a research lab in the medical humanities
The Medicine | Race | Democracy Lab is an interdisciplinary initiative that examines health care beyond and between hospitals to address more significant issues in medical racism. Our research clusters use a variety of methods in the medical humanities, including literature review, oral history, and cartography, to offer a variety of research outputs, including film, poetry, essays, maps, and podcasts. Specifically, we engage with neighborhood institutions like community centers, churches, temples, charities, and schools that house clinics and offer services to patients seeking care beyond the Texas Medical Center. We are a product of the Center for Black Brown Queer studies and sponsored by BRIDGE (Building Research on Inequality and Diversity to Grow Equity) at Rice University.
Our podcast labs train students in a variety of audio genres and workflows from scripted research podcasts to scholarly interviews. These podcast workshops were piloted with the meta-stasis podcast which pairs hosts with producers to pitch, research, and write narrative-style episodes that engage broadly with medicine and healing.
Our projects are presented in different formats, including written essays, audio essays, digital films, visual exhibitions, and graphic art. The topics that we explore include global mapping sites of Buddhist medicine, developing literature in decolonizing science, personal stories related to immigration, and close interrogations of public health discourse.
Where we critique clinical methods used in contemporary acupuncture research
Our methods range across approaches in the medical and digital humanities to examine historical, social, and cultural issues in science and medicine. Each project is designated one or more of the approaches listed below and overseen by one or more external advisors.
The MRD inaugural lab picnic
We are a collaborative research team including undergraduate and graduate students advised by artists, poets, historians, filmmakers, writers, and activists. Our core faculty include members from Rice University, Penn State Abington, Baylor College of Medicine, and St. Luke's Hospital.
She glides her lily then lets him gild it,
he gilds his lily then lets her glide it,
the meadow’s patient,
it waits, doesn’t burst with flowers
it has burst with flowers.
The earth depolarizes
the air that must do with light
what light does with ear.
You wanted too much,
she tells him, in and out
of serotonin’s throes.
I wanted to grow a cortex, he says,
to better hear you with.
Tethered to Stars, 2021
We are generously funded by Rice University's Chao Center for Asian Studies, Rice University's Provost's TMC Collaborator Fund Seed Grant, Rice University's BRIDGE Systemic Racism and Racial Inequality Grant, and the Center for Black Brown Queer Studies.