Health Humanities Lab

The HRC Health Humanities Lab fosters interdisciplinary and multidisciplinary research collaborations that center on better understanding and critiquing the systematic and structural inequities that produce health and healthcare disparities, and on imagining and enacting alternatives. The goal of the Health Humanities Lab is to bring together fresh perspectives from the humanities, arts, and social sciences, as well as from the Richmond community and beyond, to advance individual and communal well being. 

All students, faculty, staff, and community members are welcome to join. If you are interested in joining the HHL, please contact Chris Cynn. 

Thank you to the Office of Health Equity, the Honors College, the East Marshall Street Well Project, and the School of the Arts for their support and collaboration with the HRC Health Humanities Lab.

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Health Humanities Lab

Meet the Team

Chris Cynn

Chris Cynn, Ph.D.

Lab Director

Chris Cynn is an associate professor of Gender, Sexuality and Women’s Studies. Her interdisciplinary research draws from gender, queer of color, and cultural studies to explore literary and visual productions related to illness, health, memory, and archives. She has worked as a full-time community organizer and as a video producer, and is the author of Prevention: Gender, Sexuality, HIV, and the Media in Côte d’Ivoire, the co-producer of a documentary on a human rights trial in Haiti, and the co-producer and director of a number of short videos.


Michael Dickinson

Michael Dickinson, Ph.D.

Co-director, East Marshall Street Oral History Project

Dr. Michael Lawrence Dickinson is an associate professor of African American history at Virginia Commonwealth University. He was a 2019-2020 Barra Sabbatical Fellow at University of Pennsylvania’s McNeil Center for Early American Studies. His research interests include enslaved black life, comparative slavery, Black Atlantic studies, and urban history. Dr. Dickinson’s book Almost Dead: Slavery and Social Rebirth in the Black Urban Atlantic was recently published by the University of Georgia Press as part of its Race and the Atlantic World Series.



Maggie Goddard

Maggie Goddard, Ph.D.

Associate Director

Maggie Unverzagt Goddard is the Humanities Postdoctoral Fellow for the East Marshall Street Well Project. Her interdisciplinary research on the politics of aesthetics and memory work engages visual culture studies, public humanities, and critical theories of the body. With a background in public engagement and curation, her writing has been published in the Journal of Popular Culture, Women and Performance, Fwd: Museums, and the edited collection Fallen Monuments and Contested Memorials. She holds a PhD in American Studies and an MA in Public Humanities from Brown University.



Daniel Sunshine

Daniel Sunshine, Ph.D.

Associate Director

Daniel Sunshine is the Postdoctoral Fellow in History for the East Marshall Street Well Project. His research considers the evolution of American democracy in the 19th century, as well as the experiences of enslaved people under the law. His writing has appeared in The Washington Post and the Journal of the Greenbrier Historical Society. He is an award-winning teacher, and a public historian who has worked with the National Park Service and Encyclopedia Virginia. He holds a PhD and an MA in History from the University of Virginia.

Current Projects

News and Opportunities

Call for Proposals: Health Humanities Lab Health Equity Faculty Fellows

Deadline: March 1, 2024, 5:00 p.m.

The Health Humanities Lab at the Humanities Research Center and the Office of Health Equity are calling for applications for a cohort of faculty fellows to create a framework for incorporating History and Health learning modules into their syllabi. The History and Health program provides curricular resources to support learning goals set by faculty. Through this collaboration, the Health Humanities Lab and the Office of Health Equity seek faculty partners to provide models for using material from the program with student feedback.

Learn more

Upcoming Events

Jennifer Bickham Mendez
Jennifer Bickham Mendez

April 11, 2024

Claiming Space in the “Birthplace of America:” Latin American Immigrants and Struggles for Belonging in Williamsburg, Virginia

4:00 p.m. (Commons Theater)

The speaker for this event is Jennifer Bickham Mendez, PhD, Professor and Chair of Sociology at William & Mary.

Past Events