Creative Research

Ritual, Health, and Healing


Co-taught by Gillian Goslinga , Associate Professor of Anthropology and Science in Society, and Jill Sigman, Choreographer and Founder of jill sigman/thinkdance, this Spring 2012 course explored the common conception that modern medicine must be in opposition to ritual and religious healing. Students studied this narrative historically, ethnographically, and methodologically, in addition to the moral and material worlds of ritual and religious healing in a variety of settings. Because the body is so integral to human ritual, health, and healing, the class also utilized physical explorations, exercises, and improvisations as an additional means of inquiry into concepts significant to the study of ritual and healing. The students also spent four days at St. Nicks Alliance in Brooklyn, New York, in order to dialogue with community organizations on issues related to waste management, health, education, and women's activism in the neighborhood. These issues intersected with Sigman's installation/performance project Hut #7, which took place at Arts@Renaissance at St. Nick's Alliance in the spring and summer.

Read blog entries from students enrolled in the course:

Ritual, Health and Healing: In the Field with Hannah Cressy '13

Ritual, Health and Healing: In the Classroom with Shira Engel '14

Ritual, Health and Healing: Reflecting in the Classroom with Shira Engel '14

Conversations, Research and Exploration: In the Field with Hannah Cressy '13

Community, Communication and Presentation: In the Field with Hannah Cressy '13

What it Means to Heal: Hannah Cressy '13 reflects on service learning in Greenpoint-Williamsburg

Read more about the course on The Wesleyan Connection.


Left to Right: Jesse Jacobsen, Abby Baker, Stephanie Aracena, Jan Peterson, Emily Trambert


Left to Right: Alex Ginsburg, Laura Hoffman, Guido Cianciotta, Charlotte Heyrman


Left to Right: Gillian Goslinga, Jill Sigman


Left to Right: Chris Henderson, Jill Sigman


Left to Right: Tish Cianciotta, Haley Perkins, Guido Cianciotta

Photo Credit: Rafael Gamo
Creative Campus

The Creative Campus Website is made possible by a grant from The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation

Contact: Andrew Chatfield