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Kingfisher Institute Events

See below for details on upcoming or past events

Our events are known for offering fresh perspectives from the humanities and unique opportunities to engage with challenging ideas. Many are offered in a hybrid format with opportunities for in-person or virtual participation.

Social, Emotional, and Community Health—Humanities Interventions

We are proudly hosting the 2024 Health Humanities Consortium Conference!
April 10-13, 2024
Creighton University Phoenix Health Sciences Campus and virtually

Over 50 interdisciplinary sessions, including:

  • plenary speakers Ricardo Nuila, MD, author of The People's Hospital, and Eric Avery, MD, who calls himself "an artist who became a physician."
  • guest reader Natalie Diaz, a Pulitzer Prize-winning poet. 

Learn more and register today.

Health Humanities Consortium colorful globe logo with wording, "Health Humanities Consortium #HHC2024"


Divisible Documentary Screening

Monday, Feb. 12, 5-7 p.m.
Hixson-Lied Auditorium, Harper Center

Experience a powerful film that reveals the history and current impacts of redlining in the United States, particularly in Omaha.

Screening (75 minutes) will start at 5 p.m., followed by discussion with local experts from the film: Terri Crawford, JD; Rev. Dr. Nikitah Okembe-RA Imani; and Schmeeka SimpsonMario Alejandre, Director of the Creighton Intercultural Center, will moderate the panel.

Exclusively for Creighton students, faculty, staff and alumni.

The Long History of Biometric Surveillance: Sharrona Pearl

Sharrona Pearl, PhD, author and associate professor of medical ethics and history at Drexel University, spoke about the history of the technology and its intersectionality with racism, colonialism and national security. 

Wednesday, Sept. 20, 2023, 7 p.m. CDT, Creighton University Harper Center and livestream

Presented by Creighton University's Father Henry W. Casper, SJ Professor of History endowed chair, the Department of Medical Humanities, the Richard L Deming, MD, Endowed Chair in Medical Humanities, and the Kingfisher Institute for the Liberal Arts and Professions

Population Health Lyceums

Scott Shipman, MD, MPH, CyncHealth Endowed Chair in Population Health, partnered with the Kingfisher Institute to offer panel discussions on “Population Health Perspectives on Access to Care.” Lyceums, as recurring events co-hosted with the School of Medicine, provide a venue for interprofessional learning and discussion on health-related education, care, and research topics.

  • Wed., Feb. 15: In addition to Dr. Shipman, the Omaha edition of the lyceum featured perspectives from:
    • Joy Doll, OTD, then of CyncHealth and now program director for the Health Informatics Program at Creighton
    • Matthew Reznicek, PhD, then associate Professor of English at Creighton
  • Wed., Feb. 22: For the first time, we offered a lyceum in-person at Creighton’s Phoenix Health Sciences Campus, featuring:
    • Emer Lucey, PhD, Postdoctoral Scholar, College of Health Solutions, Arizona State University
    • David Wisinger, MD, Assistant Dean for Academic and Faculty Affairs, School of Medicine, Creighton University

An Evening with Uwem Akpan

Uwem Akpan, onetime Creighton student and the Nigerian American author of the short story collection Say You’re One of Them and other acclaimed books, returned to Creighton on January 26, 2023. The Kingfisher Institute was one of many university departments who supported the Department of English in hosting Mr. Akpan for a reading and dialogue.

Presidential Lecture Series

We're proud to be part of the 2022 Presidential Lecture Series, featuring Edwidge Danticat, Dr. Damon Tweedy, Colson Whitehead, and Isabel Wilkerson.

Virtual event: BECOMING: Michelle Obama in Conversation

Creighton University is one of a limited number of colleges and universities who participated in Michelle Obama's only higher education event this year: BECOMING: Michelle Obama in Conversation, moderated by Yara Shahidi, co-hosted by Howard University and the Maryland Community College Consortium. Creighton student Leilani Hung traveled to Washington D.C. to meet Mrs. Obama and participate in a live-streamed conversation with her and other students, focusing on the themes in her memoir, Becoming.

Nov. 9, 2021, beginning at 11:30 a.m. CST
Hixson-Lied Auditorium, Mike & Josie Harper Center

Creighton University's participation is made possible through the partnership and support of:

  • Division of Equity, Diversity and Inclusion
    • Creighton Intercultural Center
    • Lieben Center for Women
  • TRIO Student Support Services
  • Kingfisher Institute for the Liberal Arts and Professions.

Kingfisher Research and Scholarship Fellows Symposium:  The Politics of Health and Healthcare

Wednesday, Sept. 22, 3:30-5:30 p.m. CDT
Hixson-Lied Science Building G04 or on Zoom

Flash presentations will take place during the first half of the event, with reception to follow in the atrium. 

Responses to COVID-19 on the African Continent 

10-11:30 a.m. CDT | Friday, April 30, 2021

Presented by Creighton University African Studies Program and the Kingfisher Institute

Featuring panelists from Uganda, Nigeria, Namibia, and the Democratic Republic of the Congo, with Q&A and interactive discussion

  • Dr. John Mary Mooka, Uganda Martyrs University
  • Dr. Marcus Inyama, Associate Professor of Medicine, University of Calabar, Nigeria
  • Sikiru Abiona Yusuff, Research Fellow at the Centre for Black Culture and International Understanding, Nigeria
  • Ndumba Jonah Kamwanyah, Deputy Director: Academic Centres of Professional Development, University of Namibia
  • Emmanuel Banywesize Mukambilwa, Philosophy, Democratic Republic of the Congo

Health Humanities Lyceum

“Translational Humanities:” How Health Humanities Can Inform Higher Education's Response to Crises

Friday, April 9 | 1-3 p.m. CDT on Zoom 

Friday, April 9 | 1-3 p.m. CDT on Zoom 


  • Kerry Kernen, MPA, MSN, RN, Division Chief, Community Health, Nutrition and Clinical Services, Douglas County (NE) Health Department,
  • Chris Rodgers, MBA, Douglas County commissioner, Douglas County Health Board President, and Director of Community and Government Relations at Creighton University
  • Kirsten Ostherr, PhD, MPH, Gladys Louise Fox Professor and Chair, Dept. of English, Director, Medical Humanities Director, Medical Futures Lab, Rice University

View recording



HUMAN/E Health & Healthcare Symposium

October 23 & 24, 2020
Virtual event

Contact if you are interested in any of the recordings or being notified of future symposium plans.

Medical Humanities Faculty Lyceum

Friday, September 4, 2020
Access recording



Teaching Antiracism in the Undergraduate Curriculum

Aug. 11, 2020
Access recording and materials

Henry J. Renard, S.J. Endowed Lecture in Philosophy

Dr. Charles Mills, Distinguished Professor of Philosophy, City University of New York, Graduate Center

"Doing Injustice to 'Justice': How Rawls Went Wrong"
Thurs., Mar. 5, 2020, 6-7:30 pm
Creighton University Hixson-Lied Science Building G04.

The Rev. Henri J. Renard S.J. Endowed Lecture Series is sponsored by the College of Arts and Sciences and the Renard Lecture Endowment. and organized by the Department of Philosophy. The Kingfisher Institute is honored to be a co-sponsor.

The Hippocratic Oath and the Profession of Medicine: Lecture by Dr. Tom Cavanaugh

Tuesday, February 18, 2020 | 3:30 p.m.
Harper Center, Hixson-Lied Auditorium
View Recording:

Lecture will be followed by a panel discussion in which Dr. Cavanaugh will be joined by Creighton faculty members:

  • David McPherson, PhD
  • Jim F. Smith, MD
  • Oge Williams, PhD
  • Rev. Kevin FitzGerald, SJ, PhD, PhD (moderator)

Professor Tom Cavanaugh, who teaches at the University of San Francisco, will discuss the origins of the medical profession and the enduring meaning of the Hippocratic Oath. His most recent book is Hippocrates' Oath and Asclepius' Snake: The Birth of the Medical Profession (Oxford University Press).


Branches from the Same Tree: An Interactive Discussion on Integrating the Humanities and STEMM at Creighton University

Wednesday, October 9, 2019
4:15-6 p.m.
Harper Center - Ahmanson Ballroom

Guests representing the National Academies of Science, Engineering, and Medicine visited campus to share information on the landmark report, "Branchesfrom the Same Tree: The Integration of the Humanities and Arts withSciences, Engineering, and Medicine in Higher Education."

View the recording to join the conversation on ways to integrate these disciplines in our own local contexts.

1919 Centenary Events

Saturday, Sept. 28, 2019, 9 a.m.
Douglas County Courthouse

To observe the centenary of the brutal 1919 lynching of Will Brown, and the accompanying riots in Omaha, a community remembrance ceremony took place.

Sponsored by the Omaha Community Council for Racial Justice and Reconciliation, a network of partners committed to memorializing victims of lynching and raising awareness regarding our community's legacy of racial violence and injustice.

Watch this video to learn more about the history.


Lecture: Pulitzer Prize Winner David Blight

Thursday, Sept. 19, 2019, 7 p.m.
Creighton University, Harper Center Auditorium
Free and open to the public

Offered in partnership with the National Parks Service Underground Railroad Network to Freedom and the Great Plains Black History Museum

David Blight, who won a 2018 Pulitzer Prize for the biography, Frederick Douglass: Prophet of Freedom, visited campus to speak.

In addition to Blight, living historian, Michael Crutcher made an appearance as Frederick Douglass. Crutcher delivered a speech given by Douglass in Omaha in 1893. In his speech, Douglass addressed, "a colored man's view of the unhappy relations between White and colored people of the South". He proposed "one love, one justice, one destiny" for all the people of the United States.

During the lecture, Blight spoke on the history of lynching, his interest in Frederick Douglass, and his passion for bringing historical knowledge to wider audiences. After the lecture, an audience Q&A and book signing took place. 

Author Talk with Theodore Wheeler, Panel on History of Racial Violence

Thursday, Sept. 5, 7 p.m.
Creighton University, Harper Center Auditorium
Free and open to the public

Author Theodore Wheeler, MA'08, MFA'15, will read from his novel about Omaha's Red Summer of 1919, Kings of Broken Things.

The panel discussion will then offer perspectives on racial violence and injustice in the past and present. A book signing with Wheeler will follow.

View Recording

Continuing Education Lecture: "The US Health Care System: Going Backward to Go Forward"

Dr. Daniel Bruzzini
Saturday, June 1, 2-3 p.m.

"No Empires, No Dust Bowls: Rejecting the White Man's Burden and Building Real Ecological Solidarity"

Lecture by Hannah Holleman
Thursday, April 25, 3:30-4:45 p.m.
Skutt Student Center Room 105

Holleman, an associate professor in the Department of Anthropology and Sociology at Amherst College, is the author of Dust Bowls of Empire: Imperialism, Environmental Politics, and the Injustice of "Green" Capitalism (Yale University Press, 2018).

This latest in the Kenefick Chair's "Reconceiving Social Theory: Toward a More Integral Humanism" lecture series is co-sponsored by theKingfisher Institute, the Environmental Science Program, and theDepartment of Cultural and Social Studies.

Philosophy, Cognitive Science, and the Law: Roundtable Discussion

Panelists: Dr. Valerie Hardcastle (Northern Kentucky University), Dr. Amy Wendling, Dr. Kelly Dineen, and Emery Staton

Friday, April 26, 5 p.m.
Skutt Student Center Room 105
Reception to follow. Free and open to the public as part of the Midwest Undergraduate Philosophy Conference.



Lecture: Richard Rothstein, author of "The Color of Law: A Forgotten History of How Our Government Segregated America"

Monday, March 25, 2019 | 7:30 p.m.
Harper Center - Hixson-Lied Auditorium
View recording

"You are Here" Conference

The Kingfisher Institute is a proud sponsor of the 2019 "You are Here" conference, an annual interdisciplinary conference on space, place and embodiment.


"Open Wide Our Hearts: The Enduring Call to Love, A Pastoral Letter Against Racism" by the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB)

Co-sponsored by the Kenefick Chair and the Vice Provost for Diversity and Inclusion, the Vice Provost for Mission and Ministry, the Kingfisher Institute for the Liberal Arts and Professions, the Collaborative Ministry Office, the Schlegel Center for Service and Justice, and the Justice and Peace Studies Program. 

A breakfast discussion was held February 28, 2019, by Patrick Murray, professor in the Department of Philosophy and John C. Kenefick Faculty Chair in the Humanities, and other cosponsors. The discussion centered around the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops' (USCCB) formal statement, "Open Wide our Hearts: The Enduring Call to Love," a pastoral letter against racism. The pastoral letter is addressed to lay faithful and all people of good will, and it asks people to recall that they arebrothers and sisters, all equally made in the image of God.

Creighton students and faculty joined one another in small groups where they were given some questions to help start the conversation. After discussing amongst their small groups, students and faculty cametogether to examine the pastoral letter's impact and meaning. Thepastoral letter acknowledges that words will not be enough to root outracism in the United States. The letter states that Catholics mustacknowledge their own sinfulness and the ways they have been complicitin the evil of racism. The USCCB exhorts Catholics to educate themselvesand work towards dismantling systemic forms of oppression becauseracism goes against human life and dignity.

Read the letter and more at