A. Re-imagine and enhance risk “communication” by scientists and, looking to the artistic and creative resources of the arts, explore immunization communication issues with the public, media, and non-expert health consumers through creative and artistic means; B. Analyze case studies of vaccine hesitancy from both scholarly and non-scholarly sources using an innovative model for the Working Group that uses collaboration between disciplines as the catalyst for research that is multi-faceted and inspired by a thoughtful consideration of--and commitment to--the public life of the humanities; C. Generate flexible, actionable, and portable resources that will be useful to future researchers and members of the public responding to vaccine hesitancy; D. Develop critical theory in the tradition of scholars such as Susan Sontag that melds embodied experiences with critical theory, and considers the public life of the humanities by bringing critical questions from the study of the humanities to bear on vaccine hesitancy.
Our monthly meetings will be focused on a range of readings, and organized around the theme of “encountering” vaccine hesitancy in quantitative and qualitative research as well as in fictional texts. In this sense, we will think about what it means to “encounter” a contentious topic, following the sense of the word not as a verb (where the connotation is “to meet as an adversary”), but as a noun: “a meeting face to face.” In the context of this group, facilitating such an encounter with vaccine hesitancy will involve facing both tangible and theoretical questions, addressing the immediate lived experience of a hesitant parent making a decision about vaccines as well as confronting the unseen social, narrative, and epistemological forces that necessarily shape the encounters between healthcare workers and hesitant subjects. Each meeting will begin with a discussion of a pre-selected reading and conclude with a member-selected “case study” of vaccine hesitancy, which will be drawn from either the media, fiction, or other non-academic forum. These selections will be used to form an on-the-spot “case study” that the group will collaboratively respond to.
Faculty at University of Toronto Shelly Bolotin, Public Health Andrea Charise, UTSC Health Studies Colin Furness, Faculty of Information Alison Thompson, Faculty of Pharmacy Susanne Truelsen, Social Work
Faculty at Other Universities Colleen Derkatsch, English & Rhetoric, Ryerson University Eve Dube, Anthropology, Laval University Heidi Larson, Anthropology and Public Health & Ethics, Laval University Natalie Loveless, Visual & Performing Arts, University of Alberta
Graduate Students at University of Toronto Kate Allen, Faculty of Social Work Sarah Buchan, Social Work Hifsa Buhari, Immunology Stefan Krescy, English Lauren Ramsay, School of Continuing Studies Abdool Yasseen, Public Health
Undergraduate Student at University of Toronto Fahmeeda Murtaza, UTSC Health Studies
Graduate Students at Other Universities Alison Humphrey, Cinema & Media Studies, York University