Carleton brings award-winning “Hippocrates Café” to Northfield

3 May 2018

Acclaimed Minnesota Public Radio medical news analyst Dr. Jon Hallberg, along with a cast of professional Twin Cities actors and musicians, will bring their award-winning “Hippocrates Café” to Carleton College on Monday, May 14 at 7 p.m. in the Weitz Center for Creativity Theater. The performance, “Health, Disease, and Inequality,” uses poetry, music, images, and theatrical readings to explore questions about the ethics of health care in the U.S. and around the world.

Bringing the “Hippocrates Café” to Carleton is a joint collaboration between host and creator Hallberg and the college’s Humanities Center, in an effort to use the arts and humanities to address ethical questions in professions such as medicine and healthcare. The project pulls together students and faculty in the area of biology, history, and religion.

“Through history we can understand how cultures have dealt with illness and administered healthcare, and through religion we can explore ideals about human well-being,” said director of the Humanities Center Director and professor of religion Lori Pearson, who is leading the collaboration between the Hippocrates Café and Carleton. “Students in biology classes are being encouraged to understand the history and politics of how diseases get labeled and treated, and who has access to healthcare. When religion, history, and biology students work together, they can learn how to solve healthcare problems in new ways.”

Hallberg is medical director of the University of Minnesota’s innovative Mill City Clinic, in addition to providing medical news analysis for MPR’s “All Things Considered.” Along with Hallberg, who created and hosts and narrates the “Hippocrates Café,” the production includes performances by actors from esteemed Twin Cities institutions including the Guthrie, Mixed Blood, and Penumbra theaters, along with a stellar roster of professional musicians. Representing Carleton in the production are three professors and their students: professor of biology Debby Walser-Kuntz and biology students, assistant professor of history Amna Khalid and history students, and visiting assistant professor of religion Mara Block and religion students. This term, their classes on virology, public health, and science and religion are addressing questions about the ethics of health care.

Created in 2009 by Hallberg, the “Hippcrates Café” has been performed over 100 times at various locations around the country. The appearance at Carleton is part of the college’s Humanities Center Series on The Arts and Democratic Engagement, and is funded by Carleton’s Public Works Grant from the Mellon Foundation. For more information, including disability accommodations, call (507) 222-4192. The Weitz Center for Creativity Theater is located at 320 Third Street East in Northfield.