Header Background

The History and Culture of Disease and Healing

Hero Copy

  Fall 2017 Seminar Series : Presented by UTHealth School of Public Health, Rice University and The Health Museum

Program Sections
Content

Season 2: Poison, Plague, Potions and Portrayal

Seminars Dates: 8/29/2017 – 11/28/2017
Start Time 5:30pm for all seminars  End Time: 7:00pm for all seminars

Register Now

The History & Culture of Disease & Healing seminar series, by UTHealth School of Public Health & Rice University, identifies the overlap between disciplines in health and humanities, and applies lessons in humanities to public health practice in a global and cross-cultural context. Each lecturer will discuss a topic over history or across cultures and then discuss its application to present day health issues or treatment approaches. Attendance to all seminars is not mandatory. General audience is welcome. FREE CME, CNE, CEUs and FREE parking & admission.

Attendees of this seminar series should achieve the following objectives:

  • Create a conceptual framework of the relationship between historical events and contemporary understanding or approaches to disease and healing.
  • Identify the overlap between disciplines in science (health) and humanities, and recognize the contributions of each.
  • Conceptualize from historical lessons the relationship between human behaviors and disease and healing.
  • Relate the cultural/artistic/literary depiction of the body and disease and medicine to the universal need for mankind to acquire and advance knowledge.
  • Apply lessons in humanities to public health practice in a global and cross-cultural context.

Seminar Schedule

8/29/2017      Lessons learned from the history of industrial medicine
9/05/2017      Toxic Agents: Poetry, Pollution, and Environmental Racism
9/12/2017      Panacea or Poison? A brief history of remedies and good intentions gone bad
9/19/2017      Quack medicine: selling hope for profit and glory
9/26/2017      The Evolving Role of Patients in the New Sharing Economy of Medicine
10/03/2017    Strategies for Correcting Health & Safety Misinformation: A Case Study
10/17/2017    Reading the Signs of the 1918 'Spanish' Influenza
10/24/2017    A History of Polio Virus Disease: Pools, Pioneers and Paradoxes
10/31/2017    The War on Rats: (Mis)representing the Bubonic Plague
11/07/2017    ADHD in Kids & Dogs: Shall we medicate the terriers?
11/14/2017    Hooked: Measuring Addictive Pleasure from Romanticism to Neoliberalism
11/21/2017    From Sainthood to Sickness: The Medicalization of Anorexia
11/28/2017    Medicalizing Melancholia: the Noonday Demon from Antiquity to the Present

Seminar 1 Register Now

8/29/2017 from 5:30pm-7:00pm
Chip Carson, MD, PhD    
Arch.Carson@uth.tmc.edu
UTHealth School of Public Health - Southwest Center for Occupational & Environmental Health
Associate Professor and Program Director of Occupational and Environmental Medicine Residency
Presentation Title: Lessons learned from the history of industrial medicine
Seminar Description:   In this session, Dr. Carson will present vignettes and case studies regarding the historical recognition of various industrial diseases and the occurrence of safety-related health disasters.
Learning Objectives: At the end of this session, attendees will be able to: (1) List historical turning points leading to improved workplace health and safety, (2) explain the linkage between disaster and progress, (3) recognize warning signs in public health.

Seminar 2 Register Now

9/5/2017 from 5:30pm-7:00pm
Clint Wilson III, MA, MSc

clint.e.wilson@rice.edu     
Rice University, PhD student
Presentation Title: Toxic Agents: Poetry, Pollution, and Environmental Racism
Seminar Description: Using available data on toxic exposure, particularly lead poisoning, this talk shows how artists and writers perceived and predicted the problems arising from ecological degradation and environmental racism and will turn primarily to the African American poet, Margaret Walker, whose writing challenges ideas of hygiene, disease and toxicity.
Learning Objectives: At the end of this session, attendees will be able to (1) understand how early twentieth-century artists understood “toxicity,” (2) grasp the interconnectedness of toxic exposures across the century, (3) engage with ideas of environmental racism that enabled the Flint Water Crisis and (4) explore how patients and victims of toxic exposure see their condition via major lead poisoning case study.

Seminar 3 Register Now

9/12/2017 from 5:30pm-7:00pm
Mary Ann Smith, PhD
      
Mary.A.Smith@uth.tmc.edu          
UTHealth School of Public Health – Southwest Center for Occupational & Environmental Health
Assistant Professor in Epidemiology, Human Genetics and Environmental Science and Associate Dean of Students
Presentation Title: Panacea or Poison? A brief history of remedies and good intentions gone bad
Seminar Description: Pending
Learning Objectives:
At the end of this session, attendees will be able to (1) describe how the FDA came into being and (2) give examples of remedies/drugs that caused unintended effects.

Seminar 4 Register Now

9/19/2017 from 5:30pm-7:00pm 
Philip Lee Montgomery, MLIS, CA
                   
philip.montgomery@library.tmc.edu        
Texas Medical Center Library, Head of McGovern Historical Center
Presentation Title: Quack medicine: selling hope for profit and glory
Seminar Description: Mr. Montgomery will explore the history of quack medicine and how the intersection of science, culture and health fears presents unscrupulous healers opportunities for profit and glory. He will define quackery and review examples from the 18th century to early 20th. Mr. Montgomery will define quackery and review its history in relation to the rise of the scientific method and advances in medicine. His talk will include a rogues gallery of quacks, as well as tonics, pseudo-scientific gizmos, and shocking devices in the archive.
Learning Objectives: At the end of this session, attendees will be able to (1) understand the concept of quack medicine in an historical context by examine artifacts and related health claims and (2) examine how the intersection of science and culture fosters opportunities for individuals to exploit health-related fears for profit and personal aggrandizement.

Seminar 5 Register Now

9/26/2017 from 5:30pm-7:00pm 
Kirsten Ostherr, PhD, MPH        
           
kostherr@rice.edu  
Rice University, Gladys Louise Fox Professor of English
Presentation Title: The Evolving Role of Patients in the New Sharing Economy of Medicine
Seminar Description: This presentation will explain how the practice of “citizen science” translates into medical contexts and creates new opportunities for patient engagement and patient-physician partnership. I will provide specific case studies that show how the challenge to traditional models of scientific/medical expertise has been particularly energetic among citizens concerned with healthcare, often termed “e-patients.” Members of these groups have developed extensive online activist communities, demand access to their own health data, conduct crowd-sourced experiments, and “hack” health problems that traditional medical experts have failed to solve. The presentation will conclude with a discussion of the existing evidence on the results of these experimental approaches.
Learning Objectives: At the end of this session, attendees will be able to: (1) identify three inpatient or outpatient settings in which patients and clinicians can partner to improve patient care, (2) identify three actions patients can take to partner with clinicians and (3) identify three actions clinician can take to partner with patients.

Seminar 6 Register Now

10/3/2017 from 5:30pm-7:00pm 
Robert Emery, DrPH, CHP, CIH, CBSP, CSP, CHMM, CPP, ARM
             
Robert.J.Emery@uth.tmc.edu      
The University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston
Vice President for Safety, Health, Environment & Risk Management
Professor of Occupational Health, UTHealth School of Public Health
Co-Director of the Prevention, Preparedness and Response (P2R) Academy
Presentation Title: Strategies for Correcting Health & Safety Misinformation: A Case Study
Seminar Description: Looking ahead, individuals will most certainly continue to experience apprehensions about possible exposures to various substances both in the workplace and in the environment. These apprehensions can be exacerbated by previously held beliefs, intensive media coverage, and uncontrolled internet postings. In the absence of counterbalancing factual information presented in ways individuals can readily comprehend, poor decision making and the wasting of precious public health resources can ensue. So what should the safety professions be doing to address situations where incorrect or misinformation abounds?  This presentation will discuss the current evidence-based information on risk communications and the techniques that can be employed to address situations involving misinformation.
Learning Objectives: At the end of this session, attendees will be able to (1) define “misinformation” and its impacts on society, (2) discuss the ways in which health and safety misinformation may be circulated, (3) list the strategies that can be used to minimize the effects of misinformation.

Seminar 7 Register Now

10/17/2017 from 5:30pm-7:00pm           
Judith Roof, PhD
              
roof@rice.edu
Rice University , Professor of English, Williams Shakespeare Chair of English
Presentation Title: Reading the Signs of the 1918 'Spanish' Influenza
Seminar Description: This presentation provides an introduction to situate the 1918 influenza epidemic in the United States and an overview of the various actors responding to the influenza epidemic in the U.S., including the U.S. government and army (in relation to World War I), medical professionals, press, and the public. Dr. Roof will highlight through several case studies (advertisements, government issued pamphlets, news reports about mortalities) the conflicting messages about contagion, treatments, and possible medications, and decisions of quarantine and movement of troops that were issued during the 1918 influenza. The conclusion will examine the often-disastrous effects of the conflicting messages in public discourse during the 1918 influenza, and the continuing confusion the interplay of government, medical, and public knowledge can cause in contemporary health crises.
Learning Objectives: At the end of this session, attendees will be able to (1) describe and identify the different actors (U.S. government, army, medical professionals, citizens) who influenced the public discourse during and on the 1918 influenza and (2) analyze the discursive tactics of various media (advertisements, news reports, government issued warnings) published during the 1918 influenza epidemic. This lecture allows medical professionals to examine the often-disastrous effects of the conflicting messages in public discourse during the 1918 influenza, and the continuing confusion the interplay of government, medical, and public knowledge can cause in contemporary health crises.

Seminar 8 Register Now

10/24/2017 from 5:30pm-7:00pm           
Catherine Troisi, PhD
      
Catherine.L.Troisi@uth.tmc.edu  
UTHealth School of Public Health, Associate Professor of Management, Policy and Community Health, and Epidemiology
Presentation Title: A History of Polio Virus Disease: Pools, Pioneers and Paradoxes
Seminar Description: Pending
Learning Objectives:
At the end of this session, attendees will be able to (1) describe the epidemiology of polio, (2) summarize the effects of polio disease om mid-twentieth century USA, (3), understand challenges in eradicating polio and (4) describe the current state of the polio eradication campaign.

Seminar 9 Register Now

10/31/2017 from 5:30pm-7:00pm                       
Melissa Bailar, PhD          
           
melba@rice.edu      
Rice University, Professor in the Practice of Humanities and the Associate Director of the Humanities Research Center
Presentation Title: The War on Rats: (Mis)representing the Bubonic Plague
Seminar Description:
Literature, ranging from medieval religious texts to Daniel Defoe’s Journal of the Plague Year and Albert Camus’s The Plague, has long explored the ethical questions provoked by the Bubonic Plague. A local outbreak that struck Galveston, TX in June of 1920 illustrates the ways that fiction and historical texts influence public perception and medical intervention in this deadly disease. Because the plague swept so spectacularly through Europe in the 14th century and London in the 18th century, it seemed too remote to be a possible diagnosis. Once Galveston doctors discovered what it was, however, they engaged in preferential treatment practices. Though Galveston’s “War on Rats” quickly contained the outbreak, this case illustrates the ways in which fear, biases, and misconceptions influence medicine and care.
Learning Objectives: At the end of this session, attendees will be able to (1) know the history of the 1920 Galveston plague and (2) understand how representations of the plagues affect patient care and health protocols.

Seminar 10 Register Now

Seminar 10- https://is.gd/HCDH10
11/7/2017 from 5:30pm-7:00pm             
Doug Tynan, PhD, ABPP
            
dtynan@apa.org     
American Psychological Association, Director of Integrated Health Care
Presentation Title: ADHD in Kids & Dogs: Shall we medicate the terriers?
Seminar Description: Pending
Learning Objectives:
At the end of this session, attendees will be able to (1) recall the history of the diagnosis of ADHD over the past 50 years, (2) comprehend the development of brain structures over time and its relationship to ADHD, (3) recall the ontogeny of activity level over the first 10 years of life, (4) appreciate the environmental context of the ADHD diagnosis.

Seminar 11 Register Now

11/14/2017 from 5:30pm-7:00pm                       
John Mulligan, PhD
                      
john.mulligan@rice.edu     
Rice University, Lecturer, Humanities Research Center
Presentation Title: Hooked: Measuring Addictive Pleasure from Romanticism to Neoliberalism
Seminar Description:  
This lecture introduces auditors to critical perspectives on what we call "addiction," scaffolded by two interrelated histories: 1) perennial moral panics about and countercultural embraces of addiction in modernity, 2) utilitarian attempts to quantify and maximize pleasure. The bookends for this history are Thomas De Quincey's 1821 Confessions of an English Opium-Eater, which effectively invented the modern discourse of quantified chemical addiction, and Nobel-Prize-winning economist Gary Becker's 1970's reaction against drug culture.
Learning Objectives: At the end of this session, attendees will be able to (1) provide a brief history of attempts to quantity addictive pleasure, from 1800 to the present, (2) understand critical frameworks that resent this drive to quantification as culpable in what we call "addiction” and (3) explore an alternative, non-pathologizing perspective on quantified pleasure, derived from aesthetic theory.

Seminar 12 Register Now

11/21/2017 from 5:30pm-7:00pm                       
Els Woudstra, MA 
           
eww4@rice.edu      
Rice University, Graduate Student, Department of English
Presentation Title: From Sainthood to Sickness: The Medicalization of Anorexia
Seminar Description:   This session will bridge from conception of anorexia as modern disease to its historical roots in religious self-starvation.  Ms. Woudstra will review the history of anorexia: ‘anorexia mirabilis’ amongst medieval saints and ‘miraculous maidens’ and explore with us the case studies: The medical observation of the ‘Derbyshire Damsel’ by John Reynolds and The medicalization of anorexia in Richard Morton’s Phthisiologia, or, A Treatise on Consumptions twenty years later (1694).  Also addressed are medicalization of self-starvation, from Morton’s treatise to the 19th century to today with conclusion drawing back to the continued religious or ‘cult’ status of anorexia in pro-ana social media groups.
Learning Objectives: At the end of this session, attendees will be able to (1) analyze how popular and medical texts have historically represented and interpreted self-starvation, and list the process of its medicalization from the 17th century to today and (2) address the religious/mystical myth-making surrounding anorexia by medieval saints and contemporary on line 'pro-ana’ communities.  This session provides physicians (and other attendees) the opportunity to become familiar with the historical background of the 'modem' disease of anorexia, and through its early religious interpretation and process of medicalization to gain a better understanding of the roots of the medicalization of anorexia, as well as the myth-making surrounding anorexia by members of online pro-eating disorder or 'pro-ana' communities.

Seminar 13 Register Now

11/28/2017 from 5:30pm-7:00pm           
Niki Clements, PhD, MTS
           
Niki.Clements@rice.edu   
Rice University, Watt & Lilly Jackson Assistant Professor of Religion
Presentation Title: Medicalizing Melancholia: the Noonday Demon from Antiquity to the Present
Seminar Description: This lecture presents the historical development of the medicalization of melancholia, from Plato’s philosophical account of divine madness in the 4th century BCE to Kay Jamison’s clinical and confessional account of manic-depressive disorder in the 21st century CE. Melancholia has been presented as demonized (in the medieval period), stigmatized (in the Enlightenment period), and pathologized (in the Victorian period). But throughout, this Noonday Demon (as it has been called) also bears associations with genius, artistry, and productivity. The construction of melancholia thus invites reflection on its productive as well as prohibitive characterizations. The narrative presents melancholia in five main stages, calling attention to how cultural perception shapes the evaluation of psychological and physiological symptoms that are largely consistent. This development suggests fascinating changes in the way the human person and mental illness have been understood, as well as the increasingly gendered nature of melancholy. Far from obsolete, these ideas continue to influence culture today, and our historical investigations will help expand our contemporary understanding of the human person and mental illness.
Learning Objectives: At the end of this session, attendees will be able to (1) summarize a brief history of the treatment of depression (as melancholia), from antique philosophy to contemporary pharmacology,  (2)  critically analyze the construction and perception of mental illness as specific to cultural context (as well as neurobiological phenomena), and (3) apply this historically-informed understanding of modern stigma in clinical settings to provide better care to patients with mental health issues.

Activity Contact:  
Michelle McDaniel, BS, CHES
Michelle.R.McDaniel@uth.tmc.edu
713-500-9447

More information