Medicine and the Arts Series - University of Houston
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Medicine and the Arts Series

Connecting the visual, literary and performing arts to the meanings of illness and caregiving

This annual series includes readings, movies, roundtable discussions and trips to museums and theaters. Open to all students, the events are a rich, co-curricular opportunity for pre-health professionals and those in the Medicine and Society Program. For more information, contact the series director, Woods Nash, Ph.D. at

Spring 2020 Schedule

  • The Menil Collection, Thursday, February 13, 6 p.m.

    Thursday, February 13, 2020
    6 p.m.
    The Menil Collection
    1533 Sul Ross St, Houston, TX 77006
    Meet in the lobby of the Menil Collection’s main building.

    We will tour and discuss Photography and the Surreal Imagination. This exhibit “begins with an examination of the transformation of the everyday through the lens in a tradition that recasts the world as an enigmatic theater, from Eugène Atget’s shots of Old Paris to Allison Janae Hamilton’s haunted folklore of the American South. Photographs in the exhibition also foreground the exploration of the body, including Hans Bellmer’s images of deconstructed dolls and Cindy Sherman’s cinematographic self-staging, among other depictions of costumed, distorted, fragmented figures. Lastly, the show considers the manipulation of the image. It highlights artists from Man Ray to Lorna Simpson, all of whom turned the photographic surface into collision of pictorial fragments that questions the nature of representation.”

    To attend, please RSVP to Dr. Nash at

  • The Farewell – Film Screenings and Panel Discussion, Thursday, February 20

    Thursday, February 20, 2020
    Screenings at 4 p.m., 7 p.m., and 9 p.m.
                6 p.m., Discussion Panel (Nyocia Edwards, Laura Zavala-Membreno, and students)
    Student Center South Theater
    Billie, a young Chinese-American, travels to China to see her grandmother, who is dying of cancer. The family has decided not to tell the grandmother about her prognosis. Billie struggles to reconcile her personal beliefs and her family heritage. Based on a true story.
    This event is organized by the Student Program Board in collaboration with the Center for Student Involvement, Counseling and Psychological Services, and the Center for Diversity and Inclusion. 


  • Screening: Catastrophic Theatre’s Speeding Motorcycle, Thursday, February 27, 2:30 p.m.

    Thursday, February 27, 2:30 p.m.
    The Honors College Commons

    Jason Nodler, co-artistic director of The Catastrophic Theatre, will screen a rarely glimpsed video of the 2019 revival of Speeding Motorcycle, their celebrated rock opera. The musical was created for the stage by Nodler himself, with the songs of outsider artist-indie singer-songwriter Daniel Johnston. Populated by characters straight out of Johnston’s comic book iconography, the play chronicles his struggles with mental illness, love, and the power of hope in the darkness. At turns irreverent, uproariously funny, toe-tapping, and deeply moving, the play universalizes Johnston’s pain and hope, creating empathy in action.

    If you missed the play last summer, this is your chance to witness a truly stunning original production. This event was organized by Laurie Lambeth.


  • Medflix Movie Night: The Cider House Rules, Thursday, March 19, 7 p.m.

    Thursday, March 19, 2020
    7 p.m.
    Honors Commons

    Movie Night – The Cider House Rules (1999)

    Set around WWII, Homer Wells is raised in rural Maine in an orphanage directed by Dr. Larch, a physician engaged in questionable practices. Homer is trained as Dr. Larch’s assistant and becomes highly-skilled. However, instead of becoming Larch’s successor, Homer leaves the orphanage to work on an apple orchard, where a torrid romance and a shocking pregnancy test his deepest values.

    Pizza and other refreshments will be served


  • Documentary: “Texas UnMedicaided,” Thursday, April 9, 5:30 p.m.

    Thursday, April 9, 2020
    5:30 p.m.
    Science and Engineering Complex, room 102
    Refreshments will be served.

    Physician and filmmaker Leo Lopez III will screen and discuss his documentary, which examines Texas’s decision not to expand Medicaid under the Affordable Care Act. Students interested in film, narrative construction, and health-related advocacy are strongly encouraged to attend.

    A family medicine physician, Lopez is a graduate of the University of Texas School of Medicine San Antonio 2015 and a proud Lozano-Long Physician. The recipient of numerous awards, he has led health initiatives in Guatemala and human rights projects in Israel and Palestine. He is currently a fellow at Yale University.

  • Off Script: Stories from the Heart of Medicine, Thursday, April 16, 5:30 p.m.

    Thursday, April 16, 2020
    5:30 p.m.
    Location: TBA
    Refreshments will be served

    The Texas Medical Center’s storytelling hour, featuring stories by doctors, nurses, medical students, undergrads, and others. Off Script is a collaboration between McGovern Medical School’s Center for Humanities and Ethics, Baylor College of Medicine’s Narrative Medicine Program, and the UH Medicine and Society Program.