The History and Culture of Disease and Healing Seminar Series | Fall 2017

Seminar 2 of 13: Toxic Agents: Poetry, Pollution, and Environmental Racism

This is a FREE seminar hosted at The Health Museum (1515 Hermann Drive), part of a collaborative lecture series by UTHealth School of Public Health and Rice University.

You must register for each of the seminars separately, there are 13 in this series. Attendance to all is NOT required.
Continuing Education (CME, CNE, CEUs) available.

Hosted in collaboration with:



Seminar 2 of 13 on 09/05/17: Toxic Agents: Poetry, Pollution, and Environmental Racism

Using available data on toxic exposure, particularly lead poisoning, this talk shows how artists and writers perceived and predicted the problems arising from ecological degradation and environmental racism and will turn primarily to the African American poet, Margaret Walker, whose writing challenges ideas of hygiene, disease and toxicity.

Target Audience
Medical humanities scholars, physicians, nurses, social workers, environmental health and safety professionals, public health/health science students and other professionals in public health related disciplines, as well those interested from the general public.

Learning Objectives

At the end of this session, attendees will be able to (1) understand how early twentieth-century artists understood “toxicity,” (2) grasp the interconnectedness of toxic exposures across the century, (3) engage with ideas of environmental racism that enabled the Flint Water Crisis and (4) explore how patients and victims of toxic exposure see their condition via major lead poisoning case study.

Presenting for this session is:
Clint Wilson III is a PhD
student in the English department at Rice University in Houston, TX. He is a predoctoral fellow with the Center for Energy & Environmental Research in the Human Sciences (CENHS), a Diana Hobby Editorial Fellow for SEL 1500-1900, and a Rice Fellow with the Humanities Research Center. His dissertation surveys recent work in biopolitical theory to explore how notions of 'toxicity' are rendered legible in twentieth-century art and literature, including representations ranging from chemical warfare to the Flint Water Crisis.


Seminar Series Information

Welcome to Season Two: Poisons, Plagues, Potions and Portrayals
from 08/29/17 - 11/29/17 on Tuesdays at The Health Museum

The History and Culture of Disease and Healing
seminar series identifies the overlap between disciplines in health and humanities, and applies lessons in humanities to public health practice in a global and cross cultural context.

“There is increasing emphasis on bringing more of the humanities into the education of health professionals, in a way that is appealing to all the health disciplines. This course seeks to do just that,” says George Delclos, MD, MPH, PhD, professor at the UTHealth School of Public Health and one of the course instructors.

There are 13 seminars in this series. Each unique seminar has been chosen for its relevance to the contributions of the humanities to contemporary understanding or approaches to disease and healing as we conceptualize from cultural/artistic/literary depictions and historical lessons the relationship between human behaviors and disease and healing.

This is also a humanities course offered to professionals and students in the fields of medicine and health. Seminar attendance will include registered students from Rice University and the UTHealth School of Public Health. The unique collaborative format of this seminar demonstrates shared values between institutions of higher learning and the professional/academic training offered to specialties.

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Time & Location

Seminar Date & Time:
Tuesday, September 5, 2017
5:30pm - 7:00 pm

Seminar Location:
The Health Museum, inside the McGovern Theater
1515 Hermann Dr.
Houston, TX 77004

Click here for directions

Continuing Education

Continuing Education credits can be provided for contact hours and certificates of attendance at no cost for attending individual or multiple seminars.
Online registration, full 90 minute seminar attendance, and completion of post-seminar electronic evaluations
are required for attaining contact hours and certificates.

Individual seminar attendance allowed—you are NOT required to attend the entire series.

  • Continuing Medical Education (CME): Determination of credit is pending.

  • Continuing Nursing Education (CNE): Determination of credit is pending.

  • Social Work Continuing Education Units (CEUs): Determination of credit is pending.

  • Certificate of Attendance can be provided for all other public health professionals and attendees by request during online registration process.


Your Best Reponse to a Changing World!

The Southwest Center for Occupational and Environmental Health (SWCOEH) supports research, education and outreach in occupational and environmental health. The SWCOEH is housed within the Department of Epidemiology, Human Genetics and Environmental Sciences of the UTHealth School of Public Health and is under the leadership of Elaine Symanski, PhD who serves as Director.

The SWCOEH was established in 1977 as a NIOSH-funded Education and Research Center (ERC), now one of 18 ERCs in the nation. In 1985, the SWCOEH became a World Health Organization Collaborating Centre for Occupational Health.

The mission of the SWCOEH Continuing Education (CE) Program is to serve as a training resource for professionals and decision-makers in the occupational and environmental health fields by delivering specialized courses in response to current training needs. Our ultimate goal is to improve occupational and environmental health. Our core subject areas are occupational medicine, industrial hygiene, occupational safety, hazardous substances and materials and occupational health nursing. Contact us to discuss your training needs!

Contact Us

Southwest Center for Occupational and Environmental Health
Continuing Education (CE) & Outreach Program

1200 Pressler St., RAS West, Ste. 1038
Houston, TX 77030

Michelle McDaniel - Continuing Education Coordinator (Mon-Fri)
Phone: 713-500-9447

Brenda Brown - Program
Coordinator (Tu-Th)
Phone: 713-500-9448

General CE Email:

To learn more about the SWCOEH, please visit us on the web at