Data and Stories in Digital Health Care. Mixed Methods for Medical Humanities

Data and Stories in Digital Health Care. Mixed Methods for Medical Humanities

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Date(s) - 05/12/2019 - 07/12/2019
All Day

Charité – Universitätsmedizin Berlin


The workshop “Data and Stories in Digital Healthcare” examines the mutual entanglements of the humanities with medicine and data science. It focuses on the variety of forms in which information about health and illness travel between different stakeholders, such as patients and health care professionals. These forms encompass traditionally studied in the humanities (such as narratives, metaphors, images, graphic novels) as well as electronic forms (such as databases, electronic records, medical codes, and digital imaging procedures). The workshop wishes to explore mixed methods to better understand how these diverging forms crisscross and destabilize allegedly neat disciplinary boundaries and how they communicate information by blending, intersecting and even replacing one another.

The aim of the workshop is to explore mixed methods for Medical Humanities, a field of research that uses approaches from literature studies, history, art, anthropology and philosophy in order to understand with the help of hermeneutical, qualitative perspectives some of the central issues in medical practice – such as pain, identity, illness, death, grief. With the rise of digital technologies in medicine, the traditional methodologies used by scholars in Medical Humanities may no longer suffice and thus need to be rethought and reimagined so that Medical Humanities can continue to afford a deeper understanding of the complexities of medical care.

The central research questions of the workshop are thus: How can we make sense of the hybrid nature of data and stories in Medical Humanities? How can text-immanent approaches, such as close reading and narrative analysis, be combined with the interpretation of data? And what can Digital Medical Humanities offer as a field to better understand, manage and ideally improve the use of the hybrid forms in which health care information travels?

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