Conference Creates Convergence Path for Research in Humanities, Wellness

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University Communications February 25, 2014

UA faculty are joining other scholars in a conference focused on the intersection of the humanities, health sciences and wellness initiatives.

The conference is being organized by the UA College of Humanities Religious Studies Program, with support from multiple COH units and the Confluencenter for Creative Inquiry in partnership with the College of Medicine’s Program in Medical Humanities.

The conference is being organized by the UA College of Humanities Religious Studies Program, with support from multiple COH units and the Confluencenter for Creative Inquiry in partnership with the College of Medicine’s Program in Medical Humanities.

Natalie Phillips, the lead faculty for Michigan State University's Literary Neuroscience and History of Mind, will present "New Frontiers in Neurohumanities: An fMRI Study of Literary Attention and Jane Austen" during the conference.

Natalie Phillips, the lead faculty for Michigan State University's Literary Neuroscience and History of Mind, will present "New Frontiers in Neurohumanities: An fMRI Study of Literary Attention and Jane Austen" during the conference.

Internationally recognized for her discoveries of the science of the mind-body interaction in illness and healing, Dr. Esther Sternberg will present the keynote address during the UA conference.

Internationally recognized for her discoveries of the science of the mind-body interaction in illness and healing, Dr. Esther Sternberg will present the keynote address during the UA conference.

Bringing together nationally and internationally known scholars, the University of Arizona is hosting a three-day conference spotlighting the efforts of faculty working at the intersection of the humanities, health sciences and wellness initiatives to address global challenges.

An initiative of the College of Humanities, "Humanities, Medicine & Wellness" will be held on the UA campus Wednesday through Friday and is free and open to the public.

The conference "offers a unique opportunity for UA researchers from multiple disciplines to come together across campus, to foster new intellectual synergies, and to bring new insights and impetus for future project-based collaborations," said Mary Wildner-Bassett, dean of the College of Humanities

"COH has a strategic priority in bridging the work of health sciences and wellness initiatives with the interdisciplinary contributions of applied and public humanities," Wildner-Bassett said. 

The conference is held in partnership with the College of Medicine's Program in Medical Humanities. Some of the events are highlighted here:

Wednesday: Natalie Phillips, an assistant professor of English at Michigan State University and lead faculty for Literary Neuroscience and History of Mind at MSU, will present "New Frontiers in Neurohumanities: An fMRI Study of Literary Attention and Jane Austen." Phillips is also co-founder of the MSU Digital Humanities and Literary Cognition Lab. Her 6 p.m. talk will be held in the Dorothy Rubel Room at the UA Poetry Center.

Thursday: Internationally recognized for her discoveries of the science of the mind-body interaction in illness and healing, Dr. Esther Sternberg will present the keynote address at 6 p.m. in the North Ballroom of the Student Union Memorial Center. Sternberg's talk is titled, "Place and Wellbeing: The Science of the Mind-Body Connection and Beyond."  Sternberg is the author of multiple bestselling books and, in 2012, joined the UA as director of research at the Arizona Center for Integrative Medicine. She also is a professor in the College of Medicine and the College of Architecture, Planning, and Landscape Architecture. 

Other sessions are planned for Thursday and Friday in the Kiva Room of the Student Union.  Topics to be addressed include theory and wellness, media and health, historical approaches to health and wellness, traditional healing and spirituality in the 21st century, practical applications of research in humanities, and medicine and wellness.

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