Oct. 16: Narrative Humility: Medical Listening and Oral History

Originally trained in pediatrics and public health, Sayantani DasGupta, MD MPH is faculty in the Master's Program in Narrative Medicine and co-chair of the University Seminar in Narrative, Health and Social Justice, both at Columbia University. She also teaches in the Graduate Program in Health Advocacy at Sarah Lawrence College and the Institute for Comparative Literature and Society's Medicine, Literature and Society track at Columbia. She is the co-author of The Demon Slayers and Other Stories: Bengali Folktales (Interlink, 1995), the author of a memoir about medical school, and co-editor of Stories of Illness and Healing: Women Write their Bodies (Kent State, 2007) andGlobalization and Transnational Surrogacy in India: Outsourcing Life (Lexington Books, 2014). Her creative and academic work has been published in diverse places including Ms., Z. Magazine, JAMA, The Hasting’s Center Report, The Lancet and Literary Mama, and included in such collections as Dragon Ladies: Asian American Feminists Breathe Fire (South End Press, 1999), Fifty Shades of Feminism (Virago, 2013), Health Humanities Reader (Rutgers U Press, 2014), and the forthcoming Keywords in Disability Studies (NYU Press, forth). She also writes online in such venues as Salon, The Weeklings, Feministing, Racialicous, Adios, Barbie, The Feminist Wire, Sociological Images, and Everyday Feminism.

Originally trained in pediatrics and public health, Sayantani DasGupta, MD MPH is faculty in the Master's Program in Narrative Medicine and co-chair of the University Seminar in Narrative, Health and Social Justice, both at Columbia University. She also teaches in the Graduate Program in Health Advocacy at Sarah Lawrence College and the Institute for Comparative Literature and Society's Medicine, Literature and Society track at Columbia. She is the co-author of The Demon Slayers and Other Stories: Bengali Folktales (Interlink, 1995), the author of a memoir about medical school, and co-editor of Stories of Illness and Healing: Women Write their Bodies (Kent State, 2007) andGlobalization and Transnational Surrogacy in India: Outsourcing Life (Lexington Books, 2014). Her creative and academic work has been published in diverse places including Ms., Z. Magazine, JAMA, The Hasting’s Center Report, The Lancet and Literary Mama, and included in such collections as Dragon Ladies: Asian American Feminists Breathe Fire (South End Press, 1999), Fifty Shades of Feminism (Virago, 2013), Health Humanities Reader (Rutgers U Press, 2014), and the forthcoming Keywords in Disability Studies (NYU Press, forth). She also writes online in such venues as Salon, The Weeklings, Feministing, Racialicous, Adios, Barbie, The Feminist Wire, Sociological Images, and Everyday Feminism.

Thursday, October 16, 2014

6-8 PM

Knox Hall, 606 W 122nd St., Room 509

Check out OHMA students' reflections on this talk: Leyla VuralErica Wrightson, and Steven Puente.

Watch the workshop on YouTube!

Healing, teaching, learning, and listening are all fundamentally political acts. While oral historians including Alessandro Portelli have concluded that “an inter/view is …. an experiment in equality” this formulation regarding power in the listening act is no less important to the medical inter/view and the intersubjective space of the health care relationship. Narrative medicine and other health humanities practices train future clinicians to listen to individual clinical stories in ways that deepen practice, increase successful diagnosis and treatment, promote strong health care relationships, and decrease clinician burnout. However, without both a sense of narrative humility (an inward looking to our own prejudices and frames of listening) and structural competency (attention to sociopolitical structures of power) narrative medicine training risks re-creating the self-same hierarchical health care relationships that it seemingly intends to address. Oral history practices and oral history theory can help guide narrative medicine practitioners in not only listening to embodied stories, but paying attention to (and challenging) the sounds of our own power.

SPONSORS: This talk is part of the “Paul F. Lazarsfeld Lecture Series,” co-sponsored by the Columbia Center for Oral History Research (CCOHR) and the Oral History Master of Arts Program (OHMA). Support from the Interdisciplinary Center for Innovative Theory and Empirics (INCITE) is provided for programming that embodies late Professor Paul Lazarsfeld’s commitment to improving methodological approaches that address concerns of vital cultural and social significance.

INFORMATION: For more information, please email Amy Starecheski at aas39(at)columbia.edu

THIS EVENT IS FREE AND OPEN TO THE PUBLIC

NO REGISTRATION IS REQUIRED