Lecture to Focus on Ill Health and Culture

Dr. Cecil Helman, senior lecturer with the Department of Primary Care and Population Sciences at the Royal Free and University College Medical School of London, will discuss "Cross Cultural Concepts of the Body, Mind and Self" Thursday, Sept. 26, at 7 p.m. in Cone Chapel at Willamette University. The lecture is free and open to the public.

Helman will discuss how in different societies "body" and "self" are not necessarily seen as the same thing, how the borders of the body are not only the skin, and how in some groups one can have several "bodies" at the same time. He will also talk about fundamental changes in our body image that have resulted from recent advances in medical and surgical technology.

A native South African, Helman is a primary care physician, noted author, poet and sociologist with a particular interest in medical anthropology. How people from different cultures explain ill health is the focus of his book, "Culture, Health and Illness: An Introduction for Health Professionals." He also wrote "The Body of Frankenstein's Monster: Essays in Myth and Medicine" which examines the socio-cultural mythology of the body and disease.

Helman has lectured at more than 60 universities including Harvard, Cambridge and Oxford. His appearance at Willamette University is made possible by support from the Hewlitt Grant and Professor Emeritus Charlie Bowles I.