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Since 2016, the Health Humanities Grand Rounds Carolina Seminar has hosted a monthly speaker series that has grown into a robust discussion venue for students and faculty from across UNC’s campus and beyond. Speakers are invited to give problem-based talks and lead discussion about their research, raising methodological or theoretical questions to spark conversation and collaboration. By both promoting interdisciplinary research and providing an occasion for faculty and students from across departments and divisions to come together, Health Humanities Grand Rounds has become a touchstone of health humanities collaborations at UNC.

2020-2021 Speakers

During the Fall 2020 semester, Health Humanities Grand Rounds events will take place via Zoom. See below for details about how to register for upcoming events. We will continue to update this page as we book speakers, hold events, and upload videos.

Damon Tweedy, MD (Duke University School of Medicine)

Reflections on Race and Medicine in the Year of COVID-19 and Nationwide Protests

September 1, 2020

The COVID-19 pandemic has shined an ugly light on the longstanding racial and ethnic health disparities that persist in our country. Coupled with the televised murder of George Floyd, these events have sparked a renewed racial reckoning in America.

In his talk, Dr. Tweedy will explore the dilemma of race within the medical school and hospital setting, highlighting the challenges faced by black patients and black doctors while reviewing recent developments and reforms in the field.

Damon Tweedy, MD is an associate professor of psychiatry at Duke University School of Medicine and staff psychiatrist within the Durham Veteran Affairs Health Care System. He completed both medical school and his specialty training at Duke. Within the VA system, he directs a team of mental health providers working in primary care clinics. At the medical school, he leads a behavioral health seminar for second-year medical students and is a small group leader for another course that introduces these students to advanced aspects of the doctor-patient relationship.

Dr. Tweedy has written extensively about the intersection of race and medicine, both in academic journals and in popular print publications including a recent op-ed in The New York Times. His 2015 book, Black Man in a White Coat: A Doctor’s Reflections on Race and Medicine, made the New York Times bestseller list and was selected by TIME Magazine as a top non-fiction book that year.

Tania M. Jenkins, PhD (UNC Department of Sociology)

A white woman with chin-length brown hair wearing glasses and a black shritsmiles at the camera. There is a blurred tree in the background.
Tania M. Jenkins, Assistant Professor fo Sociology at UNC-Chapel Hill

“Doctors’ Orders: How Status Hierarchies in Medicine Shape Approaches to Patient Care”

October 21, 2020 @ 3:30pm

Tania M. Jenkins is an assistant professor of sociology at UNC-Chapel Hill. She is also a faculty research fellow at UNC’s Cecil G. Sheps Center for Health Services Research and the book review editor at Social Forces. Her research examines how and why status hierarchies are (re)produced in the medical profession and how they impact both doctors and patients. She recently published Doctors’ Orders: The Making of Status Hierarchies in an Elite Profession with Columbia University Press.

*Register for the event here or visit

Speaker Talk Title University/Department HHIVE Blog Link
Yolonda Wilson In Praise of Difficult Patients Howard/Philosophy Written by Savannah Bateman
Damon Tweedy Reflections on Race and Medicine Duke School of Medicine Postponed to Fall 2020
Marion Quirici Disability Studies: Rewriting Democracy Duke/Writing Written by Kate Capitano
Paul Blom I Am Not My Disease: Visual Storytelling in South Africa and Eswantini UNC English and Comparative Literature Written by Kate Capitano
Danielle Ofri Medical Error in Modern Medicine NYU School of Medicine Written by Mili Dave
Speaker Talk Title University/Department HHIVE Blog Link
Rhonda Lanning Patient and Family Centered Maternity Care and Continuous Labor Support as Evidence-Based Practice UNC School of Nursing Written by Kate Capitano
Tom Bush Advanced Practice Registered Nurse Education, Regulation, and Scope of Practice UNC School of Nursing Written by Kate Capitano
Lukasz Mazur Engineering Patient Safety in Healthcare Settings UNC School of Information and Library Science, UNC School of Public Health, UNC School of Medicine Radiation Oncology
Adeline Dorough Listening to Understand: Using Qualitative Research to Enhance Patient-Centered Care UNC Kidney Center, UNC School of Public Health
Raul Necochea Cancer Care Global Histories and the Education of Health Workers UNC School of Medicine Social Medicine
Travis Alexander All the New Information in My Blood: Immunity, Melancholy, Virility UNC English & Comparative Literature
Speaker Talk Title University/Department HHIVE Blog Link
Ben Kaplan I Know Me: Using Photovoice to Explore the Lives of Complex Care Patients UNC School of Medicine Written by Carina Guerra
Brian Moynihan Digital Health Everywhere: Crossing Boundaries UNC Health Sciences Library
Emily Winderman What Can Abortion’s ‘Back Alley’ Be?: Investigating the Rhetorical Possibilities of Clinical Space in Abortion Care NC State/Communications Written by Kate Capitano
Jessica Barnhill A Recipe for Success: Hotspotting, Integrative Health and the Quadruple Aim UNC/Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation Written by Kate Capitano
Keely Muscatell Socioeconomic Influences on the Brain and Immune System: Uncovering Mechanisms and Informing Interventions UNC/Psychology and Neuroscience Written by Akhila Boyina
Dorita S. Berger Music and Brain Plasticity: A Look at Music Therapy UNC Neuroscience Lab Written by Destiny Ho
Deren Pulley A Conversation on Curing Ulcerative Colitis UNC MPH Candidate, Health Behavior Written by Nick Allen
Speaker Talk Title University/Department
Deborah Jenson Medicalizing Empathy? Perspectives from Literary Humanities and Social Neuroscience of IN-Groups and Out-Groups Duke/Romance Studies
Ray Barfield The Role of the Imagination in the Practice of Medicine and the Formation of Clinicians Duke School of Medicine
Raj Telhan Moral Vocabularies in Medical Practice UNC School of Medicine
Howard Carter Clowns and Jokers Can Heal Us: Comedy and Healthcare UNC School of Medicine