‘Humanities at Work’ Lecture to Explore the Intersection of Art and Medicine, Oct. 30

‘Humanities at Work’ Lecture to Explore the Intersection of Art and Medicine, Oct. 30

Neurologist and author Alice Weaver Flaherty, MD

Neurologist and author Alice Weaver Flaherty, MD, will discuss her latest research on “theatrical medicine” and the “art of the cure” in third annual Fairfield University lecture.

"Given the increasingly mechanized and data driven ways that we deal with illness, care, and health, it is crucial to understand the human dimension and to employ philosophical, critical understanding to it."

— Nels Pearson, PhD, director of the Humanities Institute in the College of Arts and Sciences

Prominent neurologist, author, and Harvard Medical School professor Alice Weaver Flaherty, MD, will present her groundbreaking research on the role of art and creativity in the practice of medicine during her upcoming lecture, “Theatrical Medicine: Empathy, Performance, and the Art of the Cure” on Wednesday, October 30, 2019, at 6 p.m., in Fairfield University’s Aloysius P. Kelley Center presentation room. The lecture is being presented as part of the Humanities Institute’s "Humanities at Work" initiative, a series of lectures, panels, and resources that showcase the powerful and transformative role that a humanities education plays in democratic society and professional life.

During her lecture, Dr. Flaherty will draw from her widely popular book, The Midnight Disease, which focuses on the compulsion to write and the experience of writer’s block, as well as new, unpublished work on the intersections between empathy, affect, art, and medicine. The talk will focus on how theatrical notions of performance, emotional affect, and the evocation of empathy can illuminate dynamics in health and medicine and impact patient /doctor interactions and provider empathy in new and transformative ways. 

“Given the increasingly mechanized and data driven ways that we deal with illness, care, and health, it is crucial to understand the human dimension and to employ philosophical, critical understanding to it,” explained Nels Pearson, PhD, director of the Humanities Institute in the College of Arts and Sciences. "’Theatrical Medicine’ refers to Dr. Flaherty's recent research into the intersections between dramatic art and the practice of medicine and the fascinating ways we can think of each in terms of the other.” 

Dr. Flaherty’s distinguished resume of accomplishments includes her prominent roles as joint associate professor of neurology and psychiatry at Harvard Medical School and neurologist at Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH). As head of the MGH Brain Stimulator Unit, she uses deep brain stimulators to treat neurological disease and psychiatric disease, and her research focuses on how human brains represent their bodies, a factor that helps drive suffering in depression, Parkinson’s, and somatoform disorders. As an author, she has written in various genres, including scientific papers, humorous essays, and picture books. Her book, The Massachusetts General Hospital Handbook of Neurology is the most widely used neurology text in its class.

“Theatrical Medicine: Empathy, Performance, and the Art of the Cure” is free and open to the public and sponsored by the Humanities Institute of the College of Arts and Sciences with additional support provided by the Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences, the Health Studies program, the MFA in Creative Writing program, and the Core Writing program. For more information, contact Elizabeth Hastings, at ehastings@fairfield.edu.

Theatrical Medicine: Empathy, Performance, and the Art of the Cure

Date: Wednesday, October 30, 2019
Time: 6 p.m.
Location: Kelley Center Presentation Room | Fairfield University

Additional Details:

Prominent neurologist, author, and Harvard Medical School professor Alice Weaver Flaherty, MD, will present her groundbreaking research on the role of art and creativity in the practice of medicine. The event is free and open to the public. 

Tags:  Top Stories,  College of Arts & Sciences

Last modified: 10-25-19 12:31 AM

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