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"Diagnosis in Context:
Culture, Politics, and the Construction of meaning"
Application deadline: Monday, November 26, 2012
The Topic. The 2013/2014 Fellows Program at the Warren Center, "Diagnosis in Context: Culture, Politics, and the Construction of Meaning," will be co-directed by Vanessa Beasley (communication studies) and Arleen Tuchman (history). The seminar will explore the types of work that medical diagnoses perform. Modern medicine typically defines diagnosis as the act of identifying or naming disease, with disease understood as a pathophysiological condition that produces characteristic symptoms and follows a predictable path. But such straightforward statements hide more than they reveal. Specifically, they leave unexplored the power of language and labels to create imagined boundaries between and among populations—boundaries that can affect the lived experience of disease and disability as well as the allocation of resources.
Both the act and the understanding of diagnosis invite interdisciplinary discussion about how, where, when, and why diagnostic meanings are made. Working at the intersections of culture, literature, medicine, and politics, scholars in the Warren Center Fellows Program will study the production of diagnoses, the various meanings ascribed to them across time and place, and the work they do for individuals and communities trying to navigate the elusive boundaries between health and disease. Seminar participants will represent a wide range of disciplines and will employ multiple methodologies to examine together the various uses, abuses, and meanings of diagnosis. These methodologies might include cross-cultural comparisons, historical analysis, literary and/or rhetorical criticism, disability studies, public policy studies, and medical and clinical research.
The Program. Each year, the Warren Center sponsors a Fellows Program with a particular thematic focus involving VU faculty members and one year-long Visiting Fellow. Fellows meet weekly and may have offices in the Center. Individual research funds in the amount of $4,000 are available to the selected participants. In addition, program funds provided by the Center can be used by the group for visiting speakers, conferences, or other appropriate program‑related expenses. The seminar provides an unusual opportunity for faculty members with a variety of specializations to work cooperatively on a common issue in a sustained manner.
The Participants. The Warren Center operates under the aegis of the College of Arts and Science, and the majority of the participants in the 2013/2014 program will come from the College of Arts and Science. However, we also encourage participation from faculty members from the other divisions of the University and encourage applications from our colleagues in the other schools. We look forward to welcoming individuals from those units as Warren Center Fellows.
Application Process. Applicants should email to Allison Thompson (firstname.lastname@example.org) at the Warren Center a copy of their curriculum vitae (NO MORE THAN FIVE PAGES, PLEASE) and a statement of one or two pages in which they describe the relation of the topic to their own scholarly project. Applicants should also notify their department chairs. Applications are due by Monday, November 26, 2012.
Questions? If you have questions about the program or the application process, feel free to contact the Warren Center (343-6060) or the program co-directors, Vanessa Beasley (Vanessa.email@example.com ), and Arleen Tuchman (firstname.lastname@example.org ). You may also contact the Center's director, Edward Friedman (email@example.com) or the executive director, Mona Frederick (firstname.lastname@example.org).
Robert Penn Warren Center for the Humanities
VU Station B #351534