In a special guest lecture, hosted by the University of Sussex's new cross-disciplinary Humanities and Futurehealth network and the Centre Early Modern and Medieval Studies, Dr. Victoria Sweet will be exploring premodern European relationships between humans and the natural world through the influential medical thinking of twelfth-century mystic, nun and polymath, Hildegard of Bingen.
Based in San Francisco, Dr. Sweet is a physician, historian, Associate Clinical Professor of Medicine at UCSF, and author of the best-selling book God's Hotel: A Doctor, a Hospital and a Pilgrimage to the Heart of Medicine. Winner of the Gold Medal for Non-Fiction at the 82nd Annual California Book Awards and a finalist at the 2013 PEN Literary Awards, God's Hotel describes Dr. Sweet's experiences working in the Laguna Honda chronic care hospital, called by some the 'last almshouse in America'. She intertwines her patients' narratives with her own research on the life of Hildegard, and from these draws new ideas on the future direction of healthcare.
In 2014 Dr. Sweet was awarded a prestigious Guggenheim Fellowship in Creative Arts: General Non-Fiction to work on her next book, Slow Medicine, Fast Medicine: Healing, Curing and Caring in an Age of Technology.
Her recent article for the NY Times on Florence Nightingale can be found here: www.nytimes.com/2014/03/04/health/florence-nightingales-wisdom.html.