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COVID-19: Critical/Creative Studies in Music, Image, and Text
Mental Health and Medical Ethics In Times of Crisis
Susannah Cahalan, Lisa Mendelman, and Dominic Sisti

Our ongoing public health crises extend from the physical to the psychological and emotional—from the psychic traumas of a raging virus and police brutality to the stress, grief, and rage wrought by systemic racism, extended isolation, economic collapse, and other institutional failures. How can we understand this interplay between mental health, physical health, and social contexts? How are our established models of individual wellbeing and extant systems of care implicated in these dynamics? How can critical and creative practices like public science writing and psychiatric research help us envision a more sustaining and sustainable future?


Susannah Cahalan is the New York Times bestselling author of Brain on Fire: My Month of Madness (2012), a memoir about her struggle with a rare autoimmune disease of the brain. Her second book The Great Pretender (2019) investigates the famous study “On Being Sane in Insane Places” written by the late Stanford professor David Rosenhan. Her work has appeared in various newspapers, magazines, and academic journals, including the New York Times, Psychology Today, the New York Post, The New Scientist, Elle and Biological Psychiatry.

Lisa Mendelman is Assistant Professor of English and Digital Humanities at Menlo College. She works in the health humanities, with a focus on gender, race, and affect in twentieth-century America. Her first book, Modern Sentimentalism: Affect, Irony, and Female Authorship in Interwar America (Oxford UP, 2019), chronicles the emotional history of the modern woman and the corollary reinvention of sentimentalism in US interwar fiction.

Dominic Sisti is director of the Scattergood Program for the Applied Ethics of Behavioral Health Care and assistant professor in the Department of Medical Ethics & Health Policy at the University of Pennsylvania.

Oct 1, 2020 04:00 PM in Central Time (US and Canada)

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