early Bird Registration of $50 off tuition through September 18. Standard registration open through October 16th, space permitting.
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