Master Classes

Master Classes are for undergraduate and graduate students in the humanities and humanistic fields. Students meet regularly to study critical questions using a variety of methodologies, forms, and historical contexts. Master Classes expose Rice students to a wide variety of innovative research in the humanities and to both scholars and practitioners from the Texas Medical Center or Houston’s Museum District.


HURC 306/HURC 506 - Health and Humanities Master Class [Fall 2017]
Instructor(s): Melissa Bailar, Professor in the Practice of Humanities
Speakers from local hospitals and medical colleges, medical archives, and Rice University present medical humanities lectures in a variety of specialized areas, on Thursday evenings at the Health Museum. Tuesday afternoon seminars set up these expert lectures with readings and discussion.
Fall 2017 Speaker List: For a full list of speaker affiliations and talks, visit our History and Culture of Disease and Healing Seminar Series annoucement page.
Chip Carson, MD, PhD, Associate Professor, UT Health; Clint Wilson III, MA, MSc, Rice University PhD Candidate in English; Mary Ann Smith, PhD, Assistant Professor, UT Health; Philip Lee Montgomery, MLIS, CA, Head of the McGovern Historical Center at the Texas Medical Center; Kirsten Ostherr, PhD, MPH, Rice University Professor of English; Robert Emery, DrPH, CHP, CIH, CBSP, CSP, CHMM, CPP, ARM, Professor of Occupational Health, UT Health; Judith Roof, PhD, Rice University Professor of English; Catherine Troisi, PhD, Associate Professor, UT Health; Melissa Bailar, PhD, Rice University Professor in the Practice and Assistant Director of the Humanities Research Center; Doug Tynan, PhD, ABPP, Director of Integrated Healthcare, American Psychological Association; John Mulligan, PhD, Rice University Lecturer, Humanities Research Center; Els Woudstra, MA, Rice University Graduate Student in English; Niki Clements, Rice University Assistant Professor of Religion.

Fall 2016-Spring 2017

HURC 311/HURC 511 - Drama Lab Master Class [Spring 2017]
Instructor(s): Joseph Carson, Graduate Student in English
From Alred Jarry to Susan Lori-Parks, Jerzy Grotowski to Robert Wilson: the theatre has been an experimental, vivid space in which we push boundaries of what we know, what we think and how we think. In this tradition, DramaLab is a workshop-based course in which students will read, write and perform experimental theatre while also attending to methods of production and criticism. Over the course of the semester, we will have a variety of guest speakers—ranging from playwrights to designers to theatre historians—to assist in our process of developing original work.

HURC 306/HURC 506 - Health and Humanities Master Class [Fall 2016]
Instructor(s): Melissa Bailar, Professor in the Practice of Humanities
A medical archivist, a current medical student, an epidemiologist, and a hospital case manager will lead class discussions on different aspects of the health industry today. The class will also go on field trips and read a short essay and watch a film to prepare for each discussion.
Fall 2016 Speaker List: Doha Aboul-Fotouh, Rice University graduate (BA English 2015), recipient of Academy of American Poets Prize 2015, first-year medical student at Baylor College of Medicine; Masako Sakata, Director of Journey Without End, Agent Orange: A Personal Requiem, and Living the Silent Spring; Philip Montgomery, Head of the John P. McGovern Historical Collections and Research Center at the Texas Medical Center Library; Renata Domatti, LMSW, CCM, Lead Case Manager at Cornerstone Hospital of Austin.

Fall 2015-Spring 2016

HURC 408/HURC 608 - Futures of the Book Master Class [Fall 2015]
Instructor(s): Reto Geiser, Wortham Assistant Professor of Architecture
From an ongoing interest in the book as a physical object, to the exploration of its potentials expanding into a four-dimensional digital realm, to rapidly changing demands for the storage and retrieval of knowledge, this master class will provide a platform to engage experts from various disciplines in a debate on the shifting futures of the book.
Invited Speakers: Lars Müller, Guest Lecturer at the Harvard Graduate School of Design and president of Alliance Graphique Internationale; Robert Wiesenberger, Stefan Engelhorn Curatorial Fellow at the Harvard Art Museum; Jeffrey Schnapp, Faculty Director of MetaLAB at Harvard University and Co-Director of the Berkman Center for the Internet and Society; Jon Evans, Chief Librarian of the Hirsch Library at the Museum of Fine Arts Houston; Sara Lowman, Vice Provost and University Librarian at Rice University; Eric Wolf, Head Librarian of the Menil Collection.