Art and Medicine at the Intersection of the Humanities

July 2 – 6, 2012

The Ethical Challenge of

Reconciling ‘The Three
Narratives’—Art, Science, and Philosophy

Section I:
History, Geography,


Art and
Medicine at the Intersection of the Humanities

Manfred Milz, Asst. Prof.
of Art History, Design Theory, and Visual Culture,

College of
Fine Arts & Design, Randa M. Mostafa, Prof. of Physiology,

College of
Medicine, University of Sharjah, P.O. Box 27272,

Sharjah University City, United Arab

+971 6 5057876, Cellular: +971 56


In recent
years there has been growing interest in the relationship of Art and Medicine,
as seen, for example, in the medical humanities courses offered in medical
schools and by the parallel, yet less marked scholarly attention given to the
subject in Art History departments.

As a relatively new field of
research, Art and Medicine is situated at the intersection of the humanities,
the arts, and healthcare. Distinguishing itself from the more conventional study
of the cultural history of medicine, it seeks to explore the role of medicine in
the various arts—literature, painting, sculpture, film, performance, music
etc.—and concomitantly—to study the role of art in the medical humanities.

The inter- or more correctly,
multi-disciplinary, attempt to propose a unifying perspective for the two
‘faculties’—of art and medicine—is based on both historical and modern
approaches to their shared theoretical and practical features—cognitive,
physiological, psychological, and phenomenological. Beyond the aesthetic notion
of art as the creation of beauty, its curative powers, ascribed to its cathartic
functions, have been debated since antiquity. If art has direct and indirect
healing powers, it cannot but be an integral part of medical training; and, by
the same token, themes and concerns of medicine—both particular and
general—should gain atten-tion in the study of art

The main goal of this workshop is
to discuss the current research status of Art and Medicine and historical and
contemporary approaches to their joint study.

I invite scholars working in these
and related fields to consider presenting a paper on the various
aspects—historical, ethical, theoretical, practical etc.—of the issues raised by
Art and Medicine at the intersection of the humanities.

Suggested topics include but are
not limited to:

Renaissance Artists Researching
Human Anatomy

Physiognomy, Facial Expression and
Personality Structure

The Divided Self: Idealist
Aesthetics / Origins of Psychoanalysis and

Self-Images of Artists as Patients:
Reflective Psychopathology or Psychosomatics

Patients’/Artists’ Exterior and
Interior Battlefields

Melancholy – Creativity’s Source
and Barrier

Neuroaesthetics: Neurology and Artistic Creativity

–          Artistic
Activity and Clinical Care (Expressive Arts Therapies): Enhancement of
Psychological and Physical Healing through Literature, Drama, Painting,
Sculpture, Music, and Dance

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