About the Center
Center for Medical Humanities
The UCI Center for Medical Humanities explores dimensions of human embodiment, especially those that relate to illness, disability, and other experiences of bodyminds. An institutional collaboration between the School of Medicine, School of Humanities, and the Claire Trevor School of the Arts, the Center brings together faculty and student scholars, clinicians and policy makers, and key community stakeholders to explore the arcs of living and dying and everything in between from a range of disciplinary perspectives. These perspectives span from the creative and performative arts, textual and visual representations, systems of belief and philosophical orientations, to clinical practice and health sciences. The Center’s scope also takes up questions of stigma and other social pressures on those considered differently abled. This commitment to broad forms of human vulnerability enables deeper appreciation of the ways by which people, communities and spaces make meaning out of different experiences of embodiment, of their own and of others. The Center promotes research and creative activity, supports teaching and learning, and sustains engagement between the campus and the diverse communities served by UCI in the southern California region.
Welcome to UCI’s Center for Medical Humanities (CMH). We offer a thoroughly interdisciplinary and interprofessional approach to understanding how people make meaning out of experiences of embodiment and all that it entails, especially those of vulnerability wrought by illness or disability. We also seek to critically engage the role that social and cultural expectations play in the creation of stigmas placed on people considered sick or disabled. Through scholarship, creative endeavors, critical reflection, and public engagement, CMH explores the profound effects that illness, disease, and disability bring to the social worlds in which people live. CMH marshals the intellectual and creative resources of faculty, students, and staff from three schools at UCI—Arts, Humanities, and Medicine—and partners with colleagues in other schools to build a collaborative environment that is trenchant and open-ended in its questions. As we all learn to move in the world profoundly shaped by the collective experience of the COVID-19 pandemic, the experiences of and care for wounded bodyminds have become ever more urgent. We hope you journey with us and ask questions … and stay to figure out answers together.
James Kyung-Jin Lee
Director, Center for Medical Humanities
Professor of Asian American Studies
The Minor in Medical Humanities
Medical Humanities is an interdisciplinary, humanistic and cultural study of illness, health, health care, and the body. In the Medical Humanities minor, students explore the boundaries between sickness and health and learn to see life through a patient’s eyes.
Medical Humanities Graduate Emphasis
The Graduate Emphasis in Medical Humanities is a formal component of graduate studies at the University of California, Irvine, in addition to the fulfillment of requirements towards the Ph.D., M.F.A., or M.A. degree in an array of fields in the Schools of Arts, Humanities and Medicine. The Emphasis allows students to gain interdisciplinary knowledge about the study of illness, health, healthcare and the body.