Monday, July 30, 2007

Feedback about "Crossing Borders" BLOG from Nurses for Human Rights

"I whole heartedly support and love you website (web blog). It's exactly what we need in the coming revolution in the mental health industry. My goal is to get us back into a more humanitarian mental health system, off of drugs, and into the arts and practical vocations these people really need. It is my belief that most of the children today that are diagnosed with mental disorders are the artists of our future, not understood by the medical profession.... "

"The arts are the pathway out of their confusion and allows them to communicate as themselves. Well done, "

Kenneth W. Thomas,RN
Nurses for Human Rights

Saturday, July 28, 2007

Vincent Lam, Winner of 2006 Scotia Giller Prize, Bloodletting and Miraculous Cures, Video

Tonight I share with you a short reading and video featuring Dr. Vincent Lam, emergency room physician, author and winner of the 2006 Scotia Giller Prize for his book "Bloodletting and Miraculous Cures."

See video at:

More about the Scotia Bank Giller Prize
Quotes of Note:

"How can people be helped through the practice of human science nursing? One idea is that health patterns can be changed through creative imaging. For example, nurses and others can invite persons struggling with changing to picture what it would be like to stay in their situation and, alternatively, how they would like to change it. As persons talk about the possibilities that they see for themselves and about their hopes and dreams, they can begin to plan to make them real. Health workers can also encourage persons to do creative journaling, story telling, painting, poetry writing etc. "

Professor Beryl Pilkington, Atkinson Faculty of Liberal and Professional Studies
School of Nursing
York University

From the website at York University Gazette online, Nov. 2000

Friday, July 27, 2007

Breast Cancer, The Indestructible Bust and an Artist's Tribute to his Mother

When I came across Toby Jones and his work on Youtube I was moved by the sensitivity of this young artist and son who had coped with the loss of his mother to breast cancer through his artistic process and powerful work. In a statement about the resiliency, beauty and strength of human beings, Toby Jones creates "indestructible breasts in a metaphorical fight against breast cancer."

I asked Toby if I might share his work with you at "Crossing Borders" and he willingly agreed.

Toby's Story

"My mother died of metastasized breast cancer in February of 2001 after valiantly struggling with the disease for five years. After her death, in the years that followed, a large part of coping with the emptiness in my life was my art. I first started what I now call the "Fiberglass Busts Project" driven by subconscious motives I wouldn't understand until much later. It began from a need to create something out of the emptiness in my life, a time consuming project to fill my days with errands and give me a reason to get out of bed in the morning."

"Being a mother is one of the hardest jobs anyone could undertake-- she came to understand that all mothers, coming from a place of love for their children wished they could be better... and that all mothers do the best they can. They learn and love and grow and make it up as they go along if they have to. My mother was not Martha Stewart or Julia Child-- but to this day, I realized she taught me lessons that I have used every day in life. She taught me in showing me the things that she knew and in allowing me to do the things she could not.
She never expected me to be anything but what I was, and never gave me a reason to lie. She never withheld her approval. She is the mother I asked God for. She will always be with me.
I Love You Mom. " Toby.

"It all became clear to me, one morning as I labored in my garage with a power sander, trying to smooth out the bondo. With beads of sweat trickling down into my eyes, I started to wonder what exactly was I doing? This sculpture is way too thick! Why the ballistics grade fabric? Why the over kill? It finally dawned on me what my subconscious motive was. I was attempting to create breasts that were indestructible. This was the gift I wanted to give to my mother and my metaphorical fight against breast cancer. This insight was the catalyst I needed to move forward. I envisioned dozens of sculptures, auctioned off for Breast Cancer Charities. Building Breasts Impervious To would be a tribute to mother. "

See Youtube Video about Toby Jones, Breast Cancer Art Project
TV Report Ch. 11 NEWS
and other Press stories:

More about Toby Jones and his work:

"Fifty percent of sales generated from my work has been donated to organizations that focus on breast cancer awareness, outreach and hospice care. "


Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Call: 3rd Annual Imagination Education for Everyone! Conference
Deadline for Proposals: September 1, 2007
Conference Dates: November 6-8, 2007
Location: Skokie, Illinois
Sponsored by: National-Louis University
This conference focuses on creative, out-of-the-box methods, theories, and practices in teaching and learning -- any level, any subject matter, formal or informal contexts. Proposals for performances and interactive sessions are welcome.
See website for details: (last year's program info.)
Please submit to: Contact: Dr. Kristin Lems

Sunday, July 22, 2007

Arts for Health, Manchester Metropolitan University

ARTS for HEALTH is an International Centre offering advice and consultancy for creative planning, funding and commissioning of arts and cultural projects in the healthcare services.
The monitoring of completed arts projects and the publication of the resulting outcomes is a means of raising awareness of the benefits of art in healthcare. Please contact Arts for Health to find out more about the services offered.

ARTS for HEALTH has an international reputation and is part of The Manchester Institute for Research and Innovation in Art and Design (MIRIAD). It was founded in 1988 and works to develop innovative arts programmes and provide integrated art and design solutions for healthcare environments.

All work is underpinned by research and evaluation.


Arts for Health Manchester Metropolitan University Elizabeth Gaskell Campus Shepherd House Hathersage RoadManchesterM13 OJA

see website:

Arts Based Research in Israel Focus of Upcoming Book

Call for papers for a book on Arts Based Research in Israel

The aim of this book is to bring together for the first time; the arts based research that is being undertaken at present in Israel, creating a vibrant new knowledge base that offers a valuable tool for researchers interested in expanding the depth and breadth of their data and methodology skills.

The book is based on the work of an on-going study group of researchers from different fields such as geography, arts therapies, social work, literature, arts, business, and sociology, who have met together for two years... using the arts within their research, as data, method, or final product.

We are looking for research proposals that address the arts within research, (movement, music, drama, and plastic arts). Our focus is not on arts as art products only, or on art as therapy, but on the use of art within different disciplines, and in innovative ways to enhance data gathering and presenting.
All proposals will be peer- reviewed, and accepted according to external judgment.
(NB: People interested in joining our arts based study group should write to or to to join our mailing list. )

Friday, July 20, 2007

Music and Healing, Video

Tonight under the crescent moon I share with you from Youtube an inspiring video tribute celebrating the joys and healing potential of music therapy through pictures, quotes and song.
Video by Brandon Moore

Thursday, July 19, 2007

Faculty of Education and Social Work, Sydney Symposium on Applied Theatre

International Symposium on Applied Theatre: Engagement and Transformation

Call for Papers, October ll - 12, 2007

University of Sydney

Applied Theatre: Engagement and Transformation aims to stimulate debate and discussion about future developments in applied theatre, research and practice. The forum will provide an opportunity for practitioners, academics and policy makers to share their practice. The papers, workshops and presentations will examine the issues related to applied theatre and
the potential for this approach to transform and engage communities and individuals.

We invite presentations that reflect the following cross-cutting themes:

• Research methodologies and approaches in Applied Theatre
• Applied Theatre: transforming communities
• Applied Theatre in the workplace
• Theoretical understanding of Applied Theatre and Social Policy
• New methods and contexts for Applied Theatre
• Applied Theatre and Education: Continuities discontinuities
• Exploring further collaborative research opportunities (grants, publications).

The conference will run over two days and will feature a combination of keynote speakers,
workshops and presentations.

"Applied Theatre' is a portmanteau term for social interventions and policy directions informed by drama theory and theatre methodologies. The field has evolved and features theoretical and practical approaches informed by social work, sociology, juvenile justice, prisons and medicine (especially mental health). According to Ackroyd (2000) Applied Theatre practitioners ... share a belief in the power of the theatre form to address something beyond the form itself."
from the website at:

For more information about this conference see:

See our "Crossing Borders" posts on drama and research

Sunday, July 15, 2007

The Sufferings of Panic and the Physical Diagnosis two Themes in Video Performances


Focus on health and film, movement, rhythm, dance and sound
I would like to share with you today two contrasting Youtube Video clips (above) both on health themes.
Panic Portrayed in Brilliant and Unsettling Dance Performance

In the first unsettling clip (see above) panic is embodied and portrayed in this brilliant dance and film animation work by young 21 year old UK filmmaker Megan Kieran. Warning, you may want to "stop it" and so you should, this is how effective the dance is in conveying its message.
Choreographing the Physical Exam with Sound, Movement, Rhythm
The second video, PXDX , combines sounds and movements in a choreographed and rhythmic statement about the physical exam. PxDx (medical shorthand for "Physical Diagnosis"), a collaboration between medical students Mark Goldin and Dana Kotler, weaves the sounds and images of the physical exam with rhythm and choreography to create a unique performance of physical diagnosis in action. Score created by Mark Goldin, entirely using recorded sounds of the physical exam. Also starring Ari Gladstein and Evanthia Roussos.
The physical exam in action, a serious subject about an important diagnostic process delivered with rhythmic style and more than a little humour. CM

Saturday, July 14, 2007

Women Who Care: Reflections on Women's Personal & Professional Experiences of the Canadian Health Care System, Nili Kaplan-Myrth, Ph.D.

Submission Deadline: July 31, 2007

" I am writing to formally invite you to contribute to our book: Women Who Care: Reflections on Women’s Personal & Professional Experiences of the Canadian Health Care System. Most women have stories to tell about their experiences of the Canadian health care system: We care for ourselves through personal health and illness; we seek care from others; we are lay caregivers to our children, our partners, our aging parents and our extended families; and some of us work as health care professionals, health educators, health administrators, health policy-makers and leaders in women’s health. "

"We are collecting submissions (written work, visual art, photography) for a book on women’s personal and professional experiences of health care – enlightening or confusing, moments of healing or times of discouragement, celebrations of empowerment and change or frustration with barriers and the status quo. We care about women’s health care. "

About Nili Kaplan-Myrth, Ph.D.
"I am a medical anthropologist. I have spent the past fifteen years speaking to people about
their experiences of health and illness, their bodies, their emotions, their personal and community wellbeing. My areas of passion include gender, women’s health, Indigenous health, community-based health initiatives and collaborative processes in health policy development and implementation. I worked with the World Health Organization in Mali (West Africa) and as a consultant in First Nations, Inuit and Metis communities in Canada, and Koori communities in
south-eastern Australia. I have published several articles in academic and scientific journals, and I have an ethnography, Hard Yakka: Transforming Indigenous Health Policy and Politics, which is just going to press. I am a co-facilitator of Women of Ottawa Reading Diverse Subjects, a discussion group in association with Octopus Books and the Ottawa branch of the Federation of Medical Women of Canada. I am also currently a medical student at The University of Ottawa. "

Above excerpts from The Canadian Breast Cancer Network®ionid=&page=9026

See PDF Call for Submissions "Women Who Care" for detailed information

Thursday, July 12, 2007

CCAHTE Journal Business
CCAHTE Transition to Open Access Reported Internationally

Some Media Thank you's
Special thanks to Peter Suber for recently announcing our transition to Open Access through the
SPARC Open Access forum (SOAF) network

Thanks also to Pamela Brett- MacLean, University of Alberta, for the announcement in the Arts and Humanities in Health and Medicine newsletter

We also heard from the editorial team about a recent report in Knowledgespeak by STM Publishers in India
Wellcome Library, London

Digital Graphics Arts Resource Enlivens Medical Information

I also wanted to share with you today information from "Wellcome Images", a helpful website resource that generously shares its digital images including representations about medicine, social history and contemporary healthcare.

Information from the website at

" Wellcome Images is one of the world's richest and most unique collections, with themes ranging from medical and social history to contemporary healthcare and biomedical science. All our images are available on demand in digital form. Search online or use the expertise of our professional scientific and historical researchers. Whether it's medicine or magic, the sacred or the profane, science or satire - you'll find more than you expect. This unrivalled collection contains historical images from the Wellcome Library collections, Tibetan Buddhist paintings, ancient Sanskrit manuscripts written on palm leaves, beautifully illuminated Persian books and much more. The Biomedical Collection holds over
40 000 high-quality images from the clinical and biomedical sciences. Selected from the UK's leading teaching hospitals and research institutions, it covers disease, surgery, general healthcare, sciences from genetics to neuroscience including the full range of imaging techniques."

Medical Humanities and Ethics, University of Nevada School of Medicine Integrates Health, Humanism, Arts, History and Culture

Marin Gillis Directs New Medical Humanities and Ethics Program University of Nevada School of Medicine

We are very pleased today to introduce CCAHTE regional liaison, Dr. Marin Gillis,
originally from Saskatchewan, who is currently Director of Medical Humanities and Ethics, University of Nevada School of Medicine. Marin in her new post has launched some very progressive programs at UNSOM some which have integrated the arts into medical education and programming.

Dr. Marin Gillis is the new and first Director of Medical Humanities and Ethics at the University of Nevada School of Medicine (UNSOM). She was born and raised in Saskatchewan, followed a BA Hons in philosophy and history at the University of Ottawa, and holds two graduate degrees in philosophy, an L.Ph. from the Higher Institute of Philosophy, KU Leuven Belgium, and a Ph.D. from the University of Calgary.

At the University of Nevada School of Medicine, Marin has developed a Division with five sections:

1) Humanism, Professionalism and Ethics

2) Health and the Human Spirit

3) Arts in Medicine

4) History and Culture of Medicine

5) Narrative Medicine

She created the division by organizing teaching that was already taking place in medical courses, recruiting liberal arts professors to lecture, and developing longitudinal study in clinical ethics and narrative medicine (with capstone 4th year electives in each area). In other partnerships with the School of Fine Arts at UNR, the Reno medical and arts communities, and government funding agencies, she curates art exhibits at the Medical School Gallery and organizes and gives public lectures in medical humanities and ethics. The University of Nevada School of Medicine students hold a yearly art show and publish an annual literary arts journal called "The Stethoscope" which will be online by January 2008. Her academic fields of expertise are the ethics of medical biotechnologies and the scholarship of teaching and learning. She is a Steering Committee member of the Association of Feminist Ethics and Social Theory as well as a blogger at the Women’s Bioethics Project.

We welcome Marin Gillis as a CCAHTE regional liaison and look forward to our future connections as well as hearing more about The University of Nevada School of Medicine and upcoming work in Medical Humanities and Ethics.

Other related links FYI

University of Nevada School of Medicine
Library/Medical History
Great Basin History of Medicine Photo Archive

Marin Gillis, LPh, PhD

Arts and End of Life Presentations at Interfaith End of Life Care Conference, Edmonton

This news this morning from Pamela Brett-MacLean PhD (C) Faculty of Medicine and Dentistry, University of Alberta.

Interfaith End of Life Care Conference

Friday August 24th 7pm - 9:30pm
Saturday, August 25th 9am - 4:30pm

This event is to understand, respect, and honour end of life rituals and practices of various faith traditions. Representatives from 15 faith and spiritual traditions organized in three interfaith panels, interspersed in the conference program, will present from their specific faith perspectives.
Lighting of candles and joining hands in interfaith togetherness will be in witness of this first of a kind event in Edmonton. The following speakers will be presenting:

Dr. Steven Aung, The Art and Philosophy of Dying
Dr. Jody Ginsberg, Spirituality in Undergraduate Medical Education
Dr. Gary Goldsand, Ethics and Spirituality in End of Life Care
Dr. Helen Hays, Reviewing Life - The Threshold of Fears Associated with Death
Dr. Jane Simington - Reviewing Life: A Process of Spiritual Transcendence

This public event will be held in Edmonton at the grounds of The Chin Yin Buddhist Temple 12688 - 148 Avenue.

Admission is free but registration is required
Register Early by visiting

For news about the Arts & Humanities in Health & Medicine Program Faculty of Medicine and Dentistry, University of Alberta:

More on arts and culture in Edmonton:

Monday, July 9, 2007

Call for Women Who Love to Read, Proceeds help support Pain Centres

A portion of the sales to be donated to Foothills Hospital and University of Alberta Pain Centre

Fair's Fair Books
("For Book Lovers") Inc., Calgary, Alberta, invites submissions in English (or French with an English translation included) for a forthcoming online site project under the rubric of "Women Who Love to Read Project."

Submissions may be forwarded by e-mail to (no underlining) with the Subject Heading "Women Who Love to Read." We ask that submissions be 500-700 words in length. We will accept submissions from July 10th, 2007-Dec. 2007.
100 of the online site entries will then be chosen for a hardcopy anthology titled "Women Who Love to Read." The honorarium will be in the form of copies of the anthology, and a portion of the sales from the Anthology will be donated to the pain centers at the Foothills Hospital and University of Alberta Pain Center for the purchase of books for patients. The copyright remains with the author. Slight substantive editing may be necessary for purposes of formatting and consistency.

You may wish to consider the following: (These are merely suggestions.)
What do you remember about your first reading experiences?
What did you read as a child?
Who read to you?
How has that reading affected, changed, influenced your later life?
Where did you read?
What were your favorite childhood and teenage books?
What are you reading now?


Yvonne Trainer, B.A.; M.A., PhD (English) Info:
Literary Arts Coordinator "Fair's Fair Books," Calgary, Alberta
Adjunct Assistant Professor, Humanities, Ambrose University College, Calgary, AB

Crossing Borders Jobs Wanted in Arts,Health, Humanities

BLOG Shares News About Job Openings

In speaking to researchers and educators in the last several weeks it is clear there is a critical need for a place to find out more about employment and research opportunities in the field including faculty positions. If you are an administrator or you know of an opening in the field in Canada, the U.S. or internationally including positions in Medical Humanities, let us know at the CCAHTE "Crossing Borders" BLOG and I will try to help make the news available to our many blog visitors. Send an email with information about your job opening to "Crossing Borders Job Posting". Visitors to the "Crossing Borders" blog are particularly interested in jobs and research positions directly related to arts and health/medicine, social sciences, social services, training or education.

Cheryl McLean

Psychosocial Literary Magazine Seeks Writers and Supporters

Open Minds seeks writers, readers and supporters
I was pleased to hear today from Dinah Laprairie, Editor of Open Minds Quarterly

OPEN MINDS QUARTERLY is a psychosocial literary magazine that publishes the writing of consumer/survivors of mental illness (poetry, fiction, essays, first-person accounts). Be part of the change. Learn more about Open Minds Quarterly and how you can participate, either as writer, subscriber, or supporter.

More info:

Sunday, July 8, 2007

Advances in Qualitative Methods Conference Banff Centre

"The eighth annual international, interdisciplinary Advances in Qualitative Methods conference will be held at the Banff Centre, Banff, Alberta, Canada from September 21-24, 2007. Previous AQM conferences have attracted visitors from all continents, representing more than 30 countries overall, in academic disciplines including business, dentistry, education, geography, nursing, medicine, anthropology, information science, sociology and history.
We welcome you to participate in this conference, whether you come to present a paper or poster, attend a workshop, or come to hear the presenters and meet with like-minded researchers. AQM 2007 will prove to be a valuable learning and networking experience for all involved."

I note that one of the preconference events will feature Arthur W. Frank, University of Calgary, presenting "Letting Stories Breathe: A Workshop on Narrative Analysis."
According to information at the conference site the talk will focus on several questions;
What is a story, as opposed to non-story modes of representation and expression? What are stories uniquely equipped to do in the lives of persons, groups, and nations? Why do people need stories? What do stories do to people? What does narrative analysis study, and in particular, how do we practice a symmetrical analysis, that understands stories as actors acting upon other actors?
A good opportunity to visit Banff while exploring developments and advances in qualitative methods.
And, while on the topic of Banff Centre events, there will be a Playback Theatre presentation at the Banff Summer Arts Festival on August 19.
"The Dance of Life – Keeping Pace"
Sunday, August 19, 7:30 p.m. , Laszlo Funtek Room 224
A Playback Theatre / Banff Leadership Arts Ensemble presentation that looks through the lens of dance to explore the principles and practices of how to slow down, reflect, and gain better focus in a world of rapid acceleration.
See Banff Summer Arts Festival events
I may meet you at the mountains!

Saturday, July 7, 2007

Bereavement in Education, Creative Responses to Death and Bereavement, University of Western Ontario, London
Cheryl McLean

I recently agreed to teach the Creative Responses to Death and Bereavement course for Spring 2008 which is held as part of the Bereavement Certificate Program through the Centre for Continuing Studies and King's University College, University of Western Ontario. London.

The course was originally developed by the late Dr. John (Jack) Morgan, formerly Principal of King's University College, an international leader in Thanatology education, and is currently taught by Lois Mansfield. "Creative Responses to Death and Bereavement" helps participants explore the arts as therapeutic modalities as well as fostering greater awareness about the spiritual dimension of the arts. Professionals have an opportunity to learn about the interplay of the arts such as writing and narrative, drama, visual arts, dance and body movement as applied in death and bereavement work. Course registrants frequently include nurse educators and teachers, social workers, caregivers and others working in bereavement counselling and education.

“Unlike language, the arts have the potential to express diverse themes simultaneously. Through the arts, one can confront life and death on many levels at once. By engaging in an experience in the arts, people can be assisted as they mourn, grieve, celebrate life: they can overcome fragmentation, and find a sense of meaning in their lives."
Dr. John (Jack) Morgan

I will hope to report more about this course in creative arts and bereavement and the Thanatology Program at King's University College in future posts.

Suggested reading: Morgan, J.D. (1999), "Meeting the Needs of our Clients Creatively: The Impact of Art and Culture on Caregiving", Amityville, N.Y., Baywood.

King’s University College Centre for Education about Death and Bereavement

Continuing Studies, University of Western Ontario

Video: Brief clip /Creative Arts in Health, Bereavement C. McLean
"Living Stories of Hope and Change"

Friday, July 6, 2007

Laurie Block Wins Landsdowne Prize for Poetry, Poems of Middle Age, Mourning and Loss

Artist News

We recently received news that Manitoba poet Laurie Block won the Inaugural Landsdowne Prize for Poetry at the Manitoba Writing and Publishing Awards Gala for his collection "Time out of Mind." The book of poetry has also been short listed for the McNally Robinson Book of the Year Award.

See "Crossing Borders" posts about Laurie Block and Poetry

Laurie Block website: