Anthropology Professor and Major Participate in Altman Program

Anthropology major Dan McClurkin (center) was selected as an Altman Student Fellow for 2016. He was joined by Anthropology Professor Cameron Hay-Rollins who was selected as an Altman Fellow.Professor Cameron Hay-Rollins was selected as an Altman scholar for the 2016 Altman Fellows Program, “Medicine and the Humanities.” She was joined by Anthropology major Dan McClurkin, who was selected as an Altman Student Fellow.

The 2016 Altman program included twelve distinguished lectures, a staged reading of Margaret Edson’s Pulitzer Prize-winning play “Wit,” a two-day symposium, special classes and research collaborations, and informal gatherings with visiting scholars.  

The program focused on a number of key questions: 

  • How do society and culture influence conceptions of normality, disease, health, aging, and mortality?
  • How do we navigate the ethical dilemmas spawned by technologies capable of extending life, modifying the body, and controlling reproduction?
  • Who chooses the definition of “cure”—doctor, patient, or ethicist?    
  • Why are so many medical schools creating medical humanities programs?  How can the study of narrative, ethics, culture, and history improve medical training? 
  • How can the humanities enrich our understanding of well-being and help us craft a meaningful life in the face of our own mortality?

Dan McClurkin is a double major in English, anthropology, and classical humanities.  As a 2015 Undergraduate Summer Scholar, he conducted ethnographic research on religious identity in Northern Ireland.

M. Cameron Hay-Rollins, Associate Professor of Anthropology and Coordinator of the Global Health Studies Minor, specializes in medical and psychological anthropology as well as in global health.  She is the author of Remembering to Live: Illness at the Intersection of Anxiety and Knowledge in Rural Indonesia (Michigan, 2001) and editor of Methods that Matter: Mixed Methods for a More Effective Social Science (University of Chicago, 2016).