2022 Jack and Anita Hess Faculty Seminar - Bioethics, Disease, and the Holocaust
Seminar Dates: January 3-7, 2022
The 2022 Jack and Anita Hess Faculty Seminar probes the history of bioethics, pathology, disease, and the Holocaust. Recognizing the thriving interdisciplinary nature of the fields of the history of medicine, public health, and the ethics of medicine, this Seminar examines how the Nazis contorted scientific knowledge to serve their racist ‘public health’ and eugenics agenda and, more specifically, how they devised racialized discourses surrounding pathology and disease. The Seminar addresses questions such as: What were the conditions in the camps and ghettos? What diseases spread in the camps and ghettos and why? How did Jewish doctors, nurses, and other medical personnel continue to fulfill their public health missions? Which patients were particularly vulnerable and why?
The Seminar draws on an interdisciplinary body of scholarship to make clear how the history of the Holocaust informs the fields of bioethics and public health, and vice-versa, addressing questions such as: What are the legacies of the Nazis’ uses and abuses of scientific knowledge to serve ideological purposes? How can we understand the continued significance of the Nuremberg Trials and the Nuremberg Code? And what ethical lessons does the Holocaust provide when it comes to practicing medicine and considering public health concerns today, including treating vulnerable patient populations and ensuring access to treatment and vaccines? The Seminar will provide faculty with a range of interdisciplinary methods, approaches, and pedagogical tools for introducing this aspect of Holocaust studies into the undergraduate and graduate classroom.
The 2022 Jack and Anita Hess Faculty Seminar is designed to help faculty, instructors, and advanced PhD candidates who are currently teaching or preparing to teach courses that focus on or have a curricular component relating to the Holocaust, Public Health, Bioethics, or the History of Science. Applications are welcome from instructors across academic disciplines including but not limited to: Anthropology and Sociology; Philosophy and Ethics; Disability Studies; Gender Studies, Women’s Studies; German Studies; History of Medicine; Holocaust Studies; Jewish Studies; Law and Human Rights; Medical Humanities; Medicine; Political Science and International Relations; Public Health; Psychology; and Theology and Religious Studies. Over the course of the Seminar, participants will be introduced to sources in the Museum’s collections, including oral history, testimony, recorded sound, and photography collections. Participants will also develop familiarity with Experiencing History: Holocaust Sources in Context and other digital teaching tools.