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Past Presentations

Music for Health and Healing in Early Modern England

Featuring Dr. Linda Austern and Dr. Jennifer Saltzstein
Date Recorded: May 4, 2021

In this Humanity and Health webinar, Dr. Linda Austern and Dr. Jennifer Saltzstein discuss music, health, and the social process of music therapy. In sixteenth- and seventeenth-century England, music was considered a powerful therapeutic agent, able to maintain each individual’s health based on unique constitution. It was also deemed capable of healing a wide range of mental and physical disorders by means of many kinds of vocal and instrumental practices with which people across the social spectrum could engage as they chose.


From City to Room: The Use of Light and Air to Address Air Quality and Airborne Disease and Their Impacts on Design

Featuring Dr. Lee Fithian and Elizbeth Pober
Date Recorded: April 19, 2021

Recorded history shows a multitude of city and building design requirements to address the spread of disease, and in this free Humanity and Health webinar, Dr. Lee Fithian and Director Elizbeth Pober will share some of the latest design interventions in the era of COVID-19 that are leading to changes in urban design, buildings and interior spaces


The Heart of The Matter: American Cardiology and Cold War Diplomacy, 1955-65

Featuring Dr. Sarah Tracey and Dr. Peter Soppelsa 
Date Recorded: April 6, 2021

Dr. Sarah Tracey will be hosting this free Humanity & Health webinar centered on heart disease, diplomacy, and Cold War political cooperation. In the early years of the Cold War, heart disease, much like American jazz, became a vehicle for transnational diplomacy between the United States and the Soviet Union. This webinar will examine the global scientific and diplomatic agendas of two prominent cardiovascular disease researchers: nutritional physiologist Ancel Keys and President Eisenhower's cardiologist Paul Dudley White, as they built connections between Communist bloc nations and the United States as part of a "Health for Peace" program.


In Medicine, With History

Featuring Dr. Rhona Seidelman and Dr. William Seidelman
Date Recorded: March 2, 2021

What can the history of medicine offer us in the age of COVID-19? Why should physicians study a critical history of their profession? In conversation with his daughter, Dr. Rhona Seidelman, Dr. William Seidelman will reflect on the benefits and challenges of approaching a medical career with an historical outlook. The discussion will focus on Dr. Seidelman’s clinical work caring for patients from the earliest days of the AIDS epidemic and his forty years of scholarship on the history of medicine during the Nazi period with an emphasis on the exploitation of the bodies of victims of Nazi terror, particularly the ethical challenges surrounding the use of the Pernkopf Atlas of Human Anatomy.


COVID-19 and the Political Assault on Public Health

Featuring Dr. Tassie Hirschfeld and Dr. Jennifer Ross
Date Recorded: March 1, 2021

Dr. Tassie Hirschfeld and Dr. Jennifer Ross will be leading this webinar focused on exploring the multiple public health failures that characterized the United States’ response to the COVID-19 pandemic, with the aim of linking these failures to three major trends in international political economy that have occurred since the end of the Cold War.


Sneezing in the Anthropocene: Humans and Coronaviruses in Deep Perspective

Featuring Dr. Kyle Harper and Dr. Gary Raskob
Date Recorded: December 14, 2020

The webinar series “Humanity and Health” serves as a focus for research and reflection about the social, economic, psychological, educational, and public health crises caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. This talk by Dr. Kyle Harper explores why the humanities can gain from deep engagement with the natural sciences… and vice versa, why our understanding of disease biology needs engagement with the humanities.


Preventing the Next Pandemic: Vaccine Diplomacy in a Time of Anti-Science

Featuring Dr. Maria Elena BottazziDr. Peter Hotez, and Dr. David Wrobel 
Date Recorded: November 30, 2020

The webinar series “Humanity and Health” serves as a focus for research and reflection about the social, economic, psychological, educational, and public health crises caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. This webinar offers a discussion of the impact of modern 21st-century forces – war, political collapse, climate change, urbanization, and anti-science – that are slowing, halting, or even reversing public health gains, and leading to a return of neglected and vaccine-preventable diseases. In conversation with Dr. Maria Elena Bottazzi, Dr. Peter Hotez evaluates the impact of vaccines on combating the diseases arising due to these forces, and summarizes the development of new COVID-19 vaccines for global health.