Humanities in Medicine Symposium 2021 Engaging Across Disciplines: Toward a Practice of Transdisciplinarity - LIVESTREAM

September 17, 2021 to October 9, 2021

Artwork by Tia Calvert






Course Directors: Daniel Hall Flavin, M.D., M.S. and Johanna Rian, Ph.D.

September 17 - 18, 2021 with additional dates through October 9, 2021 - LIVESTREAM

The complex problems faced in medicine and society require moving beyond discipline-based learning. A practice of transdisciplinarity asks us to be comfortable with an active exploration in an intellectual space that may exceed our extant cognitive capacities but can result in new understandings and innovative, previously unimagined solutions.

Our virtual Symposium schedule departs from the traditional schedule of an in-person conference, and is designed to maximize flexibility and avoid Zoom fatigue for participants. We have shortened the length of the days to better accommodate attendees in different time zones, and we have chosen to offer clusters of sessions over a period of 3 weeks. Registrants are encouraged to attend as many sessions as their schedule allows with the assurance that:

  1. All conference sessions are included in the registration fee
  2. No pre-registration is necessary for workshops and performances

This annual gathering showcases best practices and research related to the Health Humanities.

Course Highlights
Hear from thought leaders across disciplines on:
-Teaching Robots How to Dance
-Transdisciplinarity in Practice
-Liaisons: Reimagining Sondheim from the Piano; Oscar Wilde’s De Profundis
-Poetry of Resilience
-Research at the National Endowment for the Arts: Linking the Arts to Clinical Practice

Registration Fee $250.00
Student$  50.00
(Presenters must be registered attendees) 


We extend sincere thanks to our conference sponsors: Mrs. Sissel Cooper Bos and The Irving S. Cooper Institute for Advanced Studies in Medicine and the Humanities for their support of Mayo Clinic and Mr. Paul Lavins, whose generous support of our center in Rochester honors the memory of his wife Dolores, who provides inspiration for all of our work.

Join the conversation on social media by using the hashtag #HIMSYM, and following Mayo Clinic’s Center for Humanities in Medicine on Facebook and Twitter.

Target Audience

The symposium is designed to engage healthcare and health humanities professionals, including physicians, nurses, healthcare administrators, healthcare educators, researchers, allied health professionals, artists, expressive arts therapists, students, social workers, chaplains, family and professional caregivers, veterans services professionals.

Learning Objectives

  • Describe methods of enhancing healthcare practices in research, education and patient care through transdisciplinary approaches to address complex issues in medicine.
  • Identify ways in which health humanities and the arts can provide valuable teaching tools for health care professionals and students.
  • Explain how the active experience of the humanities and the arts (history, literature, fine and performing arts and others) can improve the experience of health, illness and healthcare.

Attendance at any Mayo Clinic course does not indicate or guarantee competence or proficiency in the skills, knowledge or performance of any care or procedure(s) which may be discussed or taught in this course.

Additional Information

PDF icon Additional Information304.63 KB
Course summary
Available credit: 
  • 16.50 AMA PRA Category 1 Credit
  • 16.50 Attendance
Event starts: 
09/17/2021 - 6:00pm
Event ends: 
10/09/2021 - 3:00pm
Click here to view in mobile device.
Internet-Live Activity
Rochester, MN
United States



Catie Cuan
Dancer/Choreographer/Ph.D. Candidate, Mechanical Engineering, Stanford University
Teaching Robots How to Dance

Presenter's Full Name: Caitlin Rose (Catie) Cuan
Presenter's Academic Rank: PhD Candidate at Stanford University
Educational Background: B.S. University of California Berkeley, M.S. Stanford University
How long have you been working in your field:  ~12 years

What do you do/your expertise as it pertains to the topic you are speaking about?
After 6 years as a professional dancer and choreographer in New York City, I began dancing with robots in performances and art installations. This artistic work transformed into research testbeds for human-robot interaction and eventually led me to apply to a graduate school. My current graduate research focuses on learning from demonstration, haptics, and human-robot interaction.

Experience Bryon, Ph.D.
Transdisciplinarity in Practice
Experience Bryon, PhD, has worked with performers for over thirty years as an acting teacher, opera director, choreographer and practitioner/researcher. Having led the MA/MFA Performance Practice as Research at RCSSD for 10 years, she is currently leading Acting at NUA. Experience is dedicated to the emergence of new knowledges advancing disciplinary exchanges between performance and the sciences. Publications include, Performing Interdisciplinarity: Working Across Disciplinary Boundaries Through an Active Aesthetic (Routledge 2019), Embodied Cognition, Acting and Performance (Routledge 2017), & Integrative Performance: Practice and Theory for the Interdisciplinary Performer (Routledge 2014).
Sunil Iyengar
Director of the Office of Research & Analysis, National Endowment for the Arts
Research at the National Endowment for the Arts: Linking the Arts to Clinical Practice

Presenter’s Full Name: Sunil Iyengar
Presenter’s Title: Director of the Office of Research & Analysis, National Endowment for the Arts
Educational Background: University of Michigan at Ann Arbor
How long have you have been working in your field: 15 years

What do you do/your expertise as it pertains to the topic you are speaking about?
I research products, publications, and programs covering the arts and health at the National Endowment for the Arts.

Sunil Iyengar directs the Office of Research & Analysis at the National Endowment for the Arts. Under his leadership, the office has produced dozens of research reports, hosted periodic research events and webinars, led strategic plan development for the agency, and established research and data partnerships with the U.S Census Bureau and the Bureau of Economic Analysis. His office also conducts program evaluations and performance measurement for the Arts Endowment. Working with his team, Iyengar has created and pursued a long-term research agenda (based partly on an arts “system map” his office helped to design), founded a national data repository for the arts, and launched two awards programs for arts researchers, including the NEA Research Labs initiative. He chairs a federal Interagency Task Force on the Arts and Human Development. For nearly a decade, he has contributed a monthly research post (titled “Taking Note”) to the agency’s official blog.

Iyengar and his team have collaborated with organizations such as the Brookings Institution, the National Academy of Sciences, the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, the Association of American Medical Colleges, and the National Institutes of Health (NIH) to explore the arts in relation to such topics as health and well-being, economic development, and STEM and medicine. His office provides research consultative support to Creative Forces: NEA Military Healing Arts Network. Most recently, he has led a research funding partnership with NIH as part of Sound Health, an initiative of the Kennedy Center and NIH in association with the Arts Endowment.

Prior to joining the agency as research director, Iyengar worked as a reporter, managing editor, and senior editor for a host of news publications covering the biomedical research, medical device, and pharmaceutical industries. He writes poems, book reviews, and literary essays. Iyengar has a BA in English from the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor.

Anthony de Mare
Concert Pianist/Creator/Co-Producer
The Liaisons Project: Reimagining Sondheim from the Piano; Frederic Rzewski's De Profundis

Anthony de Mare is one of the world’s foremost champions of contemporary music. Praised time and again by The New York Times, his versatility over the past three decades has inspired the creation of over 75 new works by some of today’s most distinguished artists.  Known for his entrepreneurial performance projects, he continues to expand the boundaries of the repertoire, which includes the speaking-singing pianist genre that he pioneered over 30 years ago.

As creator, performer and co-producer of Liaisons: Re-Imagining Sondheim from the Piano, this landmark commissioning and concert project has definitively brought the work of Stephen Sondheim into the concert hall, through the extraordinary re-imaginings of composers from across the musical spectrum including Steve Reich, Wynton Marsalis, Fred Hersch, Eve Beglarian, Jon Batiste, Meredith Monk, William Bolcom, and Nico Muhly, among many others. In addition to the Project’s acclaimed national, U.K., Canadian, and Australian tours, his recording of the first 36 pieces, released on ECM, was cited on numerous “Best Of” lists and was included as a winner of the 2016 Grammy Award for Classical Producer of the Year.  In honor of Sondheim’s 90th birthday in 2020, new commissioned works for "Liaisons2020" brings the total compendium to 50. Due to restrictions from the Covid pandemic, these works will have their premiere in the 2021-22 season at venues across the USA including UCLA’s Royce Hall, the 92nd St Y in NYC, Ravinia, Green Music Center (Sonoma State University), and Hancher Auditorium (University of Iowa), among many others.

His performances over the years span five continents and his discography of over twenty recordings includes works by Ives, Cowell, & Harrison, John Cage and Meredith Monk, Astor Piazzolla, Frederic Rzewski and many others.  Since his debut with Young Concert Artists, his accolades and awards have included First Prize at the International Gaudeamus Interpreters Competition, and The International Contemporary Piano Competition of Saint-Germain-en-Laye. He gave his Carnegie Hall debut at Zankel Hall in 2005. 

A Steinway Artist, he currently is Professor of Piano at Manhattan School of Music and New York University. He also serves as new music curator for the Sheen Center for Thought and Culture in NYC.

Tane Danger
Founder, Theatre of Public Policy/Director, Westminster Town Hall Forum
Moderator, Plenary Panel, Incubator Summary

Imagine "C-SPAN being swarmed by the cast of SNL.” That’s how the Star Tribune described The Theater of Public Policy: Minnesota’s most successful, best-loved, and coincidentally only civics-inspired improv comedy company. Since 2011, they’ve been bringing hard “thinky” topics and ideas to life on stage, and more recently online. They deliver high-quality improv comedy performances, only theirs are inspired by talks and conversations with some of the biggest thinkers in Minnesota and beyond. 

Tane Danger, MPP, Humphrey School of Public Affairs, University of Minnesota, is the cofounder and host of The Theater of Public Policy. A 2014 Bush Fellow, Danger, he is dedicated to finding new ways for audiences to learn and have fun, at the same time. Since 2017, he has been working with the Mayo Clinic to deliver regular “Medical Improv” workshops designed to help participants think more creatively and collaboratively, using the tools of improv. He also teaches a class at the University of Minnesota called “Improvisation for Design” and has taught “applied improvisation" workshops nationally.

Ebony Payne-English
Poetry of Resilience

Ebony Payne-English is a writer, performer, and educator from Duval County. She is Executive Director of The Performers Academy and author of graphic novel, The Random Happenings, as well as award winning poetry collection, Secrets of Ma’at. Ebony has taught invitational workshops at the University of Florida, the Tupac Amaru Shakur Center for the Arts, Morgan State University, HBO Brave New Voices, the National Afterschool Programming Conference and the Department of Juvenile Justice. Ebony’s performance accolades include The New Orleans House of Blues, The Florida Theatre, TEDx, and countless other venues nationwide.


Accreditation Statement
In support of improving patient care, Mayo Clinic College of Medicine and Science is jointly accredited by the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education (ACCME), the Accreditation Council for Pharmacy Education (ACPE), and the American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC) to provide continuing education for the healthcare team.

Mayo Clinic College of Medicine and Science designates this Other activity (livestream)  for a maximum of 16.5 AMA PRA Category 1 Credits™. Physicians should claim only the credit commensurate with the extent of their participation in the activity.

Other Healthcare Professionals:
A record of attendance will be provided to all registrants for requesting credits in accordance with state nursing boards, specialty societies or other professional associations.

Friday, September 173.0
Saturday, September 18 4.0
Saturday, September 252.0
Tuesday, September 281.5
Thursday, September 301.5
Saturday, October 94.5


For disclosure information regarding Mayo Clinic School of Continuous Professional Development accreditation review committee member(s) and staff, please go here to review disclosures.

Available Credit

  • 16.50 AMA PRA Category 1 Credit
  • 16.50 Attendance


Please login or register to take this course.


Cancellation and Refund Policy:

Request for cancellations must be submitted in writing to When cancelling a registration for a course 14 days or more before the course start date, a full refund (minus a $75 administrative fee) will be issued in the same form of payment the registration was received. No refunds are granted less than 14 days before the course start date.

Any use of this site constitutes your agreement to the Terms and Conditions of Online Registration.