Medical Humanities

Medical Humanities is an interdisciplinary field of study that focuses on the literary, social, cultural, historical and philosophical dimensions of medical science and practice, as well as on the ways in which the Arts and Humanities can contribute to medical understanding, education, practice and research.

Medical Humanities is a vibrant research cluster whose members work on a variety of topics, including the phenomenology of illness; scientific knowledge and evolving conceptions of the self; literature and medicine; narrative and illness; love sickness in the Renaissance; the four humours; representations of suicide and suicide ideation; the history of the Medical Humanities movement; disability; the use of placental tissue in bioscientific and healthcare contexts and the understanding of pain and its physiological, cultural and philosophical dimensions.

In July 2013, the Research Cluster held a workshop on ‘Illness, Narrative and Phenomenology’ at the Institute for Advanced Studies. It also hosts a Medical Humanities Research Seminar in the Faculty of Arts. Speakers in 2013-2014 include Ronald Schleifer (University of Oklahoma), Nicole Matthews (Macquarie University, Sydney), Angela Woods (Centre for Medical Humanities, University of Durham), Clare Hanson (University of Southampton), Neil Vickers (Centre for Medical Humanities, King’s) and Sander Gilman (Emory).

Coordinators: Dr Havi Carel and Dr Ulrika Maude.