This one-day symposium explores many stories of healing, from personal to professional to collective, using approaches from the arts, humanities, and health professions. We hope to encourage robust interdisciplinary conversation among participants and presenters throughout the day. We welcome all members of the community to come for one session or the whole event.

The touchstone of this symposium is the work of Martha A. Hall, whose artists' books are on exhibit in the Ketchum Library Gallery during the Fall semester of 2018. Each panel in some way explores the implications and wider context for her work on the symposium themes.

Register for the symposium here. Registration is free and open to the public.


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Thursday, September 13th
8:15 AM -
8:45 AM

Registration/coffee & tea

8:45 AM -
9:00 AM


President James D. Herbert, University of New England
Jennifer S. Tuttle, University of New England
Stella Bolaki, School of English, University of Kent

9:00 AM -
10:00 AM

Healing Our Collective Trauma and Reconnecting with Spiritual Source

Sherri Mitchell

Sherri Mitchell - Weh'na Ha'mu Kwasset

Indigenous rights attorney
Founding Director, Land Peace Foundation
Advisor, Indigenous Elders and Medicine People’s Council of North and South America

Introduction by Cathleen Miller

10:05 AM -
10:40 AM

"I Make Books" - documentary screening

Introduction by Jennifer Tuttle and Cally Gurley

Documentary featuring book artist Martha A. Hall, Orr’s Island, Maine. Brief discussion to follow.

10:45 AM -
11:00 AM

Coffee/tea break

11:00 AM -
12:15 PM

"Each time I write this history": Writers on Health and Creative Practice

Mihku Paul
Mira M. Ptacin
Lee Sharkey

Chair: Cathleen Miller

12:15 PM -
1:15 PM


1:30 PM -
2:30 PM

Caring For Our Patients, Our Students, Ourselves: The Power of Narrative

Hedy Wald

Hedy Wald

Clinical Professor of Family Medicine, Warren Alpert Medical School of Brown University
Director, Resident Resilience and Wellbeing, Residency Programs in Child Neurology and Neurodevelopmental Disabilities, Boston Children's Hospital - Harvard Medical School

Introduction by Amy Amoroso

The power of narrative…to humanize, to heal, to transform healthcare and health policy. Health benefits of narrative for patients are well documented and both patients’ and caregivers’ (family and professional) narratives can inform public health and research policy agendas. In a rapidly changing, increasingly technologic healthcare environment, however, how can we, within health professions education, maintain the centrality of narrative for competent and compassionate relationship-centered healthcare? Interactive (guided) reflective writing and reading literature can deepen understanding of the patient’s experience of illness, cultivate and preserve empathy, and foster reflective capacity, ideally strengthening the physician-patient relationship. Join Dr. Hedy Wald as she discusses the role of narrative for optimizing patient care and caring and the use of interactive reflective writing-enhanced reflection to support healthy professional identity formation and resilience/wellbeing in health professions education and practice. Dr. Wald brings educational and experiential lenses with her medical education scholarship as well as the illness narrative turn of her life and will share excerpts of her published essays and poetry.

2:35 PM -
3:45 PM

"I will keep listening": Artists' Books as Patient Narratives in the Classroom and Archives

Stella Bolaki, School of English, University of Kent
Cathleen Miller, University of New England
Jennifer S. Tuttle, University of New England
Kat Stefko, Bowdoin College
Marieke Van Der Steenhoven, Bowdoin College

Chair: Amy Amoroso

3:45 PM -
4:00 PM

Coffee/tea break

4:00 PM -
5:45 PM

"My insides black and white": Narrative Arts and the Health Professions – Student Perspectives

Arooba Almas, University of New England
Meghan Morash, University of New England
Maeve Morse, Bowdoin College
Thomas Rooney, University of New England

Chair: Stella Bolaki

6:00 PM -
7:00 PM

My Creativity Heals Myself and Others: Martha A. Hall’s Artists’ Books

Welcome by Cathleen Miller, Cally Gurley, and Stella Bolaki

Ketchum Library Gallery

Reception and exhibition.