Welcome to the Research Institute on Interdisciplinary Medical Humanities at Tamkang University from June 24 to 26, 2019. The theme of this year’s Research Institute is “Medical Humanities in the Age of the Anthropocence.”
Medical humanities, a broad area of interdisciplinary study encompassing the human aspects of medicine and the arts, has appeared on the academic scene as an important literature-and-medicine study. Since its emergence as an academic discipline in the mid-twentieth century, medical humanities has rapidly developed into one of the most promising fields of literary studies in the US and Europe, especially the UK and Germany. In the past decade or so, this type of research has further evolved into the very inclusive field of health humanities, examining critically literary and cultural representations of illness, health, disability, the normal, and the pathological in the critical medical humanities, their interventions, and the effects they have caused in culture and society. We are particularly concerned with narratives of illness and healing that reveal a society’s discourse of normalcy and dominant measurement of human worth. In this Institute, we will focus our attention on the nature and context of medical humanities, particularly in relation to its siblings such as critical medical humanities and health humanities, with a view to reformulating the conceptual underpinnings in regards to the art of medicine, the intersection of medicine and the arts, and the narrative of illness.
The Institute will consist of three days of inspiring talks and discussions led by renowned experts: Ronald Schleifer (George Lynn Cross Research Professor of English and Adjunct Professor in the College of Medicine, The University of Oklahoma, USA), Stuart Murray (Professor of Contemporary Literatures and Film, Director of the Leeds Centre for Medical Humanities, University of Leeds, UK), and Heike Bartel (Associate Professor in German Studies, Faculty of Arts, University of Nottingham, UK). We trust you can benefit a lot from the keynote addresses and reading sessions conducted by these three internationally acclaimed scholars in the medical humanities.
By organizing such a summer camp, we hope to promote this interdisciplinary field of study, to create new venues for dialogue with international academia, and to practice engaged humanities to fulfill our commitment to social and cultural issues as literary scholars. Thank you for joining us in this three-day Research Institute.