Scared Sick: What the Medical Humanities Owes the Gothic

Events
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On Tuesday, March 16, 2021, at 11 am (Mountain time), Dr. Laura Kremmel will present a Brown Bag on the Medical Humanities and the Gothic. This free presentation will be held via Zoom, and more information is available on the SDSM&T Humanities & Social Sciences Facebook page.

In the twentieth century, medicine became an institution: a complex system of technology, finance, and liability. Out of this century, we get White Coat Syndrome (fear of hospitals and doctors), tales of surgical conspiracies, isolating and invasive treatments, and economic systems determined to banish humanity from the art of healing. Unlike the hackneyed anatomists of the eighteenth century or the reformer physicians of the nineteenth century, twentieth-century doctors, surgeons, and nurses become small actors in a system that manages them, one that can simultaneously feel like a living, breathing creature and a cold, impenetrable structure. The field of Medical Humanities arose out of these developments, at least partially out of fear.

In this presentation, Dr. Kremmel shares some work in progress on the contentious relationship between the Medical Humanities and the Gothic/Horror tradition. The first part will include what the Medical Humanities is and why it’s important. The second part will include a closer look at Gothic interpretations of such topics as systemic/independent medical practice, organ harvesting, disease and contagion.

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