With the participation of faculty across the college, the inaugural Public Humanistic Inquiry Lab (PHIL) at Colby critically explores the relationship between medicine and race. While the medical professions have recognized that racial and health inequities are closely linked, the humanities and social sciences point to structural racism’s impact on health outcomes across time and place and offer new ways of thinking about medicine in racialized societies. Launched in the fall of 2021, the PHIL aims to stimulate campus-wide interest in critical medical humanities, which relies on interdisciplinary analytical tools to interrogate the power structures that have defined medical practices and to reveal the socially constructed, intersectional, and embodied experiences of health and illness. It creates opportunities for Colby faculty to publicly lead in this field and supports their efforts to promote both scientific advancement and racial justice through their scholarship and teaching. By engaging students in faculty-led research, the PHIL is preparing the broader Colby community to think critically about race in health experiences and professions.

This site includes information about the PHIL’s participants, activities, partnerships, and support. It also shares resources related to the humanistic study of medicine and race.

You can read more about the PHIL’s origins in the Colby Magazine and about the growth of the medical humanities at Colby in a story published by Colby News.