Public Humanities Initiative

Care for the Polis: Cities, Health, and the Humanities

Friday, May 1, 2020  10:00am The Heyman Center, Second Floor Common Room


Free and open to the public

No registration necessary

First come, first seated

Urban environments and infrastructures play crucial roles in defining and mediating health. From the effects of metropolitan experience on mental health to the medical apartheids construed through urban segregation, from the healing or toxic powers of high-rise building to the invisible networks of care or contagion afforded by high density living, health is as much a problem of the polis as the city is a category of modern medical history. The contemporary crises of public health and urban inequality, moreover, only put further pressure on the ways in which architectural and urban design inform the economics, sciences, politics, and public experiences of health. Hosted under the joint auspices of the Explorations in the Medical Humanities and a new Public Humanities Initiative at the Society of Fellows and Heyman Center for the Humanities, this conference brings scholars from across the humanities, social sciences, and medicine to share their research on the intersections of health, policy, and the built environment.


Graham Mooney, Associate Professor in the History of Medicine (Johns Hopkins)
Leslie Topp, Professor of Architectural History (Birkbeck University)
Charles Branas, Gelman Endowed Professor (Columbia Mailman School of Public Health)
Patrick Blanchfield, Associate Faculty Member (Brooklyn Institute for Social Research)
Amy Chazkel, Bernard Hirschhorn Associate Professor of Urban Studies (Columbia University)
Meredith TenHoor, Associate Professor of Undergraduate Architecture (Pratt)
Camille Robcis, Associate Professor of History and French (Columbia)
Chisomo Kalinga, Wellcome Trust Medical Humanities Fellow (University of Edinburgh)
Kavita Sivaramakrishnan, Associate Professor of Sociomedical Sciences (Columbia Mailman School of Public Health)

Co-sponsors: The Society of Fellows and Heyman Center for the Humanities; Center for Science and Society

Organized by Arden Hegele and María González Pendás


By Semester