The Humanities Center 2009 Fall Symposium, “Representation of Health and Disease in the City”
Location: Michigan, United States
Symposium Begins: 2009-11-06

Friday, November 6, 2009 from 9:00 AM to 5:00 PM

The theme of this fall’s annual symposium sponsored by Wayne State University’s Humanities Center is “Representation of Health and Disease in the City”. The conference will take place on Friday, Nov. 6, and will be held from 9 a.m. – 5 p.m., at the McGregor Memorial Conference Center on the WSU campus. The conference is free and open to the public.

Faculty members will address ways in which health and disease have been represented as located in cities, including Detroit. They will discuss the significance of the direction of health and disease among citizens of the city, and how our attitudes about cities are formed by the discussion of health practitioners, innovative medical geniuses, social reformers, novelists, artists, and composers. They will examine how the public’s views of disease and health are disguised by cultural notions of the city as both a center of medical expertise and an environment where pollution, noise, germ transference, and adulterated food supplies promote the spread of disease. The keynote remarks will be presented by Dr. Kristine Gebbie from Hunter College, City University of New York, and by Professor Kristin Ross from New York University.

Dr. Gebbie served as AIDS czar during the Clinton Administration and as public health commissioner in the states of Washington and Oregon and is currently the Joan Grabe Dean of the School of Nursing at Hunter College, CUNY. Dr. Gebbe is an elected member of the Institute of Medicine; fellow of the American Academy of Nursing and of the New York Academy of Medicine; member of the Board of Trustees, Lutheran Medical Center, Brooklyn; and a longtime member of the American Nurses Association. Dr. Gebbie will present “Healthy Cities or Healthy in Cities?” in Session 1 of the symposium.

Professor Kristin Ross is the author of The Emergence of Social Space: Rimbaud and the Paris Commune (1988). Her next book, Fast Cars, Clean Bodies: Decolonization and the Reordering of French Culture (1995), was awarded a Critic’s Choice Award and the Lawrence Wylie Award for French Cultural Studies. She is an author of numerous articles on debates within French social theory and cultural studies, and the recipient of a Guggenheim Fellowship and a fellowship from the Princeton Institute for Advanced Study. Professor Ross will present “Bad Blood” in Session 3 of the symposium.

In addition to the keynote speakers, 11 Wayne State faculty members will speak at the symposium. Daphne Ntiri (Africana Studies) along with Merry Stewart from the University of Detroit College of Nursing, will discuss “Transformative Learning Intervention: Effect on Functional Health Literacy and Diabetes Knowledge in Older African Americans”. Mary C. Sengstock (Sociology) will present “Family Violence: Is It a City Problem?”. Heather Dillaway (Sociology) will examine “Women, Disability, and Reproductive Health in Detroit: A Report on Research and Advocacy in a Local, Urban Context”. Sherylyn Briller (Anthropology) and Stephanie Myers Schim (Family, Community, and Mental Health) will address “Contemplating Death in a Dying City”. Annie Higgins (Classical and Modern Languages, Literatures, and Cultures) will present “Touching the City: Ease and Dis-ease of Oasis, Prison, and Village”. Ellen Barton (English) together with Richard Marback (English) will discuss “The Bodies of the Urban Public”. Chris Leland (English) will examine a “Reading from Letting Loose ‘Thanateros,’ Chapter 2”. Thomas Kohn (Classical and Modern Languages, Literatures, and Cultures) will present “The Source of the Plague at Thebes in Seneca’s Oedipus”. Anne Duggan will address “Jacque Demy’s The Pied Piper, or Dis-ease in the Provincial City”.

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