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December Narrative Medicine Rounds with Eyal Press

Headshot of O"Rourke next to book cover.

For December Narrative Medicine Rounds, we are honored to host Eyal Press, author of the book DIRTY WORK: Essential Jobs and the Hidden Toll of Inequality in America.

In Dirty Work, Press offers a paradigm-shifting view of the moral landscape of contemporary America through the stories of people who perform society’s most ethically troubling jobs: Drone pilots who carry out targeted assassinations; Undocumented immigrants who man the “kill floors” of industrial slaughterhouses; Guards who patrol the wards of the United States’ most violent and abusive prisons, and others. The COVID-19 pandemic has drawn unprecedented attention to essential workers, and to the health and safety risks to which workers in prisons and slaughterhouses are exposed. But Dirty Work examines a less familiar set of occupational hazards: psychological and emotional hardships such as stigma, shame, PTSD, and moral injury. These burdens fall disproportionately on low-income workers, undocumented immigrants, women, and people of color. Illuminating the moving, sometimes harrowing stories of the people doing society’s dirty work, and incisively examining the structures of power and complicity that shape their lives, Press reveals fundamental truths about the moral dimensions of work and the hidden costs of inequality in America.

Eyal Press is an author and a journalist based in New York. The recipient of the James Aronson Award for Social Justice Journalism, an Andrew Carnegie fellowship, a Cullman Center fellowship at the New York Public Library, and a Puffin Foundation fellowship at Type Media Center, he is a contributor to The New Yorker, The New York Times, and numerous other publications. He is the author of Beautiful Souls and Absolute Convictions.

About Narrative Medicine Rounds

Narrative Medicine Rounds are monthly rounds on the first Wednesday of the month during the academic year hosted by the Division of Narrative Medicine in the Department of Medical Humanities and Ethics at Columbia University Irving Medical Center. A recording of this Virtual Narrative Medicine rounds will be made available temporarily following the live session only for those registered for the event but who are unable to attend during the live session, but we will not be offering an archived recording of this event. You can also listen to a podcast of past Rounds on iTunes or watch more recent ones on the Narrative Medicine YouTube Channel