“We are challenged to listen to people—their self understandings, their storytelling, their own concept of work—more as readers and writers than diagnosticians or theorists, with deliberate openness to life in all its refractions.”
- Joao Biehl, Anthropologist, Princeton University

The lab values listening as a way of understanding the larger social systems that affect health and well-being. We seek to redefine listening as a responsive activity that values the knowledge embedded in communities. Moving beyond gesture, we focus on listening as a deliberative practice, one that structures our identities and activities. Help us engage the individuals, institutions, and communities you value.

We also seek to develop a shared vocabulary about health and to encourage space within the university for critical thought and reflection with students and scholars from the humanities, social policy and medicine. What can medicine and its understanding of health learn from social policy and the humanities? How are acts of care understood and enacted across disciplines and institutions? Join a conversation, reading group, or course at the University of Pennsylvania.

We are committed to engaging students, faculty, and community as partners in the design of projects, publications and events. Our collaborative working environment affirms the power of dialogue, and encourages participants to transform ideas into action. In so doing, we recognize the value of listening, learning, and ideation to meaningfully impact health and well-being. Workshop your ideas with us and collaborate on a public initiative.