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Workshops & seminars, Arts & culture

Picture-Recitation and Medical Storytelling: an artist roundtable with Clare Dolan, MK Czerwiec, and Priyanka Jain

Date & time
Friday, February 18, 2022
2 p.m. – 4:30 p.m.

Registration is closed


Priyanka Jain, MK Czerwiec, Clare Dolan


This event is free


Mark Sussman



Join the Centre for Interdisciplinary Studies in Society and Culture for an artist roundtable with Clare Dolan, MK Czerwiec, and Priyanka Jain.

How can you participate? Attend the discussion in person (note, there is a maximum of 25 audience members permitted in the space) or online by registering for the Zoom webinar or watching live on our YouTube channel.

Have questions? Send them to

Clare Dolan

Clare Dolan performs a solo cantastoria (a sung picture-story) that chronicles her experience as a nurse who often must touch and manipulate other human bodies. Moving from the concept of homeostasis to early Greek understandings of the human body, from meditations on motion and stillness to compulsive list-making, Dolan follows the stories of two particular patients who she cares for in the ICU, and conveys the often fraught dynamic between the Nurse and the patient body in extremis.

Clare Dolan is painter, director, performer, and intensive care unit nurse living in Northeast Vermont. As a puppeteer with the Bread and Puppet Theater for decades, she performed in cities and towns throughout the United States and internationally.  In 2010 she created The Museum of Everyday Life, an ongoing multifaceted museum experiment whose goal is a slow-motion cataloging of life via objects of no monetary value yet immense consequence. She is a specialist in picture-story performance (cantastoria) and the co-founder of Banners and Cranks, the first international American festival devoted to this performance form, which occurs annually in rotating venues.


MK Czerwiec 

I will discuss the emerging field of graphic medicine: the intersection of the medium of comics and the discourse of health, illness, caregiving, and disability. I will share the story of my own evolution from “kid who couldn’t draw” to AIDS care & hospice nurse to cartoonist & arts educator.

MK Czerwiec, RN, MA is a nurse, cartoonist, educator, and co-founder of the field of Graphic Medicine. She is the creator of Taking Turns: Stories from HIV/AIDS Care Unit 371 (Penn State University Press, 2017), a co-author of Graphic Medicine Manifesto (PSU Press, 2014) and editor of the two-time Eisner Award winning Menopause: A Comic Treatment (Penn State University Press, 2020). MK is also the comics editor for the journal Literature & Medicine.

She co-manages the website, podcast, annual conferences, and online community of

MK regularly teaches graphic medicine at Northwestern Medical School, the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, the University of Illinois Medical School, and the University of Chicago. She is an Artist-in-Residence at Northwestern’s Center for Medical Humanities and Bioethics. She has served as a Senior Fellow of the George Washington School of Nursing Center for Health Policy and Media Engagement, and a Will Eisner Fellow in Applied Cartooning at the Center for Cartoon Studies in White River Junction, VT.


Priyanka Jain

Picture recitation has been practiced for 2000 years in India, but the tradition has suffered due to European colonization and is currently practiced by a very small community without urban patronage. Priyanka Jain's research aims to open the field of picture recitation to contemporary sensibilities for which she uses ideas from the sciences to compose new narratives. This presentation includes two picture recitation performances as well as a short discussion on how arts and sciences merge in with Indian aesthetics in her practice.

Priyanka Jain has studied Fine Arts in India and Germany and is currently a PhD candidate at RMIT University in Melbourne. Her research involves contemporizing ancient Indian picture recitation traditions with new narratives from microbiology and neurosciences. She works in various mediums including drawing, stop motion animation and artist book publications. 

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