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Grant number: AC-50154-12

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University of Puerto Rico, Rio Piedras (San Juan, PR 00931-3300)
Loretta Collins (Project Director: July 2011 to present)

Humanities and the Healing Arts: Faculty Development and Multidisciplinary Curriculum in the Context of Puerto Rico and the C

Faculty development activities and public lectures leading to the creation of undergraduate courses on the intersection of medicine and the humanities.

"Humanities and the Healing Arts in the Context of Puerto Rico and the Caribbean" is a project supporting a series of public lectures and faculty development activities leading to the creation of undergraduate courses on the intersection of medicine and the humanities at the University of Puerto Rico, Rio Piedras (UPR-RP). The project brings together a multidisciplinary study group that enables fifteen humanities and medical sciences faculty to collaborate in designing undergraduate curricular materials for the medical humanities in the cultural contexts of Puerto Rico and the Caribbean. The project grows from the increasing need for the university's sizable student population preparing for the health or medical care professions not only to have a good grasp of organic chemistry and biology, but also to have an enriched preparation in the humanities. Four interdisciplinary topical courses, including Literature and Medicine and the History of Public Health, have already been developed; this project expands the corpus of offerings. Public lectures by guest scholars set the stage for related faculty development workshops, new courses, research publications, and a website. For example, the inaugural lecture, by Dr. Rafael Campo, Director of the Medical Humanities program at Harvard University, is followed by a workshop on poetry and the importance of voice in diverse experiences of illness. Participating faculty also explore medical humanities as it relates to the visual arts, film, drama, bioethics, and history. Readings for the three-year program include, among others, Campo's The Healing Art: A Doctor's Black Bag of Poetry; invited speaker Kwame Dawes's Hope's Hospice and other Poems; Chekhov's Doctors: A Collection of Chekhov's Medical Stories; playwright Margaret Edson's Wit; and selections from Jose G. Rigau's Historia de la medicina: la salud en Puerto Rico en el siglo XX.

Project fields:
Interdisciplinary Studies, General

Humanities Initiatives: HSIs

Education Programs

Total amounts:
$100,000 (approved)
$86,411 (awarded)

Grant period:
1/1/2012 – 12/31/2013