Field Notes from the Classroom: Interdisciplinary Teaching and Communities of Curiosity

Travis Chi Wing Lau // This morning, I had the joy of attending a workshop with the growing Science and Nature Writing initiative at Kenyon College. During this interdisciplinary conversation, we discussed different approaches to pedagogy at multiple levels of undergraduate teaching: integrating a writing component into an intermediate science course, creative writing that interwove…

Pedagogy of the Pandemic: Narrative Medicine and Radical Empathy

Sayantani DasGupta, Author // Ibraim Nascimento, Painter // There is a rupture in higher education and in that rupture is an opportunity. As novelist Arundhati Roy (2020) has written, “Historically, pandemics have forced humans to break with the past and imagine their world anew. This one is no different. It is a portal, a gateway…

Write/Right About Your Body

Madeleine Mant // I teach Introduction to the Anthropology of Health to an exquisitely diverse group of second-year undergraduate students. The class is a gateway prerequisite to all upper-level health-stream courses, thus it necessitates a balance between the biological and sociocultural aspects of health anthropology. Students are exposed to the work of Gregor Mendel and…

Calling Medical Humanities Teachers!

Livia Arndal Woods // This is my last post as a regular writer for Synapsis. It has been such pleasure to participate in this growing community over the past two years. That participation has allowed me to explore a broad range interests in the Medical Humanities, interests that reach through and beyond my Victorianist scholarship….

Ars Moriendi

Travis Chi Wing Lau // “We’ve been wrong about what our job is in medicine. We think our job is to ensure health and survival. But really it is larger than that. It is to enable well-being. And well-being is about the reasons one wishes to be alive.” – Atul Gawande Last week, I flew…

Teaching Victorian Disability Studies

“What it must mean, if we are to be present in this age of challenges, is a profound rethinking of our pedagogical priorities, disciplinary boundaries, and subject positions. Let us actually be Victorianists.” –Christie Harner, “Victorian hybridities”[i] Travis Chi Wing Lau // As I begin to construct my syllabus for my introductory seminar on medical…

The Classic, or Institutionalization part II

Roanne Kantor // What happens when different kinds of institutions meet? When I asked that question this winter, the answer focused on the unevenness between various types of things that get theorized very abstractly as “institutions.” Can there be any use in exploring “institutionalization” and “de-institutionalization” in both medical and educational contexts? Within this larger…

Institutionalization

Roanne Kantor // Earlier this month, I handed in the grades for  my course on narratives of disability from around the world.  At the same time I was teaching a graduate class about the interdisciplinary endeavor and its dependence on metaphor. The way that the same words have slippery and differing meanings depending on disciplinary…