Medical Humanities is a relatively new and increasingly popular field of knowledge that is yet to be clearly defined. Broadly, it may be conceptualized as a discipline wherein medicine and its specialties intersect, at a given historical time, with the humanities. As such, it is a dynamic area of endeavor where the impact of disease and healing science on culture is assessed and expressed in the arts and in the specific language of the various disciplines concerned with the human experience.

This international conference is planned as the first annual UCLA CMRS-sponsored symposium on this field of study. It is structured as an introductory event aimed at defining what Medical Humanities represents and how it is addressed within its individual disciplines. Given its introductory nature, this conference predominantly addresses the interaction of literature, philosophy, art, art history, ethics and religion with medicine and its specialties from the classical period to the modern day. Particular attention s given to the medieval and early modern eras.

“Understanding Medical Humanities” is organized by Massimo Ciavolella, PhD, UCLA Department of Italian and Director of UCLA-CMRS, and Rinaldo Canalis, MD, Department of Head & Neck Surgery, David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA.

Funding for this symposium is generously provided by the Ahmanson Foundation. Additional support is provided by Endowment for the UCLA Center for Medieval & Renaissance Studies.