Research & Pedagogy

Which tools in the creative writer’s tool box should be and are accessible to those who tell stories to promote awareness, bring about change and improve quality of life? How do storytelling (and journalism) ethics intersect with and differ from ethics in global public health? What lessons does the creative process hold for empathetic and effective medical and public health practice? These are the questions that animate Lise Saffran’s research and pedagogy into public health humanities. As the Director of the Master of Public Health Program at the University of Missouri, she has introduced creative writing into the curriculum and conducted research into the effects of storytelling on perceptions of risky health behavior and cultural influences on health. Recent and upcoming conference presentations include:

  • What Pauline Doesn’t Know: Using Guided Fiction Writing to Educate Health Professionals about Cultural Competence (4th International Health Humanities Conference at the Center for Bioethics and Humanities, University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus)
  • Life Under Pressure (Life Writing and/as Empathy: A Symposium on Narrative Emotions, Navarra, 15-17 October 2015)
  • Global Health Humanities: Stories and Strategies (Arts and Health Humanities Conference, Cleveland, OH, April 7, 2016)
  • Poetry and Prose: How a Health Humanities Approach Can Improve Public Health Communications (National Conference on Health Communication, Marketing and Media, Atlanta, GA, September 2016).
  • Transforming health humanities through sound: incorporating audio into the classroom (Annual meeting of the Health Humanities Consortium, Houston, Texas, March 9 – 11, 2017)