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Each year the Center hosts a distinguished expert in the arts and humanities as they relate to healthcare and health education. The Health Humanities Lectureship was established by the Center in 2019. The annual visit features multiple events representing collaborations across the U of U campus.


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    2023-24 Health Humanities Lecturer

    Jim Ferris, PhD

    Jim Ferris, PhD
    Our 5th Annual lecturer, Jim Ferris, PhD, is an award-winning poet and performance artist, author of Slouching Towards Guantanamo, Facts of Life, and The Hospital Poems. Poet Laureate of Lucas County, Ohio from 2015-2020, he holds a doctorate in performance studies and has performed at the Kennedy Center and across the United States, Canada and Great Britain. His current performance project, entitled “Is Your Mama White?”, uses his family history to explore race, class and disability as powerful components of identity.

    Ferris’s writing has appeared in many journals, including Poetry, Georgia Review, Text & Performance Quarterly,  and Michigan Quarterly Review. His writing is also featured in the anthology, Beauty Is a Verb: The New Poetry of Disability.

    Past president of the Society for Disability Studies and the Disabled & D/deaf Writers Caucus, he has won awards for creative nonfiction and mathematics as well as performance and poetry. 

    Ferris holds the Ability Center Endowed Chair in Disability Studies at the University of Toledo, where his research interests focus on disability art, culture, and communication.  


    • ETHICS EXPLORED DISCUSSION  (flyer)   |     WEDNESDAY, SEPTEMBER 27     |     5:30-7pm     |     HYBRID EVENT
      "Crip Poetry and Performing the Principles of Medical Ethics"
      Room:  RAB 117  (Research Admin. Bldg)  -south of the EHSEB, east of the University Guest House
      Zoom link
      Mtg ID: 928 7883 7587
      Passcode:  email for code
      CME: 270019
    • PUBLIC LECTURE  (flyer)   |     THURSDAY, SEPTEMBER 28     |     10-11am     |     HYBRID EVENT
      "Disability Identity in the Culture of American Individualism"
      Room:  Tanner Jewel Box
      Zoom link
      Mtg ID: 997 1567 4114
      Passcode:  email for code
      CME: 271019
    • READING & DISCUSSION  (flyer)   |     THURSDAY, SEPTEMBER 28     |     3-4pm     |     IN-PERSON EVENT
      "Is Your Mama White?"
      Room:  LNCO 2910 (Languages & Comm. Bldg) - near the north side, 2nd floor entrance

    co-sponsored with
    Disability Studies Initiative - School for Cultural and Social Transformation,
    Department of English - Creative Writing Program,
    Edna Anderson-Taylor Communication Institute,
    OSHER Center for Integrative Health,
    & SOM’s Department of Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation (PM&R)
    and the Neilsen Rehabilitation Hospital

    2022-23 Health Humanities Lecturer

    Perri Klass, MD

    Perri Klass MD

    Our 4th Annual lecturer, Perri Klass, MD, is a prolific physician-author who writes medical journalism, creative nonfiction, and fiction. During her visit, she will discuss her latest book, The Best Medicine:  How Science and Medicine Gave Children a Future, in which she shows how the decline in infant and child mortality has transformed parenting and society as well as medical practice. Dr. Klass weaves stories of pioneering women physicians, public health advocates, and scientists with poignant accounts of historical parents, such as Abraham and Mary Lincoln, who suffered the deaths of their children.

    A professor of pediatrics and journalism at New York University, Dr. Klass contributes weekly columns on childhood to The New York Times and has published medical journalism in Harpers, The Atlantic, The Washington Post, The Wall Street Journal, The New Yorker, and The New England Journal of Medicine.


    • HEALTH HUMANITIES PUBLIC LECTURE (flyer)     |     Tuesday, August 30, 2022     |     Noon-1pm
      "Living to Grow Up:  How Childhood Death Became 'Unnatural'"

    • EVENING ETHICS DISCUSSION  (flyer)     |     Tuesday, August 30, 2022     |     5:30-7pm
      “Prevention, Progress, and Persistent Disparities: Ethical Dilemmas and Child Mortality”
      VIRTUAL EVENT     |     CME offered

    This event is co-sponsored by The Center for Health Ethics, Arts, and Humanities
    and the Edna Anderson-Taylor Communication Institute
    2020-21 Health Humanities Lecturer

    MK Czerwiec, RN, MA

    MK Czerwiec, RN, MA

    MK Czerwiec, RN, MA, is a nurse, cartoonist, and educator. She is the creator of Taking Turns: Stories from HIV/AIDS Care Unit 371, editor of the Eisner Award-winning Menopause: A Comic Treatment, and a co-author of Graphic Medicine Manifesto. MK regularly teaches graphic medicine at Northwestern Medical School and the University of Chicago. She co-manages and is the Comics Editor for the journal Literature & Medicine. See more of her work at

    There will be two opportunities to hear MK Czerwiec. Both events will be in person and streamed live:

    • "Graphic Medicine: Comics As Bridge Between Humanity & Health" Thursday, November 4, 2021, The Tanner Humanities Center Lecture, 9:00-10:00am, The Tanner Center Jewel Room

      This Lectureship is collaboratively sponsored by The Center for Health Ethics, Arts, and Humanities, Spencer S. Eccles Health Sciences Library (EHSL), College of Nursing, College of Fine Arts, and The Tanner Humanities Center

    2019-20 Health Humanities Lecturer

    Victoria Sweet, MD

    Victoria Sweet

    Victoria Sweet, MD,  is an associate clinical professor of medicine at the University of California, San Francisco. She is the award-winning author of God’s Hotel: A Doctor, a Hospital, and a Pilgrimage to the Heart of Medicine and Slow Medicine: The Way to Healing. In these two books, Sweet argues for a new approach to medical care that takes into account valuable lessons learned from pre-modern practices. Sweet advocates for care based on viriditas, Hildegard of Bingen’s concept of the healing power of nature, onto which she grafts respect for modern medicine through engaging stories drawn from her own medical training. 

    There will be two opportunities to hear Victoria Sweet virtually: 

    • “Slow Medicine, Ethics, and the Case of Mrs. C.” (Wednesday, November 18, 2020, Evening Ethics Interactive Discussion, 5:30-7:00 p.m.) CME will be offered

    • “Hildegard of Bingen: Medieval Lessons for Modern Medicine”(Thursday, November 19, 2020,  The Tanner Humanities Center Lecture,  9:00-10:00am) 

      Collaboratively sponsored by the Department of History, Health Sciences Resiliency Center, College of Humanities, College of Health, and Tanner Humanities Center

    2018-19 Health Humanities Lecturer

    Rafael Campo, MA, MD, DLitt (hon)

    Rafael Campo

    Rafael Campo, MA, MD, DLitt (hon) is a poet and essayist who teaches and practices internal medicine at Harvard Medical School and Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center in Boston. His primary care practice serves mostly Latinos, gay/lesbian/bisexual/transgendered people, and people with HIV infection. He currently serves as Director of Literature and Writing Programs of the Arts and Humanities Initiative at Harvard Medical School.

    Dr. Campo has received numerous honors and awards, including a Guggenheim fellowship, a National Poetry Series award, and a Lambda Literary Award for his poetry, and an honorary Doctor of Literature degree from Amherst College. He has authored eight highly acclaimed books. Numerous anthologies feature his work, including the Best American Poetry and Pushcart Prize series, and periodicals such as American Poetry Review, The Hudson Review, The Nation, The New Republic, The New York Times Magazine, The Paris Review, POEM (UK), Poetry, The Poetry Review (UK),,, and The Threepenny Review.

    There will be two opportunities to hear Rafael Campo:

    Thursday, November 29, 2018

    • Evening Ethics Discussion: "Silences and Last Words: Poetry as Witness at the End of Life" (Thursday, November 29, 2018, 5:30pm-7:00pm, Officers Club, South Room). Immediately after this session, the HSEB Bookstore will host a book sale and signing of Rafael Campo’s newest book, Comfort Measures Only: New and Selected Poems, 1994-2016 

    • “Cultural Competence: Poetry and the Importance of Voice in the Illness Experience” (Friday, November 30, 2018, 9:00am-10:00am, The Tanner Humanities Center's Jewel Box Conference Room)


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