Past Events

Fall 2021

Professor Yan Liu

Healing with Poisons: The Circulation of Medical Knowledge in Medieval China – Asia in Depth Seminar

October 7th, 2021

During China’s formative era of pharmacy, poisons were strategically deployed as healing agents to cure everything from chills to pains to epidemics. Focusing on the early Tang period (7th and 8th centuries), in this talk Professor Yan Liu (SUNY-Buffalo) illustrates how the court regulated the use of poisons and commissioned new medical treatises to achieve effective governance. It further demonstrates how local people in Dunhuang in present-day Gansu Province in northwestern China adapted such texts, in both form and content, to meet their specific needs. By tracing the flow of medicinal substances in the Tang empire, this talk highlights the entwined processes of the rise of authoritative, standardized medical knowledge and its fluid transformations in local regions.

Sofi Oksanen

An Evening with Acclaimed Writer Sofi Oksanen

September 21st, 2021

Virtual reading and conversation with one of the most awarded literary authors in Scandinavia, Finnish-Estonian novelist and playwright , Sofi Oksanen. Moderated by Lannan Center Director, Aminatta Forna.

Diagram of a circular flow chart showing that body, mind, sould and spirit are connected

The Good Life at the End of Life

September 20th, 2021

Discussion on medical and spiritual views on the meaning of the good life during the last stages of life. Speaking to the issue were Devan Stahl (Bioethics and Religion, Baylor University) and Michael Pottash (Hospice and Palliative Medicine, Georgetown University).

Dr. Lakshmi Krishnan featured as one of the workshop speakers at the 2021 Lisa J. Raines Grand Challenge Fellowship

August 13th, 2021

The 2021 Lisa J. Raines Grand Challenge Fellowship funded undergraduate students to conduct independent summer research projects engaging witht he grand challenge of “Health and Humanity.” In addition to conducting their own projects, fellows came together as a cohort and shared their research, found exciting cross-disciplinary touch points, and learned from and network with faculty working in the field, including Dr. Lakshmi Krishnan, who presented her lecture “A Career in Medical Humanities: From the Archive to the Clinic.”

Spring 2021

Decarcerating Disability: Deinstitutionalization & Prison Abolition with Dr. Liat Ben-Moshe

April 12th, 2021

Discussion with Dr. Liat Ben-Moshe, Assistant Professor of Criminology, Law, and Justice at the University of Illinois at Chicago of her recently published book, Decarcerating Disability: Deinstitutionalization and Prison Abolition (Minnesota 2020). Dr. Ben-Moshe is also the co-editor (with Allison Carey and Chris Chapman) of Disability Incarcerated: Imprisonment and Disability in the United States and Canada (Palgrave 2014). She is an activist/scholar who has worked and published on such topics as deinstitutionalization and incarceration; prison abolition; disability, anti-capitalism and queerness; race, disability/madness and empire; inclusive pedagogy and disability in Israel/Palestine.

Justinian's figure in the center of Mosaics from the apse in the Basilica of San Vitale, Ravenna

AHR interview, Merle Eisenberg and Lee Mordechai in conversation with Dr. John McNeill on the Plague Concept

January 1st, 2021

Merle Eisenberg and Lee Mordechai discuss with John McNeill their article “The Justinianic Plague and Global Pandemics: The Making of the Plague Concept,” which appears in the December 2020 issue of the AHR. Eisenberg is a postdoctoral fellow at the National Socio-Environmental Synthesis Center at the University of Maryland. Mordechai is a senior lecturer in the History Department at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. Together, they host the podcast Infectious Historians.

Fall 2020

Banner for the AHR interview "Monica H. Green in conversation with Dr. John McNeill on The Four Black Deaths"

AHR interview, Monica H. Green in conversation with Dr. John McNeill on The Four Black Deaths

December 16th, 2020

In this episode John McNeill speaks with Monica H. Green, a historian of medicine and global health, about her article, “The Four Black Deaths,” which appears in the December 2020 issue of the AHR. In it, Green draws on work in paleogenetics and phylogenetics alongside documentary evidence to suggest both a broader and more nuanced understanding of how plague spread in the late medieval world. Green spoke with Georgetown University historian John McNeill.

Two actors of the play Angels in America Part I: Millennium Approaches. One of them is in a hospital bed, the other stands next to him, their fingers are touching

The Great Work Begins: Revisiting Angels in America During a Pandemic

October 27th, 2020

This special program of performance and discussion combined scenes performed by leading professional actors from Tony Kushner’s Pulitzer Prize-winning two-part epic play Angels in America: A Gay Fantasia on National Themes with insights from experts from the medical, political, and artistic communities on the legacy and continued resonance of the play’s portrayal of the AIDS Epidemic in the context of the current moment.

Photo of Black Lives Matter protest. Multitude of people gathered (all ages, races and genders), a sign says " No Justice, No Peace"

“Such a Time As This”: Racial Justice and the University Series: Racial Justice, Science, and Health

October 21st, 2020

This series of conversations explored how Georgetown faculty’s research advances racial justice. The sessions considered how racial justice produces certain responsibilities for researchers. They also examined how the pursuit of justice informs the impact of the speakers’ work. They not only focused on the work of individual faculty members, but also how the mission of Georgetown University informs and supports this work.

Banner for the event "Readings and Talks Featuring Valeria Luiselli"

Readings and Talks Featuring Valeria Luiselli

October 20th, 2020

Evening with award-winning novelist and essayist, Valeria Luiselli. This event was moderated by Lannan Center Director and author Aminatta Forna and was cosponsored by the Georgetown Medical Humanities Initiative.

Maker Hub In Lauinger Library

Making Communities: Public Science in the time of COVID-19. A conversation featuring Margaret Talbot (New Yorker) and Don Undeen (Georgetown’s Maker Hub)

October 15th, 2020

What happens when supply line production of essential goods and equipment is disrupted? Can public science offer solutions? Citizen scientists and community labs are developing everything from affordable insulin to low-cost, open-source medical supplies. During the COVID-19 pandemic, maker communities such as Georgetown’s Maker Hub began producing personal protective equipment (PPE) for local healthcare facilities.

Spring 2020

Harriet Washington

A Distant Mirror: Seeing Medical History and Race Through the Lens of U.S. Culture

February 10th, 2020

The Medical Humanities Initiative, in collaboration with the Georgetown Humanities Initiative and Howard University, hosted the lecture “A Distant Mirror: Seeing Medical History and Race Through the Lens of U.S. Culture,” featuring Harriet Washington, National Book Critics’ Circle award-winning author of Medical Apartheid. Harriet Washington has been a fellow in medical ethics at the Harvard Medical School, a senior research scholar at the National Center for Bioethics at Tuskegee University, and the recipient of a John S. Knight Fellowship at Stanford University. She also authored Infectious Madness, Deadly Monopolies.