The area of inquiry called “medical humanities” or “health and humanities” is thriving at universities across the globe. UNC is recognized for its interdisciplinary undergraduate, graduate, and professional programs that study human health, flourishing, and mortality in a complex, diverse world. Researchers seek to understand how individuals interpret and cope with illness, how definitions of disease and disability are culturally defined, how health professionals can better reflect on their values and practices, and how institutions shape collective experiences of sickness and recovery. Methods are drawn from the humanities, arts and social sciences (e.g. qualitative analysis, historical contextualization, socially-generated meanings, textual interpretation) as well as the medical and natural sciences (e.g. quantitative analysis, empirical studies, data-driven outcomes). New research protocols continue to emerge, requiring diverse teams from a range of disciplines to design practicable studies that address urgent questions and achieve concrete goals.
The inspiration for the HHIVE Lab has many sources: strong interest in medical humanities among students at UNC; the Provost’s stated emphasis on high-impact, interdisciplinary research experiences for undergraduates across the College; expanding graduate curricula in health humanities including the M.A. Program in Literature, Medicine, and Culture and Graduate Certificate in LMC; and undergraduate curricula including the Honors minor in Medicine, Literature, and Culture, ECL major concentration in Science, Medicine, and Literature, and new BA/MA program in LMC. Most of all, the HHIVE Lab harnesses the energy, talent, and knowledge of those at Carolina working at the intersection of the humanities, the arts, and the health sciences. The HHIVE Lab and affiliated curricula are housed in the Department of English and Comparative Literature at UNC-Chapel Hill
The HHIVE Lab is a space for three central efforts:
- HHIVE students and faculty have collaborated with American Studies and the Communities Histories Workshop to conduct archival research on the Dorothea Dix Hospital and with the Southern Oral History Program on the Stories to Save Lives project.
- HHIVE has mentored countless student projects in the form of SURF grants, URCT strike teams, Burch Fellowships, Honors theses, master’s capstone projects, and PhD dissertations.
- Undergraduate minor in Literature, Medicine, and Culture (Honors Carolina)
- Undergraduate major in ECL with concentration in Science, Medicine, and Literature
- Dual-degree BA/MA in ECL with concentration in Literature, Medicine, and Culture
- Master’s degree in ECL with concentration in Literature, Medicine, and Culture
- Graduate Certificate in Literature, Medicine, and Culture
Organizing and publicizing lectures, events, and collaborations across campus.
HHIVE Lab Programming:
- Health Humanities Grand Rounds: This monthly series introduces students and faculty to scholars working on health humanities projects across the Triangle and beyond.
- Health Humanities Journal: Student-run journal that seeks to inspire, encourage, and facilitate interdisciplinary thinking and collaborative work.
- LMCC: Graduate & undergraduate student reading and working group. Visit:
The HHIVE Lab is open during the following times during the Fall 2021 term:
- Mondays: 9:00am-11:00am & 2:00pm-5:00pm
- Tuesdays: 9:00am-5:00pm
- Wednesdays: 2:00pm-5:00pm
- Thursdays: 9:00am-5:00pm
- Fridays: Closed
For appointments or queries, please contact Prof. Kym Weed (firstname.lastname@example.org).
The HHIVE Lab is located at Gaskin Library (GL 524), on the fifth floor of Greenlaw at UNC Chapel Hill.