A newsletter from the Division of Medical Humanities at NYU Langone Health
July 24, 2020

Black Voices in Healthcare: A New Audio Documentary Storytelling Project

The Nocturnists has launched a new audio documentary project, Black Voices in Healthcare, hosted by Nocturnists storyteller and Black UCSF physician, Ashley McMullen, and executive produced by physician Kimberly Manning. A number of episodes are now available, and the call for participation remains open.

Pedagogy of the Pandemic: Narrative Medicine and Radical Empathy

"This pandemic is a portal. And as we educators and learners walk through that portal together, we have the opportunity to create the new world we will inhabit on the other side...." Sayantani DasGupta, MD, MPH, writes of the care and community—and the act of bearing witness—that both educators and learners can bring to the classroom.

Dramatic Interventions in the Tragedy of the COVID-19 Pandemic

Theater of War for Frontline Medical Providers, a new collaboration between Theater of War Productions, the Johns Hopkins University Program in Arts, Humanities, and Health, and the Berman Institute of Bioethics, presents dramatic readings of scenes from ancient Greek plays for audiences of medical providers, aiming to reduce feelings of moral distress and isolation, and renew a sense of community.

Hand to Mouth

If language began with gestures around a campfire and secret signals on hunts, why did speech come to dominate communication? Cognitive scientist Kensy Cooperrider explores what has been called the "hardest problem in science," noting that "linguists, neuroscientists, philosophers and primatologists – not to mention novelists and historians – have all taken cracks at it."

Highlights from Projects in the Humanities
at NYU Langone Health

New Post:
Russell Teagarden on The Betrothed During the 2020 Pandemic

“Many of the descriptions of the plague in Milan that Manzoni offers from his sources mirror descriptions that have appeared in contemporary mainstream accounts about the coronavirus pandemic in the U.S. in 2020.”

The Health Clinic Crisis on Main Street

Eli Cahan, a medical student at NYU Grossman School of Medicine and a former Rudin Medical Ethics and Humanities Fellow, examines COVID-19's effect on community health centers, a lifeline for Americans.

Calls for Submission & Other Opportunities

Grant Program for Evaluating Outcomes: Fundamental Role of the Arts and Humanities in Medical Education
The AAMC will award five $25,000 grants (for a period of up to 18 months) to U.S.-based member schools and teaching hospitals working on new, emerging, or existing arts and humanities programs across the continuum of medical education (UME-GME-CME). Applications are due Sept. 15, 2020. Learn more.

Health Humanities Consortium Steering Committee
This fall there will be two openings on the Health Humanities Consortium Steering Committee. These will be selected via a vote of the HHC Membership. (Only members will be able to serve and/or vote. If not already a member, you may join here.)  If you would like to nominate a (willing) candidate or self-nominate, please send your name and one paragraph describing your interest and potential contribution to Lise Saffran ( by Friday, August 28th. Voting will occur during the month of September and the three-year term will begin on October 1. Current steering committee members are eligible to run again for a second term. The role of the steering committee is to review and amend the By-laws as appropriate.  The committee also advises and consults with working groups (a steering committee member serves on each of the working groups), advises and consults on the direction of the HHC, communications, collaborations and governance. Steering committee members are expected to participate in conference calls every two months and attend the annual meeting of the HHC.


Events & Conferences


Science Riot: A Night of Stand-Up Comedy


Why We Write
With an Exploration of Ars Poetica

A Poetry Reading and Open Mic with Joan Baranow and Jacinta White ~~ Presented by the Institute for Poetic Medicine

‘The Origin Story of New York’s Public Health System’ Webinar

Flashback to the summer of 1793. With Philadelphia under attack from an invisible enemy called Yellow Fever, a group of leading doctors in New York City got together and convinced the government to block all ships from the nation's then-capital. Realizing that quarantining would not be enough, and to control this deadly disease, the city and state began enacting sanitary protocols on a scale never before attempted — this is the story of how protecting the health of New Yorkers got its start over 200 years ago.

Marking Time: Art in the Age of Mass Incarceration

A talk by writer and professor Nicole R. Fleetwood, as part of Columbia's Narrative Medicine Rounds

Writing as Craft in the Time of COVID-19:
A Virtual Creative Writing Retreat for Healthcare Professionals


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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