A newsletter from the Division of Medical Humanities at NYU Langone Health
September 17, 2021

So, What’s New in the Past?

A new online exhibition from the National Library of Medicine—So, What’s New in the Past?: The Multiple Meanings of Medical History—explores how the history of medicine has told different stories and truths over time depending on the questions asked and concerns raised.

Graphic Medicine: Subject Guide

This open-access collection—curated by Jennifer Sullivan, a health sciences librarian at SUNY Upstate Medical University—offers an introduction to graphic medicine, along with a selection of websites, articles, and books.

Developing New Academic Programs in the Medical/Health Humanities: A Toolkit to Support Continued Growth

In this article, Craig M. Klugman, PhD, and co-authors present the results of a survey sent to representatives of more than 130 existing programs in the medical/health humanities, as well as the resources available through the Health Humanities Consortium Toolkit.

Moral Injury in Literature

This essay by Joshua Pederson seeks to introduce moral injury to the field of literary trauma studies, and explores examples of moral injury in Fyodor Dostoevsky's Crime and Punishment (1866), Albert Camus's The Fall (1957), and Kevin Powers's The Yellow Birds (2012).

Highlights from Projects and People in
Humanities and Ethics at NYU Langone Health

Featured Annotation: Steven Field on The Expendable Man by Dorothy Hughes

“Hughes’ ability to create the setting and build the uneasiness is superb literary craft… prepare to have everything you’ve thought about the story suddenly change with the breathless rapidity of a rug being pulled out from under you.”

Understanding vaccine hesitancy in COVID-19

Brit Trogen, MD, formerly a Rudin Fellow in Medical Ethics and Humanities and currently a clinical assistant professor in the Department of Pediatrics at NYU Langone, and Liise-anne Pirofski, MD, discuss vaccine hesitancy and how we can work to create trust and promote confidence in vaccination.

Support the Literature, Arts, and Medicine
Database and Magazine

As someone who is interested in Medical Humanities, we hope you will join us in support of the Literature, Arts, and Medicine Database and Magazine. One of the core components of NYU Langone’s Division of Medical Humanities, LitMed is an open access collection of more than 3,000 annotations of works of literature, art, and performing arts that provide insight into the human condition. Please make a gift today. Learn more.

The Burns Archive Photo of the Week

Dr. Vincenz Czerny at Cooper Medical College
San Francisco, October 3, 1901

German surgeon Vincenz Czerny, MD (1842-1916), is center stage in one of the last professionally taken photographs of a European physician taking command of an American operating amphitheatre. He is performing a gastroenterostomy before faculty and students of Cooper Medical College in San Francisco.
       European master surgeons were frequently invited to the United States to demonstrate and teach their techniques. By the last quarter of the nineteenth century, Germanic doctors and scientists led the world in medical advances. Among the preeminent surgeons, Heidelberg’s Vincenz Czerny, MD, performed the first posterior gastroenterostomy for duodenal ulcer, proving the disease surgically treatable. In addition, he performed the first total hysterectomy through the vaginal route, the first breast reconstruction, and a successful radical operation for inguinal hernia. He was most noted for his cancer procedures. He pioneered the development of radiotherapy as an adjunct to surgery and the concept of a team approach to cancer treatment, setting the stage for the development of modern clinical oncology.
       This remarkable historic event was recorded to augment the prestige of the hospital. Czerny (with mustache and beard) stands in the middle in a white-gown. Levi Cooper Lane, MD (1830-1902), the founder of Cooper Medical College (1882) and of Lane Hospital (1890), stands next to Czerny, having entered the operating room clothed for the photograph. Cooper Medical College and Lane Hospital would evolve into the Stanford University Medical School, home of the Lane Medical Library.

With thanks to The Burns Archive for providing historic medical photographs and commentary for this weekly feature


Quick Links

Calls for Submission & Other Opportunities

Faculty Position Open at the Center for Bioethics and Humanities at SUNY Upstate Medical University
The Center for Bioethics and Humanities at SUNY Upstate Medical University (Syracuse, NY) seeks to fill a tenure-track position in bioethics and/or health humanities at the rank of Assistant or Associate Professor. The Center is particularly interested in applicants enthusiastic about innovation in medical education and with demonstrated accomplishment in teaching about, academic research in, or advocacy regarding health equity and social justice. Applicants must hold a PhD, MD, JD, or equivalent doctoral degree, with formal training and/or significant experience in a field related to bioethics and/or health humanities and demonstrated excellence in education (design, delivery, innovation, and/or outcomes measurement). Learn more.


Events & Conferences


Engaging Across Disciplines: Toward a Practice of Transdisciplinarity

Mayo Clinic Humanities in Medicine Symposium 2021
September 17-18, 2021, with additional dates through October 9, 2021

Ethics and the Theater: The Glass Menagerie by Tennessee Williams


Humanity in Music

Humanity in Music is a nationwide fundraising music festival, in support of the Alzheimer Society.

The Mudroom: Guided Creative Workshops for Health Professionals

The Mudroom is a creative and reflective writing workshop for health professionals. Meetings are held monthly and provide a space to write, read, try out exercises in prose and verse, share work and give feedback. The Fall 2021 sessions occur on one Wednesday each month, beginning on September 22.

Poetry & Parkinson’s

A viewing of the short documentary Hal and Minter, followed by a discussion with the creative team.

Inequalities Unmasked: What Pandemics Reveal About Race And U.S. Society, From Yellow Fever To COVID-19

The Iago Galdston Lecture, part of The New York Academy of Medicine Library’s History of Medicine series

11th Annual Western Michigan University Medical Humanities Conference

To be held virtually

Leonardo da Vinci: A Union of Art and Science


Opening Night of Reimagine's Fall Season: "Grief, Growth and Action"

Join Dr. BJ Miller, musician Gina Harris, & comedian Chris Garcia, for an evening about how facing the hard parts of life, together, can transform adversities into meaningful growth.

Voices from the Pandemic

Pulitzer Prize winning reporter Eli Saslow launches his new book, Voices from the Pandemic, for which he interviewed a cross-section of Americans, capturing their experiences in real time.

4th Annual Advocacy In Medicine Conference: The Ongoing Impact Of COVID-19

A virtual event hosted by The New York Academy of Medicine, in partnership with the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene

ASBH’s 23rd Annual Conference

Program Theme: Bioethics and Humanities at the Crossroads
Virtual Meeting

Resilience During a Pandemic and Beyond


National Organization for Arts in Health
5th Annual National Conference:
“The Art of Resilience”

Created for artists, arts administrators, healthcare professionals, designers, educators, students and anyone with an interest in arts in health, the NOAH conference is designed to provide opportunities for participants to exchange ideas, gain applicable knowledge, build connections and energize developments for the future of the field.

The Examined Life Conference

Enjoy discussions and presentations on how the arts can be used in medical education and patient and provider care. Through November 20.

The Need for Narrative: Grappling and Reckoning with These Times

This new narrative medicine basic workshop invites you to join the narrative medicine international community in bringing our creative resources to the task of locating ourselves in these unprecedented times and exploring the power of narrative work to bring our experiences into focus. Earlybird pricing through October 1st.

William C. Stubing Memorial Lecture: Confronting the Public Health and Ethical Challenges of COVID-19

Anthony S. Fauci, Director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, and Christine Grady, Chief of the Department of Bioethics at the National Institutes of Health Clinical Center
Sponsored by the NYU School of Global Public Health and The Greenwall Foundation
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