December Narrative Medicine Rounds with Eyal Press
“DIRTY WORK: Essential Jobs and the Hidden Toll of Inequality in America,” a talk with Eyal Press about his book.
For December Narrative Medicine Rounds, we are honored to host Eyal Press(link is external and opens in a new window), author of the book DIRTY WORK: Essential Jobs and the Hidden Toll of Inequality in America(link is external and opens in a new window).
In Dirty Work, Press offers a paradigm-shifting view of the moral landscape of contemporary America through the stories of people who perform society’s most ethically troubling jobs: Drone pilots who carry out targeted assassinations; Undocumented immigrants who man the “kill floors” of industrial slaughterhouses; Guards who patrol the wards of the United States’ most violent and abusive prisons, and others. The COVID-19 pandemic has drawn unprecedented attention to essential workers, and to the health and safety risks to which workers in prisons and slaughterhouses are exposed.
But Dirty Work examines a less familiar set of occupational hazards: psychological and emotional hardships such as stigma, shame, PTSD, and moral injury. These burdens fall disproportionately on low-income workers, undocumented immigrants, women, and people of color. Illuminating the moving, sometimes harrowing stories of the people doing society’s dirty work, and incisively examining the structures of power and complicity that shape their lives, Press reveals fundamental truths about the moral dimensions of work and the hidden costs of inequality in America.
Eyal Press is an author and a journalist based in New York. The recipient of the James Aronson Award for Social Justice Journalism, an Andrew Carnegie fellowship, a Cullman Center fellowship at the New York Public Library, and a Puffin Foundation fellowship at Type Media Center, he is a contributor to The New Yorker, The New York Times, and numerous other publications. He is the author of Beautiful Souls and Absolute Convictions.
Our moderator for the evening will be Co-Director of Narrative Medicine at Columbia University, Craig Irvine. Dr. Irvine holds a PhD in Philosophy. For over 20 years, he has been designing and teaching cultural competency, ethics, Narrative Medicine, and Humanities and Medicine curricula for residents, medical students, physicians, nurses, social workers, chaplains, dentists, and other health professionals. Dr. Irvine is co-author of The Principles and Practice of Narrative Medicine, and has published articles in the areas of ethics, residency education, and literature and medicine. He has presented at numerous national and international conferences on these and other topics.
Narrative Medicine Rounds are monthly rounds on the first Wednesday of the month during the academic year hosted by the Division of Narrative Medicine in the Department of Medical Humanities and Ethics at Columbia University Irving Medical Center. A recording of our Virtual Narrative Medicine rounds will be made available following the live session on the Narrative Medicine YouTube channel(link is external and opens in a new window), and you can watch other recent Rounds events there. You can also listen to a podcast of past Rounds on iTunes(link is external and opens in a new window).