▲ Professor Hwang during the lecture. Photographed by Lee Hyun Ji
At 12:00 P.M. on March 28, the College of Liberal Arts, in tandem with the Initiative for College of Humanities’ Research and Education (CORE) Project, held a special lecture about the Medical Humanities Integrated Major titled “A Whiff of Medical Humanities.” Before the lecture started, the head of the CORE project took to the podium and delivered a few encouraging words before yielding the stage to Professor Hwang Sang Ik (Medicine, Seoul National University). A rather unfamiliar subject to many, Professor Hwang clarified that Medical Humanities teaches both the basics of medicine along with the philosophy, literature of medicine, and the management of medical policies.
Pointing out that the study of medicine has far-reaching ramifications even beyond that of one’s health, Professor Hwang stressed the importance of learning about the ethics of life, the development of modern medicine, and other similar matters through Medical Humanities. “Medicine is not a subject that concerns only the interests of doctors,” he mentioned. In particular, Professor Hwang dwelled on the fact that compared to a few decades ago the composition of the world’s population and, consequently, an individual’s perception of death have changed drastically. “It is meaningless to discuss humanities without taking into account how the standard of health has improved,” he noted.
Throughout the lecture, the professor advised students to abandon the preconceived dichotomy of humanities and natural sciences and, by extension, the spiritual and material planes. Speaking of the so-called “crisis of humanities,” Professor Hwang accused those who are currently studying humanities for causing the crisis, criticizing their strict adherence to the dichotomy of liberal arts and the sciences. Professor Hwang concluded the lecture by reiterating his point that the study of medicine is tantamount to the study of humanity.
Meanwhile, the CORE Project team handed out brochures outlining the details of the Medical Humanities Integrated Major, which is offered to KU students by the College of Liberal Arts and the CORE Project team. Students can apply for the integrated major in April and October starting this year.