By Graham McCaffrey and Aruna Srivastava
The steering committee for the new AHHW research group welcomes your input, from left: Melanie Boyd, Aruna Srivastava, Clem Martini, Rita Isabel Henderson, and Graham McCaffrey. Photo by Dave BrownA chance conversation led to a new interdisciplinary research group ― Arts and Humanities for Health and Well-Being (AHHW) ― supported by the Faculty of Arts.
Melanie Boyd and Graham McCaffrey discovered a common interest in the human experience of health and the ways in which the arts and humanities interact with questions of health, both within and beyond healthcare services.
They took some time to explore the landscape of health and humanities and found a range of projects and approaches that included existing initiatives in the Faculty of Medicine at the University of Calgary, at the University of Alberta, and at national and international levels.
The AHHW was formed around this interest in how the arts and humanities can promote health and wellbeing by bringing a range of perspectives to research and education in healthcare.
Goal of the AHHW
The goal of the new research group is to establish a broad-based interdisciplinary forum with links to the community.
A series of events in the coming year will provide spaces for the exchange of work and ideas about the meeting of arts, humanities, health and healthcare.
If you are interested in finding out more, joining the group or contacting them, please go to: http://ahhwresearchgroup.wordpress.com
Steering committee for AHHW
The steering committee for the research group brings together a wide diversity of interests:
- Melanie Boyd, a university librarian, runs and presents research on No Wrong Notes, an inclusive community-based singing program based on the oral tradition. She facilitates singing groups in workplace, healthcare and community settings.
- Graham McCaffrey, an assistant professor in the Faculty of Nursing, uses a hermeneutic approach to explore the applicability of Buddhist thought in the context of nurses’ work on mental health units, and is researching the place of compassion in contemporary society.
- Rita Isabel Henderson is a postdoctoral fellow in the Faculty of Medicine’s Department of Community Health Services, working with the Voices Against Violence project. Her research explores intergenerational transmission of collective trauma.
- Clem Martini is a professor in the Department of Drama and an award-winning writer who co-wrote last year’s University of Calgary common reading program book, Bitter Medicine: A Graphic Memoir of Mental Illness.
- Aruna Srivastava is an associate professor in English, whose work explores critical and indigenous pedagogies, concepts of reconciliation and women’s experiences of chronic illness.
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