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Center for Health Humanities Events

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Past Events

Spit Spreads Death: A Seminar with Dr. Jane E. Boyd

What can we learn from previous pandemics in the United States? Dr. Jane E. Boyd discusses in detail what 17,500 death certificates from the Mütter Museum of The College of Physicians of Philadelphia can show us how the 1918-19 influenza pandemic devastated the neighborhoods and communities of Philadelphia.

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Using Data and Multi-Sector Collaboration to Address Inequities During COVID-19

Presented by Devan Hawkins, Instructor of Public Health and Dr. Carly Levy, Assistant Professor of Public Health and Director, Master of Public Health Program.

The burden of COVID-19 has not been borne equally by all communities in the United States. In particular, people of color have accounted for a disproportionate share of cases, hospitalization, and deaths. At the same time, socioeconomically disadvantaged groups and those employed in essential jobs have also experienced the most severe impacts of the disease. In this presentation. Dr. Levy and Dr. Hawkins will present data describing these disparities and factors contributing to them. They will also discuss collaborative activities carried out by MCPHS students and faculty to address these disparities.

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Operationalizing Neurodiversity: How should the Neurodiversity Movement Shift Autism Service-Provision and Research

Presented by: Ari Ne’eman, doctoral student in Health Policy at Harvard University and Senior Research Associate at the Harvard Law School Project on Disability.

Over the last three decades, the neurodiversity movement has attracted growing attention and enthusiasm from autistic people around the world. Centered on the idea of opposing a "cure" for autism and other neurological disabilities, neurodiversity argues for a comprehensive reframing of the objectives of research, policy and service-provision regarding autism and certain other disabilities.

Ari Ne'eman is a doctoral student in Health Policy at Harvard University and a Senior Research Associate at the Harvard Law School Project on Disability. He co-founded the Autistic Self Advocacy Network and served as its executive director from 2006 to 2016. From 2010 to 2015, he served as one of President Obama's appointees to the National Council on Disability. He is currently working on a book for Simon & Schuster on the history of American disability advocacy over the last two hundred years.

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A Comparative Politics Perspective on Virus Response 

Presented by: Sofia Fenner, PhD Assistant Professor of Political Science, Arabic & Islamic Studies, Colorado College 

Governments have responded to the COVID pandemic in strikingly disparate ways. This variation is both fascinating and frustrating: it tells us something important about the ways we govern ourselves, but it has also produced deeply unequal health outcomes. As scholars and citizens have struggled to make sense of government responses, “culture” has emerged as one potential explanatory factor. Could there be something about the shared values, scripts, and practices of different communities that accounts for the form and success of virus response? Or can variation be better explained by historical and institutional factors? How should we assess the role of human agency within political and social structures? In this talk, Professor Sofia Fenner explores cases from around the world to shed light on what we can (and cannot) say about virus response thus far.