2 October 2019

Medical Humanities join Liberal Arts and Sciences

Interdisciplinary lecture series with a focus on Global Health

A new series of lectures at University College Utrecht University brings researchers and people from the field together to discuss Global Health issues from various perspectives.

The series, co-organised by The New Utrecht School, Julius Global Health, Health Management Support Team and University College Utrecht, has the aim to connect humanities knowledge on narratives, imagination and communication with medical training.

The lectures, starting on 22 October with “Story of Diseases: Learning from the Past for Today’s Global Health”, will help future doctors to better engage with their patients, so that they learn to listen and increase their communicative skills. At the same time, the focus is on gaining more knowledge of ‘the human’ as a concept in global culture. Here, narratives and myths serve as material. We will also discuss some of the future challenges of global health and how organisations are ready - or not - to respond to future threats.

Across disciplines

“Global Health is by definition an interdisciplinary area of study, practice and research”, says Joyce Browne, Lecturer at UMC Utrecht’s Julius Global Health and University College Utrecht alumna, and one of the organisers of the lecture series. 

“Traditionally, (Bio)medical and Social Sciences have found each other in an ambition to collaboratively improve health globally. The connection with the Humanities is now beginning to take shape through the Medical Humanities, a field which is newly re-established at Utrecht University.”

Kiene Brillenburg Wurth, Head of the Humanities department at University College Utrecht and co-organiser of the series: “It is crucial to Liberal Arts and Sciences education to connect disciplines in an open and creative way. This is how we will get to know each other’s fields and can open up new pathways of meaning across disciplines.” 

For a broad audience

The lectures and debates will be of interest for a broad audience interested in global health, medicine, anthropology, human rights, narratives, intercultural communication, Africa, or Asia. The audience will have the opportunity to meet professionals who have worked at all levels of international organisations providing care, relief, and medication around the world.

The lectures will also bring forward people who have found solutions for complex and seemingly unsolvable problems in the world. These professionals who work for some of the most innovative global organisations created in the last decades, such as the Global Fund, Gavi, UNAIDS, Unitaid and WSSCC.

The lectures will take place on three Tuesday evenings in the Auditorium of International Campus Utrecht. The dates and the topics are: 

  • 22 October 2019 – Story of Diseases: Learning from the Past for Today’s Global Health. Read more.
  • 29 October 2019 – Human Being in a Humanitarian World: Global Health, Human Rights and Humanities. Read more.
  • 5 November 2019 – A Call for Action: Global Health and Sustainability. Read more.