Summer Course: Medical Humanities, Italian Perspectives


7-12 September 2014, Padua – Venice

Fondazione Lanza (Center of Advanced Studies in Ethics, Padua – Italy), in collaboration with the Chair of History of Medicine at the University of Padua and the Chair of Medical Humanities at the Marmara University in Istanbul, is pleased to announce the first edition of the Summer Course on Medical Humanities, that will take place in Padua and Venice from Sunday 7 to Friday 12, September 2014.

Why a Course on Medical Humanities?

We believe that in our age of a deeply technologically-driven medicine is necessary to re-establish and promote the neglected relationship between medicine and the arts. Thus, in our course, we propose an integrated and interdisciplinary approach to recording and interpreting human experiences of illness, disability, care and medical intervention.

Experts of painting, sculpture, literature, cinema, forensic sciences, psychiatry, bioethics and medical history will offer their qualified observations in order to reflect on illness, medicine, and the role of physician and nurse. All these contributions will help us to move beyond a reductive conception of a medicine which is only able to scientifically explain the illness. Human sciences will help us to achieve a fuller idea of illness, medical care, and care; looking not only for an explication, but for a whole comprehension of the human side of illness, both at the personal and societal level.

Why in Padua?

Henry Sigerist, historian of medicine, describes Padua as the birthplace of modern medicine. Here Giovanni Battista De Monte (1489-1551) developed for the first time clinical medicine, teaching medicine at the bedside; Andreas van Wesel (1514-1564) taught anatomy at the University of Padua; William Harvey had his first ideas on blood circulation in Padua; Gabriele Falloppio (1523-1562) discovered here the uterine tubes; Girolamo Fabrici d’Acquapendente (1533-1619) and Giovan Battista Morgagni (1682-1771) wrote in Padua their masterpieces on pathological anatomy; Labour Medicine was started in Padua by Bernardino Ramazzini (1633-1714), and so on. At the same University Galileo Galilei taught for 18 years, developing the scientific method.

At the same time Padua is also, as William Shakespeare wrote in The Taming of the Shrew, the “nurse of Arts”. In fact, Padua expressed, especially in the XIV, XV, and XVI centuries, an impressive and extraordinary artistic culture with artists as Giotto, Donatello, Tiziano, etc.

Finally, Padua, the city of Saint Anthony, is a place where a religious feeling strongly oriented towards charity is deeply rooted. This is why the history of Padua is strictly linked to the history of its hospitals.

These are the reasons why we will start our course from this particular history, in which medicine, art and religion were able to find an extraordinary synthesis. Then, with the help of our major experts, we will actualize these teachings trying to apply them in an effort to humanize modern medicine.

Course aims and objectives: Offer insights into Medical Humanities and their relevance in Medicine and Arts. Visit monuments, museums, etc., in order to make explicit the ethical values represented by them.

Contents: Medical Humanities and Bioethics; Charity and its Artistic Interpretations; Medical History and Medical Humanities; Painting, Literature, Sculpture, Architecture, Cinema and Medicine; Arts, Medicine and Psychiatry. At the end of the course an Attendance Certificate will be issued.

Course fee: Euro 650,00 (payable until July 27, 2014). It includes tuition, lectures, guided tours, local transfers, teaching materials, coffee-breaks and a dinner (accommodation, travel, and meals expenses are not included).

Scientific Committee: Prof. Luciana Caenazzo (University of Padua), Prof. Sefik Görkey (Marmara University of Istanbul), Prof. Renzo Pegoraro (Fondazione Lanza), Prof. Maurizio Rippa Bonati (University of Padua), Prof. Fabrizio Turoldo (Fondazione Lanza, Ca’ Foscari University of Venice)

Direction: Prof. Renzo Pegoraro

Secretariat: Dr. Lucia Mariani, Fondazione Lanza, via Dante, 55 – 35139 Padova – Tel./Fax: ++39.0498756788 – email:

General Information: To see the complete program, to apply, and for logistic information, please, visit the following website:

Deadlines: Application Form until 15 July 2014 – Payment: until 27 July 2014.