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Disability Studies speaker series uses opera to explore patient-physician relations

Emory Report | Sept. 29, 2014

The musical world of opera is used to trace the evolution of doctor-patient relationships in the first installment of this year's Disability Studies Initiative (DSI) speaker series.

"Watching Doctors Watching You: Representing Patient-Physician Relations on the Operatic Stage" is set for Monday, Oct. 6, from 4:15-6 p.m. at Candler School of Theology, room 252. The presenters are Linda Hutcheon, a professor of English and comparative literature at the University of Toronto, and Michael Hutcheon, professor of medicine at the University of Toronto. A reception with refreshments follows.

Spanning four centuries, "opera offers us a cultural vehicle by which to trace the complex and changing representation of physicians as seen by their patients before and after what has been called the bio-medical paradigm shift in the 19th century," organizers note.

In different historical and cultural contexts, doctors have been viewed as everything from "the pompous pedant of early modern times to the medical monster with the intrusive power of the 'medical gaze' (French philosopher Michel Foucault) to the more idealized humane healer."

Launched last fall, Emory's Disability Studies Initiative is a working group focused on interdisciplinary research and teaching by faculty and students. The next installment in this speaker series is set for Nov. 10, featuring Margaret Price of Spelman College speaking on participatory design, access and academic discourse.

Emory's DSI also hosts an ongoing Disability <In Focus> film series, including "Monica & David" (Oct. 23) and "Mary & Max" (Nov. 5). Both films will screen from 7-9 p.m. in the Center for Ethics, Room 102.

Other events programmed by the DSI include an interdisciplinary reading group and a bi-annual scholars showcase highlighting work being done on or related to disability across Emory. Please see the DSI events page for more details.

For ADA accommodation requests, please contact Access, Disability Services and Resources at 404-727-9877 or 404-712-2049 (TDD).