Dr. Sonia Kania receives grant to revise Certificate in Medical Humanities

Monday, Apr 19, 2021

College of Liberal Arts (CoLA) faculty Dr. Sonia Kania (Modern Languages) and Dr. Grace Brannon (Communication) received a $34,999 Humanities Connections Planning Grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH).

Revising the Certificate in Medical Humanities is a project led by a multidisciplinary cohort of 16 faculty members from the College of Liberal Arts (CoLA) and the College of Nursing and Health Innovation (CONHI) at the University of Texas at Arlington (UTA). This project integrates humanities scholarship with training in health-related fields by strengthening and leveraging the undergraduate certificate in medical humanities.

Developed by CoLA in 2018 and housed in the Department of Philosophy & Humanities, the interdisciplinary Certificate in Medical Humanities is a 12-hour program that brings the methods and concerns of humanities disciplines to bear on the study of health and healthcare by approaching medical issues, such as illness, treatment, disability, death, and health policy, from historical, philosophical, literary, and cultural perspectives.

“Our goal through this project is to revise the certificate and expand it to include the more broadly termed health, humanities, and society initiative through an interdisciplinary approach that incorporates the humanities into the health professions,” said Sonia Kania, project director. “Using the existing certificate as a springboard, we seek to further bridge the artificial divide between the humanities, the social sciences, the arts, and the health professions with the following aims: 1) Formalize and expand an interdisciplinary advisory cohort centering on health, humanities, and society at UTA; 2) Critically assess the curriculum in medical humanities at UTA to identify new integrative learning opportunities for students; and 3) Establish dynamic communication and partnerships with the DFW community to provide experiential learning activities for undergraduate students.”

The overall goal of the Medical Humanities program at UTA is to improve the quality and accessibility of healthcare delivery and the practitioner-patient relationship by returning to a human-centered approach in medicine.

The members of the planning committee included Drs. Kania and Brannon, Dr. Steven Gellman (Philosophy & Humanities), Dr. Tiffany Kindratt (Public Health), and Prof. Joshua Wilson (Art + Art History).

The planning committee’s work will be supported by an interdisciplinary advisory cohort consisting of faculty members who work in health-related fields or at the intersection of health with the humanities, social sciences, and arts: Dr. Amanda Alexander (Art + Art History), Dr. Erin Carlson (Public Health), Dr. Karishma Chatterjee (Communication), Dr. Jacqueline Fay (English), Dr. Rebecca Garner (Public Health), Dr. Heather Jacobson (Sociology & Anthropology), Dr. Thomas Marshall (Political Science), Dr. Alicia Rueda-Acedo (Modern Languages), Dr. Eli Shupe (Philosophy & Humanities), Dr. Laurel Stvan (Linguistics & TESOL), and Dr. Beth Wright (Art + Art History).