Banner photo by Nathan Jandl
Welcome to "Landscapes of Health": A CHE Study Guide to Exploring Health Beyond the Clinic. On these pages we've assembled a series of stories, images, and insights that we hope will serve as a useful primer for thinking about human and environmental health as more than the presence or absence of disease, but as part of broader cultural, social, historical, and environmental relationships.
Photo courtesy of Arne Alanen
This approach to health reflects CHE's ongoing commitment to bringing together scholars and scientists from a wide array of disciplines to explore the changing relationships between humans and the environment over time. Health, we've discovered, is a theme that unifies many seemingly-disparate people and groups – from wildlife biologists, to public health officials, to clinicians, to citizens and community activists. And true to CHE's eclectic nature, we've tried to explore how these varying perspectives connect with one another.
Health also connects people and places. It connects the water that flows from a lake through a treatment plant to a drinking glass in the home. Health connects toxic compounds buried in river sediments with the bodies of fish that are consumed for dinner. It connects workers in a plant to the machines and equipment they use for many years. Health connects the structural inequality of poverty to a set of structures still covered with lead paint.
On the pages below you'll find a useful primer to thinking, and re-thinking, about the landscapes of health.
For more resources on "reading the landscape," click here
To better understand how health connects people and place, a group of students in CHE's 2011 Methods Seminar sought out a series of stories that highlighted the relationship between health and place. Building on CHE's ongoing efforts to use film as a means of telling stories, these pieces are three minute films that combine images and sound to narrate stories about health, place, and time. To view this collection of short films, "Stories of Health and Place," click here
In May 2011 CHE also embarked on its annual "Place-Based Workshop," which was organized around the theme of "Landscapes of Health in Wisconsin." Visiting a wide range of communities, people, and places, this four-day trip took in just a small fraction of the diversity of health issues in the state. Inspired by other guides for exploring urban and energy landscapes that CHE has created, our 2011 workshop participants have produced a remarkable page called "Looking for Health Beyond the Clinic," which chronicles the workshop and our participant's insights. Visit the page, here
We've also assembled an eclectic study guide that collects nonfiction, fiction, and films that explore health and the environment through lenses of history and culture. Check out the guide here.
View more of CHE's reading lists, here