Below are events associated with the Health, Culture, and Society research initiative or its faculty: 

Visit by Magda Romanka, Emerson College

Magda Romanska will join us in November for lecture on disability and the bionic body. She is Visiting Associate Professor of Dramaturgy and Dramatic Criticism at Yale School of Drama and Associate Professor of Dramaturgy and Theatre Studies at Emerson College. 

Monday, November 21 at 5pm in 100-104 McKenna Hall
“The Bionic Body: Technology, Disability, and Humanism”

Historically, performing the role of the disabled has been one of the surest roads to the Oscars. As evidenced by Dustin Hoffman's Rain Man, Tom Hanks' Forrest Gump, Al Pacino's Scent of a Woman, and Daniel Day Lewis’ My Left Foot, portraying disabled characters has been considered one of the most challenging tasks for an actor. Yet, despite—or perhaps because of—the challenge, until very recently, the mainstream iconography of the disabled still operated mostly via stereotypes: the disabled were a plot problem that has to be either cured (in optimistic, inspirational narratives), or disposed of (in heroic, redemptive stories). Like African-American and LGBT characters before them, the disabled characters were often represented as existential metaphors, sentimental symbols, melodramatic and inspirational devises, or narrative props.

Magda Romanka

Drawing on interdisciplinary research from cognitive science, art, film, and disability studies, this project looks at how the concept of the bionic body affects representation of the disabled in contemporary culture (theatre, film, new media) and, in turn, how representation of the disabled body affects the changing boundaries of what is and what isn’t considered "human." The category of ‘human’ was historically used to circumscribe the boundaries of belonging and the categories of valuation: some groups that were deemed "sub-human," including the disabled, were so designated for commodification or extinction; however, the technological progress is changing the perception of what the disabled body is and can do: not only do the newest prosthetics no longer mimic "human" bodies, but their capacities put into question the capacities and limits of the non-disabled body. Voluntary cyborg-like enhancements of the human body redefine previous categories of what is and isn’t a disabled body; in comparison to the technologically enhanced bionic body, every body can be thought of as a "disabled" body.

In her lecture, Professor Magda Romanska provides a penetrating and in-depth look at various modern representations of the disabled, answering some of the most pressing questions on the topic. How does the concept of the bionic body affect representation of the disabled in contemporary culture (theatre, film, new media), and, in turn, how does the representation of the disabled body affect the changing boundaries of what is and what isn’t considered "human"?

Past HCS Events:

Visit by Professor Helen King, Open University
Mon Oct 24, 2016 - Fri Oct 28

Helen King

Helen King is Professor of Classical Studies at Open University (UK). Her interests are in ancient medicine and gender/history of the body. She will be giving lectures as part of the Provost's Distinguished Women's Lecture Program.

King will give two public lectures:

Tuesday October 25th (click here for more info)
"Traveling Inside the Body: Organs, Fluids, and Representation" 
6:00PM - 8:00PM 
Location: Eck Visitor's Center Auditorium (Reception to follow)

How did people in the past think about the insides of their bodies? This illustrated lecture will take us from the ancient Greeks to the twenty-first century. We will explore the role of dissection in changing professional medical views, but also the assumptions ordinary people made by using images of the body taken from their daily lives – whether that was thinking of the body as a kitchen, a garden, a factory, or a battlefield. We’ll investigate the shift from focusing on the body as a collection of fluids, to concentrating on the organs. 

Thursday October 27th (click here for more info) 
4:15PM - 5:30PM 
Location: 318 DeBartolo Hall 

"Gender and sexuality in history: did the eighteenth century change everything?" Thomas Laqueur’s 1990 book, Making Sex, argued for an eighteenth-century watershed in changing our understandings of the body, gender, and sexuality. Looking at classical, medieval and early modern materials, this lecture will both challenge that view and explore why it has been so powerful. We will think about what happens when we consider more than just the sexual organs in defining sex, and why it is so important to take genre into account when studying the history of the body.

Co-sponsored by ISLA, Department of Classics, History and Philosophy of Science Program, Philip S. and Joan C. Coogan Endowment for Excellence in the History of Medicine, Department of History, Program for Liberal Studies, Gender Studies Program, and ND Workshop on Ancient Philosophy.

Wednesday March 2, 2016 at 5pm, 119 O'Shaughnessy Hall

Essaka Joshua

Essaka Joshua will give a paper called "Picturesque Aesthetics: Theorizing Deformity in the Romantic Era." Essaka Joshua is the Director of the College Seminar at the University of Notre Dame, and the Director of the Disability Studies Forum. She is the author of The Romantics and the May Day Tradition (2007) and Pygmalion and Galatea: The History of a Narrative in English Literature (2001). She has published widely on disability and eighteenth and nineteenth-century literature, and, in 2012, was the winner of the Society for Disability Studies’ Tyler Rigg Award for literature and literary analysis.

Click here for more information about Disability Studies at Notre Dame. 

Tuesday, February 23, 2016 at 7pm in 101 DeBartolo Hall
The Other End of the Stethoscope: 33 Insights for Excellent Patient Care Time
Featured speaker: Marcus Engel, MS, CSP. Marcus Engel is a professional speaker and best-selling author whose messages provide insight and strategies for excellent patient care and whose books are used in healthcare training. Marcus was blinded after being struck by a drunk driver, and he witnessed the good, bad and profound in patient care during rehabilitation. He and his wife co-founded the nonprofit I’m Here Movement that aims to change the culture of healthcare. Free and open to the public. (Parking available south of the Notre Dame stadium or in the Notre Dame Bookstore parking lot.)
Sponsored by the Ruth M. Hillebrand Center for Compassionate Care in Medicine, College of Science, and St. Joseph Health System. 
Click here for the poster. 
Coogan Lecture for Excellence in the History of Medicine
Wednesday February 17, 2016 at 4:15PM, Carey Auditorium in the Hesburgh Library

Alice Dreger

Historian and activist Alice Dreger will draw from her book, Galileo’s Middle Finger: Heretics, Activists, and the Search for Justice in Science, to explore the ways in which freedom of research is under assault from multiple fronts, including identity politics activism, the corporatization and branding of universities, and social media shaming campaigns. The speaker, who has twenty years’ experience both as an intersex patient rights activist and as an academic historian, will use case studies to talk about the dangers researchers face today. She will also speak to how researchers can work individually and collectively to try to protect themselves. She argues they must do so not for their own sake, but for the sake of social progress in our fragile democracy.

This is part of the Reilly Center's Coogan Lecture Series for Excellence in the History of Medicine. 
Click here for more info

Reilly Forum - The Flint Water Crisis
Monday February 8, 2016 at 3:30pm, 107 Pasquerilla Hall

A conversation on the impacts of race and poverty on American's environmental health and clean water access. Expert panelists in sustainable water technology, environmental law, and public health policy will lead this discussion which will explore the current water crisis in Flint, and beyond.

This was a joint event between the Health, Culture, and Society initiative as well as our People, Policy, and the Environment initiative.