For release: March 18, 2008
For press information, contact Simone Notter Wilson
The University of Memphis' Center for the Study of Rhetoric and Applied Communication
(CSRAC) will hold its fourth annual conference March 28 from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. at
the Fogelman Executive Conference Center, Room 215. The event is free and open to
the public. This year's topic is “Health and Rhetoric." One of the University's research
centers, CSRAC coordinates interdisciplinary projects and education in the Communication
and English Departments and among different institutions in the Memphis area.
Conference speakers and their topics include: Athena DuPré, professor of communication
at the University of West Florida, “Health Literacy Challenges: The Invisible Epidemic;"
Judy Segal, professor of English at the University of British Columbia, “Public Function
and the Rhetoric of Breast Cancer Narratives;" and Gary Gunderson, senior vice president
of Health and Welfare Ministries for Methodist Healthcare, “Language for the Journey
“Effective communication among health care providers and in their interaction with
patients is crucial," says Amanda Young, assistant professor of communication at the
U of M. “However, these interactions also bear many communication challenges, such
as unfamiliar terms, differing interpretations of symptoms, language barriers, cultural
beliefs and customs, and differences in education, and socio-economic status, to name
just a few."
The role of medical rhetoricians and health communication scholars is to study the
strategies individuals and institutions use to navigate these communication challenges.
Their work has impacted communication in such areas as preventive care, end-of-life
care, pharmaceuticals, chronic pain, risk behaviors, and health and technology.