Welcome from the Chair

Welcome to the Department of Health and Society at the University of Toronto Scarborough!

As Chair of the Department of Health and Society, I’m delighted to welcome you to our website and our Department.

The Department of Health and Society is committed to asking cutting-edge questions about health, disability, illness, and disease both locally and globally and from a range of disciplinary perspectives. Throughout our website you will meet a diverse community of faculty, staff, postdoctoral fellows, visiting scholars, as well as our teaching community and community collaborators. Our students and faculty work together in complimentary and linked degree options: a BA Major or BA Major Co-op, a BSc Major or BSc Major Co-op, and Canada’s only Minor in Health Humanities. More broadly, our department is committed to the following:

·    We examine health and illness across the life course—from infancy and early childhood to adolescence, adulthood, and old age.

·     Our special interest in immigrant and Indigenous health leads us to investigate how social contexts—including work conditions, the law, and ideas about nation—shape experiences of health and illness.

·    We consider biological and genetic factors that affect susceptibility and resistance to a broad spectrum of diseases and aspects of the natural and built environment that shape health and well-being from an individual to a global level.

·    Using humanistic perspectives and arts-based knowledges, we consider lived experiences of health, illness, and disability in Scarborough, Toronto, North America, and Eastern Europe.

·    We ask questions about how and why some lives, bodies, and communities are held up as healthy while others are unjustly viewed as somehow deficient.

·    We believe that interdisciplinary research and teaching are crucial to understanding pressing health concerns, including the COVID-19 pandemic.

·    We understand anti-Black racism and other questions of social inequality and justice to be public health concerns.

·    Our scholars conduct research in partnership with the communities we study—working with them to, for example, determine research questions, design studies, collect and analyze data, and share findings that make a meaningful difference in people’s worlds.

We are grateful for your interest in the Department of Health and Society and look forward to crossing paths (whenever that may be).

All best wishes,

Michelle Pannor Silver
Associate Professor and Chair