Medical Humanities and Health Studies

Lectures and Seminars in Medical Humanities-Health Studies


 For a full list of MHHS related events, view the SPRING 2015 MHHS Seminars Flyer


Stay tuned for more information about the Fall 2015 MHHS Seminar Series!




 Ross Silverman, JD, MPH, Professor At The Indiana University Fairbanks School Of Public Health And At The Indiana University Mckinney School Of Law

"Vaccination Policy in the United States: Shame, Stigma, and Shared Responsibilities." 

The January 2015 measles outbreak that began with visitors to Disneyland is the most recent of a string of high-profile vaccine-preventable disease outbreaks in the United States. Why have we seen such a surge in cases of measles, mumps, and whooping cough? How should
policymakers, public health officials, communities, and care providers respond when attempting to balance the need to protect the public from dangerous diseases with individual rights?

Ross Silverman is a Professor of Health Policy and anagement at the Indiana University Fairbanks School of Public Health, and Professor of Public Health and Law at the Indiana University McKinney School of Law. Prior to joining the faculty at Indiana University, Professor Silverman was Professor and Chair of the Department of Medical Humanities at Southern Illinois University School of Medicine. An internationally-recognized expert on public health law, policy and ethics, his vaccine-related research has appeared in leading medical, health law, ethical, and scientific journals. 

Monday, April 20th, 2015

12:00 Noon - 1:00PM

Campus Center CE 309 


Meg Moorman, PhD, RN, WHNP, Clinical Assistant Professor, Indiana University School of Nursing (click for flyer)

"Visual Thinking Strategies in Nursing and Medical Education"

The use of art can be helpful in teaching nursing and medical students. Visual Thinking Strategies (VTS) is a teaching technique that uses art to foster conversations among students. This innovative teaching strategy has been used and studied in primary education and shown to improve critical thinking, observational skills and communication in students who experienced VTS. Yet little research has been done in medical and nursing education using VTS.   

This talk will briefly overview the history of arts and humanities in medical and nursing education. We will also discuss results of a research study that used VTS to teach nursing students. An interactive VTS session will be done and we will discuss how this teaching technique can be used with interdisciplinary education and may improve observational skills for health care workers. 

Wednesday, April 8th, 2015

12:00pm - 1:00pm

Campus Center CE 307



Dr. Wendy Kline, PhD, Dema G. Seelye Chair In The History Of Medicine
Department Of History, Purdue University

“Coming Home: Modern Midwifery and the Controversy over Home Birth.”

This talk analyzes the origins and impact of the recent surge in home births in the U.S., as a significant number of parents—predominantly white and middle-class—have opted out of the standardized medicated hospital birth. Multiple actors (doctors, nurses, lay midwives, certified midwives, pregnant women, and expectant fathers) have become more involved in childbirth, believing that far more was at stake than mere labor pains. Yet despite a popular rhetoric of choice and empowerment, birth in the U.S. today remains primarily a medical event, dictated by the threat of liability, hospital protocols, and organizational constraints.

Wednesday, March 4th, 2015
12:00 Noon—1:00 PM
Van Nuys Medical Science Building, MS B26


 BY DR. KENZIE LATHAM, PH.D Assistant Professor of Sociology at IUPUI

“Taking a Turn for the Better: Does Recovery from Self-Reported Walking Difficulty Improve Disability and Mortality Outcomes?”

DIFFICULTY WALKING is prevalent among older adults with estimates suggesting that nearly half of Americans over the age of 65 have difficulty walking a quarter mile. Even minimal participation in walking or physical activity has been shown to reduce the likelihood of death among older adults. Recovery from walking impairment (or improvement in walking ability) may be a turning point in an individual’s functional health trajectory and may lead to better physical and mental health in the future. Thus, Dr. Latham explores whether recovery from walking difficulty is
associated with disability and mortality among a national sample of older Americans. 

DR. KENZIE LATHAM recently joined the Department of Sociology at Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis (IUPUI) as an Assistant Professor. Previously, Dr. Latham was a National Institute of Aging (NIA) Postdoctoral Fellow at Population Studies Center at the University of Michigan’s Institute for Social Research. Dr. Latham received her Ph.D. from the University of Florida in 2011. Her research interests include health and aging with an emphasis on chronic illness and functional health. Much of Dr. Latham’s research focuses on identifying and understanding health disparities among older adults. She has published her research in leading health and aging journals such as the Journal of Health and Social Behavior, The Journals of Gerontology, Series B: Social Sciences, Research on Aging, Disability and Health Journal, and the Journal of Aging and Health.

Friday, January 30th, 2015
12:00 Noon—1:00 PM
University Library UL 1126



Prof. Nicolas Terry, Hall Render Professor of Law.

"Is mHealth the Future of Healthcare?" 

There is a widespread belief that mobile health (mHealth) can become a major force in US health care. Investments in mHealth companies and announcements or rumored announcements of new products from market-leading technology companies such as Apple and Google continually raise expectations that health care will experience disruption as so many other brick-and-mortar industries have.
Arguments in favor of mHealth include the convenience of "healthcare everywhere," compelling patient-centric mobile experiences premised on aggregated data, gamification coaching, and continuous monitoring of chronic conditions. On the other hand disruption of complex businesses such as healthcare (and particularly those that rely on third-party reimbursement) is quite difficult.
This talk looks at mHealth platforms and apps and critically examines the mHealth value proposition, its likely business model(s), and the regulatory barriers it faces and, in some cases, should face.

Nicolas Terry is the Hall Render Professor of Law at the Indiana University Robert H. McKinney School of Law where he serves as Director of the Hall Center for Law and Health. Educated at Kingston University and the University of Cambridge, Professor Terry began his academic career as a member of the law faculty of the University of Exeter in England before joining the faculty at Saint Louis University School of Law. From 1996-1997 he was Director of Legal Education at LEXIS-NEXIS. Professor Terry’s research interests lie primarily at the intersection of medicine, law, and information technology. His recent scholarship has dealt with health privacy, social media and health, big data, and health care fragmentation. He is one of the permanent bloggers at HealthLawProf and at Harvard Law School’s Bill of Health and he can be followed @nicolasterry

 Wednesday, Dec. 3rd, 12:00 Noon - 1:00 PM

Campus Center, CE 305

IUPUI, Indianapolis, IN 



 Kevin T. Grau, Coordinator of the Mdical History Project, Indiana University School of Medicine

"The "Indiana Plan" for Expanding Medical Education Statewide, 1944-1994." 

Almost since its creation in 1907 the IU School of Medicine held a statewide monopoly on medical education, based largely in Indianapolis. In the five decades following WWII, the school expanded its facilities and programs to meet growing demands and opportunities, the most important feature of which was the "Indiana Plan" of centers that offered the initial years of medical school at sites around the state. This talk will explore how the IUSM sought to resolve the competing interests involved in undergraduate and graduate medical education in Indiana, as research and clinical growth also altered the status of medical education in the country.

KEVIN GRAU is Coordinator for the Indiana University School of Medicine History Project and currently writing a history of the IU medical school. He holds an MA in History and Philosophy of Science from Indiana University, Bloomington and was the founding director of the Goff Institute, a research and education center for the history of business and technology, at the Rhode Island Historical Society.

Thursday, November 20th
12:00 Noon-1:00 PM
Van Nuys Medical Science Building, MS 326

"Cadaver, Speak: Poems from the Dissection Lab."

Students from the IU School of Medicine and the IU School of Liberal Arts at IUPUI will put on a reader’s theatre performance of Marianne Boruch’s title poem "Cadaver, Speak" from her latest collection, under the poet’s direction. This program will inspire the campus and community to contemplate the complexities of how our bodies function throughout the life cycle. Boruch’s poem, situated in a human anatomy lab, is spoken by a 99-year-old woman who has given her body to science. With humor and candor, the intrepid narrator revisits different episodes of her life, as her organs and limbs undergo dissection. 

 "Cadaver, Speak: Poems from the Dissection Lab" is written by Marianne Boruch, a professor of English at Purdue University.

Sponsored by:
The Literature and Medicine Student Interest Group and the Department of Anatomy (IU School of Medicine),
Medical Humanities & Health Studies Program and the Department of English (IU School of Liberal Arts).

IUPUI Arts and Humanities Institute.

This program has been made possible through a matching grant from Indiana Humanities in cooperation with the National Endowment for the Humanities. 

Thursday, October 30th, 2014
Reception at 6:00 PM, Reading at 7:00 PM—8:30 PM
Emerson Hall Auditorium, EH 304, IUPUI
545 Barnhill Dr., Indianapolis, IN
(just north of Michigan St.)

See bottom of page for PARKING INFO 

Dr. Richard Gunderman, MD, Chancellor’s Professor of Radiology, Pediatrics, Medical Education, Philosophy, Liberal Arts, Philanthropy, and Medical Humanities &Health Studies at Indiana University


"You Can’t See the Present or the Future Unless You Have Seen the Past."  VIEW MP4 of TALK HERE

Richard Gunderman is Chancellor’s Professor of Radiology, Pediatrics, Medical Education, Philosophy, Liberal Arts, Philanthropy, and Medical Humanities and Health Studies at Indiana University. He serves on the boards of the Kinsey Institute, Alpha Omega Honor Medical Society, and Christian Theological Seminary. He is a nine-time recipient of the Indiana University Trustees Teaching Award. 

He was named the 2008 Outstanding Educator by the Radiological Society of North America. In 2012, he received the Alpha Omega Alpha Robert J. Glaser Award for Teaching Excellence, the top teaching award from the Association of American Medical Colleges. He is the author of over 430 articles and has published eight books. He is also past president of the faculty at Indiana University School of Medicine and a correspondent for the Atlantic. 

PRESENTED BY the John Shaw Billings History of Medicine Society at IUPUI 

Tuesday, September 30th, 2014 12:00 Noon—1:00 PM
Emerson Hall Auditorium, EH 304, IUPUI

545 Barnhill Dr., Indianapolis, IN
(just north of Michigan St.)


"In the Shadow of Terror: Providing Healthcare on the Northern Cameroon-Nigeria Border"  RECORDING AVAILABLE HERE. 

Over the past several years, northeastern Nigeria has been wracked by violence promulgated by a group of extremists whose stated aim is to topple the status quo and establish a universal caliphate based on Islamic law. Thousands of people have died since the carnage began, and at least a million have been made homeless. Border areas in neighboring countries, including Cameroon, have been touched by the climate of terror, by military attempts to combat it, and by the flight of refugees.

Since 1990, Dr. Ellen Einterz, a graduate of Indiana University, has lived on the border between Cameroon’s Far North and northeastern Nigeria’s Borno State. She is the Director of the Kolofata District Hospital and Chief Medical Officer for the Kolofata Health District. In her talk, she will briefly explore the conflict in its historical and present day context and provide an account of her recent personal experience as a physician working in an exceptionally poor corner of Africa as it is being rocked by this horrific tragedy.

Monday, September 8th, 2014 from 12:00 Noon-1:00 PM
Emerson Hall, EH 304, IUPUI [FOR DIRECTIONS:
click here]

545 Barnhill Dr., Indianapolis, IN, 46202 

Dr. Laura Foster, JD, PhD, Assistant Professor of Gender Studies, Affiliate Faculty, Maurer School of Law, Indiana University

"Re-inventing Hoodia: Patent Law and Benefit Sharing as Boundary Objects in Southern Africa"

In 1998 researchers isolated and patented certain chemicals within the Hoodia gordonii plant. Hoodia gordonii suddenly emerged as a patented invention poised to be a blockbuster anti-obesity drug. At the same time, the plant became a symbol of South Africa as nation of innovation, and Indigenous San peoples publically accused scientists of stealing their knowledge of the plant. Dr. Foster’s talk will address patent law to ask how both science and law work together to determine who is (or is not) considered an inventor and producer of science.

Diana Winters, J.D., Ph.D., Indiana University Robert H. McKinney School of Law

"Food Labeling: Thinking Outside the Box"

The Nutrition Labeling and Education Act of 1990 was passed to regulate the food industry’s use of information linking diet to disease prevention, and to allow consumers to make choices about food based on accurate and complete information.   The Act, which amended the FDCA, requires standard nutrition labeling for most food products under FDA’s authority, prescribes requirements for ingredient labeling on all packages, establishes standard "serving sizes," and regulates nutrient content claims and health claims.  The Act, however, has failed in its goals.  The information available to consumers, even when presented in a manner compliant with the NLEA, is confusing and opaque.  The provisions of the NLEA regulating health and nutrient claims should be repealed because their costs outweigh their benefits.

Domenico Bertoloni-Meli, Ph.D., Department of History and Philosophy of Science, Indiana University

"Visualizing Disease: Pathological Illustrations from the 16th to the 19th Century"

"Visualizing Disease" explores pathological illustrations from the 16th century to the first half of the 19th century, in the period from the first representations of remarkable cases to the first comprehensive treatises with color images of diseases affecting the entire human body. The talk will illustrate and discuss the lesions found in the dissected bodies of dead patients at postmortems, and skin diseases on live patients, which played an important role in the history of pathological illustrations more generally.

Lawrence H. Einhorn, M.D., Livestrong Foundation Professor of Oncology, IU School of Medicine

"Testicular Cancer: A Model for a Curable Cancer"

Testicular Cancer is a rare disease, accounting for only 1% of all male malignancies, but it is the most common cancer in young men ages 15-35. This lecture will describe our clinical trials that resulted in improving the cure rate for metastatic testicular cancer from 5% to 80%.

Preseton Marx, Ph.D., Professor of Tropical Medicine and Chair of the Division of Microbiology at the Tulane National Primate Research Center of Tulane University

"Emergence of AIDS: Transition from SIV to HIV"

The sudden emergence of the AIDS pandemic in the 20th century raised questions about AIDS origin (s), including the timing and root causes. Research led to understanding that HIV/AIDS is not one pandemic, but rather a combination of multiple epidemics and failed outbreaks, alongside the well known pandemic. The sources of all HIVs are simian immunodeficiency viruses (SIVs) on the African continent. The discovery of SIV and the evolution of SIV to HIV will be presented, along with prevailing theories on why AIDS emerged in the 20th century.

Co-sponsored by the Medical Humanities and Health Studies Program and the Indiana University School of Medicine Center for AIDS Research.

James W. Lynch, Jr., M.D., FACP, University of Florida College of Medicine

Faith and Medicine: Integration or Separation

Dr. Lynch received his MD from Eastern VA Medical School in 1984. In 1991 he returned to the University of Florida College Of Medicine and has served in multiple roles during this tenure including course director in Oncology, program director for hematology/oncology, section chief of hematology/oncology at the VAMC and now serves as the Assistant Dean for Admissions.

1. Articulate the various forces shaping how we think about the relationships between faith and medicine in the 21st century.
2. Discuss how the term "professionalism" can be distorted to undermine compassion and empathy as parts of healthy physician-patient relationships.
3. Describe the ways practitioners address their own spiritual beliefs (or lack thereof) in relation to patients and their beliefs.
4. Identify how to address complexities that arise in discussing spiritual issues with patients or in choosing not to discuss them.

William H. Schneider, Ph.D.,  Professor of History, Director of Medical Humanities & Health Studies Program, IUPUI

"The Story of One Life: The Autobiography of Ludwik Hirszfeld, a Doctor in the Warsaw Ghetto"

Ludwik Hirszfeld (1884-1954) was a world-renowned serologist and immunologist credited with, among other things, naming and discovery of the inheritance of the ABO blood groups and establishment of the public health service of Poland between the world wars. He was also trapped in the Warsaw Ghetto after the Nazi conquest of Poland in 1939. Because of his training and status he served on the Health Council for two years before his escape. Based on his autobiography, this talk will examine the appalling conditions and extraordinary response to maintain health under the extreme conditions of the Warsaw Ghetto.

Parking Information: 

For seminars held in the IUPUI Campus Center: park in the Vermont Street parking garage, 1004 W. Vermont St., next to the IUPUI Campus Center.

For seminars held in the Van Nuys Medical Science Building: park in the University Hospital parking garage, 600 University Blvd., and walk west on Walnut Street to reach the Medical Science building.

For seminars held in the Riley Outpatient Center Auditorium: park in the Riley Outpatient parking garage, 575 West Dr.

Contact Kelly or Andrew at 278-1669 or to be the first to receive updates on information about these and other talks for the upcoming academic year.