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BASS CONNECTIONS: INTEGRATION OF TECHNOLOGY, LIVE IMAGERY, AND STORYTELLING TO CREATE A VISUAL ART EXHIBIT ON WOMEN'S PERCEPTIONS OF SEXUAL AND REPRODUCTIVE HEALTH

In collaboration with Wesley Hogan, Director of Center for Documentary Studies, Deborah Jenson, Director of Health Humanities Lab, Megan Huchko, Professor of Obstetrics & Gynecology, Gita Suneja, Associate Profess of Radiation Oncology, and Jeff Polish, Executive Director of the Monti. A new Bass Connections course will begin the Fall of 2019, the goal is to give the cervix visibility in a way that empowers women to be active agents of their sexual health and be advocates for transformative healthcare models by bringing together three key innovations – (1) the Callascope, a technology developed at Duke University that allows for self-exploration of the reproductive anatomy without the need for a speculum, (2) live imagery of the cervix that has been largely inaccessible to date, and (3) storytelling that is created by women for women. This participatory research framework, which creates a mutual experience between participant and researcher, represents an ideal platform through which to shift the narrative of shame and invisibility that surrounds the female reproductive anatomy. This is a process of sequential action and reflection that gives researchers greater insights into the complex layers of meaning that are attached to this part of the female body and it serves as an attempt to close the gap between research and lived experience. Furthermore, it acknowledges that the participant knows best on matters of personal experience and womanhood that have been formative in her health and life.