Call for Papers: Inaugural Congress of the Northern Network for Medical Humanities Research

NNMHR Congress CfP

Call for Papers

The Northern Network for Medical Humanities Research (NNMHR) was founded in 2013 with the purpose of connecting individuals and institutions working in this dynamic area of interdisciplinary research. Following six successful seminars held across the North of England and Scotland, the NNMHR welcomes scholars, practitioners, health professionals, artists and health advocates, to join us at Durham University for a two-day Congress on Thursday 14 and Friday 15 September 2017.

The logic of the Congress is simple: it is an opportunity for people who are passionate or even simply curious about medical humanities research to present their work, share ideas, and meet potential future colleagues and collaborators.

The call for contributions is now open.

(i) We invite 200 word proposals for papers (20 minutes) or provocations (10 minutes) on any aspect of medical humanities research, including presentations on research methods, impact, and engagement. Proposals from postgraduate and early career researchers are warmly encouraged, as are contributions from professionals and practitioners who are actively involved in research but not based in the academy. We welcome proposals from individuals working in any discipline and at any institution.

(ii) Researchers working on larger scale medical humanities projects are also invited to submit proposals for a special session showcasing collaborations in the field. The format of this showcase is limited only by the imagination of the participating projects – we hope to go beyond the format of a conventional poster session and instead set up a marketplace of ideas, where the ‘stalls’ of each project are populated by different images, publications, artefacts and other resources introducing the project and its participants.


Please submit your proposal for the Congress using this form by 1 June 2017. All proposals will be reviewed by the NNMHR Congress Steering Group and presenters notified by 23 June 2017 when registrations will open. (Please follow the link above to take you to the link)

The NNMHR Congress is funded by the Wellcome Trust with the support of Durham University’s Centre for Medical Humanities. The Congress is free to attend and refreshments will be provided. Five travel bursaries of up to £150 will be available to support postgraduate participation at the congress.

The members of the congress steering committee are: Angela Woods and Jane Macnaughton (Durham), Annamaria Carusi (Sheffield), Alice Hall and Marie Allitt (York), Lucy Burke (Manchester Metropolitan), Anne Whitehead (Newcastle), Gavin Miller (Glasgow), and Stuart Murray (Leeds).

If you have any questions regarding the Congress or the call for papers, please contact Jane Abel at Durham University’s Centre for Medical Humanities.


Posted on 24 May 2017, under News.

*Save the Date* NNMHR Research Congress, Durham, 14th-15th September

Northern Network for Medical Humanities Research Congress, Van Mildert College Durham, 14th-15th September 2017.


Durham University’s Centre for Medical Humanities will be hosting the first research congress of the Northern Network for Medical Humanities Research from 14th-15th September 2017.  The Northern Network was established in 2013 to provide support and demonstrate critical mass amongst universities interested in research in medical humanities outside London and the South East.  So far we have organised a number of research workshops with support from the Wellcome Trust led by Durham, Leeds, York, Glasgow, Sheffield, Liverpool and Newcastle/Northumbria Universities.


The September Congress is not confined to members of the Network but will welcome everyone who is interested in research in medical humanities.  There will be no charge for the meeting itself and we will advertise some travel and accommodation bursaries for postgraduate students in due course.  The meeting will include conventional parallel sessions (an open call for papers will go out later in April – watch the CMH blog!), posters to showcase existing medical humanities projects, as well as round table discussions on key themes and an open space session to encourage new collaborations.


Look out for a call for papers in late April and in the meantime, please do save the dates : Thursday 14th-Friday 15th September.  Durham is beautiful in the early autumn and you will be warmly welcomed to the city and the University!


Jane Macnaughton and Angela Woods, on behalf of the NN Congress Organising Committee.


Posted on 03 Apr 2017, under News.

22nd September, University of York

Northern Network for Medical Humanities Research Workshop – York, 22 September 2016

We are very pleased to announce that registration is now open for the final workshop in the current series organised by the Northern Network for Medical Humanities Research, at York Medical Society on 22 September 2016. Supported by the Wellcome Trust, the workshops are a showcase of work in progress designed to help build connections and foster collaborations among medical humanities researchers, health professionals, artists and advocates.

The workshop is free to attend but please email Marie Allitt (ku.ca1521905192.kroy1521905192@805a1521905192cm1521905192) to reserve a place. Some bursaries are available to cover travel costs for graduate students so let Marie know if you would be interested in applying for one when you register. The day includes lunch and coffee breaks for all participants. A brief overview of the day is below; more details to follow in September.


Brief Overview

10am – 12.15pm. Panel One: Communities of Interest: Global Health Histories, Policy and the WHO

The first session will explore current research and public outreach work being done by members of the Centre for Global Health Histories at York, a World Health Organisation Collaborating Centre, and the links between academia and international health policy.

Speakers to include:

  • Professor Sanjoy Bhattacharya (York)
  • Dr Monica Saavedra (York)
  • Dr Margaret Jones (York)
  • Dr Alexander Medcalf (York)


1.15pm – 3.15pm. Panel Two: Critical Medical Humanities: Impact and Engagement

The second session will include a talk by a representative from the Wellcome Trust followed by a number of short ‘provocation’ papers on the topic of impact and engagement in relation to medical humanities projects.

Speakers to include:

  • Dr Anne Whitehead (Newcastle)
  • Dr Annamaria Carusi (Sheffield)
  • Professor Jane MacNaughton (Durham)
  • Dr Gavin Miller (Glasgow)
  • Professor Clark Lawlor (Northumbria)
  • Dr Angela Woods (Durham)


3.30 – 4pm. Roundtable: the Future of the Northern Network

The workshop will conclude with a roundtable on the future of the Northern Network, including a discussion of the proposal for an annual conference.


Posted on 24 Jul 2016, under News.

22nd January 2016 – University of Glasgow

Below are the details of the next NNMHR workshop to be held at the University of Glasgow on 22nd January 2016.

To register for the workshop or for any further information, please email Harriet Ryder (ku.ca1521905192.kroy1521905192@407r1521905192h1521905192).

There are a number of bursaries available to cover travel expenses of any postgraduate students wishing to attend – if you’d like to apply for one of these, simply let Harriet know when you register.

The Northern Network workshop runs from 10am-5pm and is followed by a launch event for Glasgow University’s Medical Humanities Network Website. You are very welcome to stay on for this event.

If you would like to reserve a free ticket, the best way to do so is through the Eventbrite page:

If you have any questions about the evening, please email Hannah Tweed at We hope to see you in January!


Northern Network for Medical Humanities

Glasgow Workshop Programme

Friday 22 January 2016


Location: Seminar Room One (Yudowitz), Wolfson Medical School, University Avenue, Glasgow G12 8QQ (see campus map)



10-1045 Arrival, Coffee and Welcome (Atrium)


1045-1200 Session One: Posthuman Medical Humanities.

Chair: Dr Sabine Wieber, History of Art, Glasgow University


Dr Sarah Cockram, History, Glasgow University: ‘Living with Companion Animals at the Renaissance Court’


Dr Anna McFarlane, English Literature, Glasgow University: ‘Posthuman Medicine’


Dr Douglas Small, English Literature, Glasgow University: ‘Cocaine and Cultural Mythology, c.1860-1919’


Ms Thora Hands, CSHHH/History, Strathclyde University: ‘Reframing Drink and the Victorians: The consumption of alcohol in Britain 1869-1914’


1200-1215 Comfort Break


1215-1330 Session Two: Mental Health

Chair: Dr Sheila Dickson, German, Glasgow University


Dr Matt Smith, CSHHH/History, Strathclyde University: ‘The Magic Years: American Psychiatry’s Take on the History of Post-War American Psychiatry, 1945-1970’


Dr Cheryl McGeachan and Prof. Chris Philo, Geographical and Earth Sciences, Glasgow University: ‘Asylum and Post-Asylum Spaces’


Dr Ross White, Mental Health and Wellbeing, Glasgow University: ‘Understanding the distress of Langi people living in Northern Uganda’


Ms Moira Hansen, Scottish Literature, Glasgow University: ‘“Melancholy and low spirits are half my disease”: Physical and mental health in the life and works of Robert Burns’


1330-1430 Lunch (Atrium)


1430-1530 Session Three: Textual Cultures

Chair: Dr Christine Ferguson, English Literature, Glasgow University


Ms Laura Stevens, Library, Glasgow University, ‘Digitisation of records of Gartnavel Royal Hospital and Crichton Royal Institution’


Dr Hannah Tweed, English Literature, Glasgow University: ‘Medical Paratexts’


Dr Megan Coyer, English Literature, Glasgow University: ‘Blackwood’s Magazine and Nineteenth-Century Medical Humanism’


1530-1600 Coffee (Atrium)


1600-1700 Session Four: Ethics and Care

Chair: Dr Cheryl McGeachan, Geographical and Earth Sciences, Glasgow University


Rev Dr Hamilton Inbadas, Glasgow End of Life Studies Group, School of Interdisciplinary Studies, Glasgow University (Crichton Campus), ‘Philosophy/theology and understanding spirituality at the end of life in India’


Dr Angus Ferguson, Centre for History of Medicine/Economic and Social History, Glasgow University, ‘Medical confidentiality’


Dr Lucy Pickering, School of Social and Political Sciences, Glasgow University, ‘Under the Influence: On the Ethics of Research with Active Drug Users’


1700-1830: Dr Megan Coyer & Dr Hannah Tweed: Launch of Glasgow University Medical Humanities Network Website


Posted on 28 Oct 2015, under News.

10th June 2015 – University of Sheffield

Wednesday 10th June 2015 – 9.30 – 5

The next in the series of NNMHR workshops will take place at the University of Sheffield on 10th June 2015. The event will be held in the university’s Jessop West Exhibition Space, details of which can be found here.

Registration is now open and is free. The day includes lunch and coffee breaks for participants. Please email ku.ca1521905192.kroy1521905192@407r1521905192h1521905192 to register.




Coffee and registration: 9.30 am


10.30 am: Session 1 – Dialogues with Science

Annamaria Carusi, Reader in Medical Humanities, Sheffield. Humanities and computational science.

Rob Gaizauskas, Professor in Computer Science, Sheffield. Text mining and Its Application to Health-related Documents.

Heidi Christensen, Lecturer in Computer Science, Department of Computer Science, Sheffield. Using speech technology to help people interact with the world.

Cathy Shrank, Professor of English, Sheffield. Dialogue and the body politic.


Midday: Lunch


1.30 pm: Session 2 – Philosophies of Care

 Jon Nicholl, Professor of Health Services Research, Sheffield. The costs of health and happiness and whose values to use.

Robert Stern, Professor of Philosophy, Sheffield. Løgstrup and Care Ethics.

Julia Moses, Lecturer in History, Sheffield. Ethics of care and politics of social security in modern European history.

Phil Withington, Professor of History, co-director of MHS, Sheffield. The modern invention of happiness.


3 pm: Afternoon Tea


3.30 pm: Session 3 – The Clinical Interface

Ian Sabroe, Professor of Inflammation Biology, co-director of MHS, Sheffield. Should my story matter?

 Andrew Thompson, Reader in Psychology, Sheffield. Appearance, wellbeing, and society.

Vicky Williamson, Vice-Chancellor’s Fellow, Dept of Music, Sheffield. Applied music and wellbeing.

Brendan Stone, Professor of English, Sheffield. Narratives of health and illness.


5 pm: close


Posted on 02 Mar 2015, under News.

A Review of the Workshop in Newcastle

Student Ambassadors & Clearing


The third workshop run by the NNMHR, and funded by the Wellcome Trust, took place on Friday 16th January at Newcastle University. The joint event between the universities of Newcastle and Northumbria was organised by Dr Anne Whitehead, and had a fantastic attendance, with students, academics, artists and archivists alike joining the conversation (see programme here).

The day began with a panel on Medical Humanities and The Voice, with talks from Professor Jennifer Richards, Sue Bradley, Dr Helen Limon and Dr Ruth Graham. The panellists discussed the diverse implications of listening for, and listening to, the voice in a range of historical and medical contexts. We thought about how the voice is critical in our understandings of personal accounts and testimonies, listened to a powerful recording of a former veterinary practitioner reflecting on his life, and heard about the process of gathering the remembered experiences of army veterans and transforming them into radio plays, prompting further reflections on the role the voice can play in the transmission of thought. However, Dr Ruth Graham’s presentation on the voice and reproductive loss reminded us of some of the ethical limitations of listening to and transcribing the voice, and that the narrative shared by the voice may only be a partial account of any story.

After lunch, the second panel saw Professor Jonathan Andrews, Dr James Kennaway, Professor Clark Lawlor and Professor Allan Ingram talk about their current Leverhulme-funded research project, Fashionable Diseases. A joint enterprise between literary scholars and medical historians at the universities of Newcastle and Northumbria, the project is running from 2013-2015 and aims to explore the rise and fall of ‘fashionable diseases’ over the long 18th century to today. Why, the project asks, do certain diseases and medical practices come in and out of fashion over time? What are the spatial dimensions of these diseases in terms of health behaviour and health consumerism, and might there be differences between urban and rural areas? Or between different social groups and classes? How to uncover the complex interplay between the stigma certain diseases carry and the fashionability they can afford? Of particular interest to the team are less commonly studied ‘fashionable diseases’ such as dyspeptic disorders, indigestion, gout, wind, gripes and corpulence. If you’d like to know more about the project, or to find out more about the workshops, conferences and publications the team have planned, take a look at the Fashionable Diseases website and twitter page.

Panel three focused on the theme of Health, Care and Citizenship and included presentations by Dr Shahaduz Zaman, Dr Samiksha Sehrawat, Professor Janice Maclaughlan, and Dr Anne Whitehead. The panel raised many interesting ideas about the relationship between hegemonic ideology and the provision of medical care. Both Dr Zaman and Dr Sehrawat considered the role of the hospital in the colonial context, exploring the complex communal life of the Bangladeshi hospital and investigating the role of the colonial hospital in bringing biomedicine to South Asia. Listening became a key theme for the day, as both Dr Zaman’s and Dr Sehrawat’s research privileged listening to human stories and researching beyond the archive. Professor Maclaughlin then introduced us to her work on disabled youth, adult citizenship and care, a project that uses a visual and creative methodology to explore the transitions young disabled people make as they move towards adulthood. Finally, Dr Whitehead’s paper on forgetting, and the how the humanities can assist the process of remembering, really summed up what I thought was a key theme of the day: What can listening to human stories bring to the way we practice ‘hard science’ such as medicine, and what are the limitations?

To end the day, we heard about more research and work in progress by postgraduates and early career researchers from across the network. This panel, a new addition to the timetable for Newcastle, was very successful and it was fantastic to see the diverse and exciting things being done by postgraduates, artists and archivists in the field of medical humanities. Speakers gave a ten-minute presentation introducing their current work. We heard about Rachael Allen’s artistic studies of the human body in the medical lab, Dr Kate Stobbart’s exploration of non-verbal communication (which we were able to experience first-hand in an interactive demonstration), Rebecca Bitenc’s research into the representation of self in the dementia narrative, and also about archival research conducted by Northumberland Archives at Stannington Sanitorium in Northumbria, the UK’s first, and very successful, children’s tuberculosis hospital.

All in all, it was a fantastic and very stimulating day with fascinating presentations and provocation pieces across the board (and an excellent lunch!). Many thanks to Northumbria and Newcastle universities, especially to Dr Anne Whitehead, for all the hard work in hosting and organising the event, to all those who presented their work, and to everyone else who came as well.

– Harriet Ryder, MA student at the University of York and NNMHR Network Administrator

Posted on 26 Jan 2015, under News.

16 January 2015 – Newcastle University

Friday 16th January 2015 – 10.30 – 5

The Armstrong Building, Newcastle University, Room 1.06. The Armstrong Building is number 22 on the campus map.

Registration Open: Please email ku.ca1521905192.kroy1521905192@407r1521905192h1521905192


The next in the series of NNMHR workshops will take place in Newcastle and will be a joint session between the universities of Newcastle and Northumbria. The day will run from 10.30 till 5 and will include lunch and coffee breaks. Below is a preliminary schedule for the day.

As you see, this session will include an open forum for postgraduate/early career research that is currently in progress, and PG/ECR members of the network are warmly invited to submit proposals for 10 minute provocation papers for this part of the day. If you would like to share some of your research at this forum, please email ku.ca1521905192.kroy1521905192@407r1521905192h1521905192 with a brief proposal.


Confirmed Schedule:

Arrival and coffee: 10.30-11

Workshop 1: 11-12.15 – Mind, body, affect:  Medical Humanities and Voice
To include presentations by Professor Jennifer Richards, Sue Bradley, Dr Helen Limon, Dr Ruth Graham

Lunch: 12.15-1

Workshop 2: 1-2.15 – Communities of interest: Fashionable Diseases
To include contributions by Professor Jonathan Andrews, Dr James Kennaway, Professor Clark Lawlor, Professor Allan Ingram

Coffee break: 2.15-2.30

Workshop 3: 2.30-3.45 – Critical Medical Humanities: Health, Care, Citizenship
To include presentations by Dr Shahaduz Zaman, Dr Samiksha Sehrawat, Professor Janice Maclaughlan, Dr Anne Whitehead

3.45-5pm – Plenary: Open Forum for research in progress by PGR/ECR researchers across the NNMHR network.

Chaired by Dr Luna Dolezal, and to include presentations by Rachael Allen, Rebecca Bitenc, Jamie Stark, and Northumberland Archives, Woodhorn.




Registration is free, but places may be limited. Please email ku.ca1521905192.kroy1521905192@407r1521905192h1521905192 to secure a place. There will be a number of postgraduate travel bursaries for any postgraduate students wishing to either present at the forum, or to attend the event – you can apply for one of these at the point of registration.



Posted on 06 Dec 2014, under News.

21 November 2014 – University of Liverpool

Friday 21st November 2014, 10.30 – 5pm
The Bluecoat Gallery, Liverpool

Registration Open: Please email ku.ca1521905192.kroy1521905192@407r1521905192h1521905192

Full Programme – .Docx download

The University of Liverpool’s Centre for Health, Arts and Science (CHARTS) is hosting the second in the series of Northern Network for Medical Humanities Research workshops. We are delighted that this workshop is being held in collaboration with DaDaFest and as such has a theme of Disability, Art and Wellbeing. Whilst not all papers are focussed specifically on this theme, this is a strong thread that will run throughout the day and other papers on broader issues of medical knowledge and power will compliment this focus.

The day will be divided into 2 parts, encompassing 4 themed panels.

The first part of the day (10.30-14.30) will feature themed panels on “Mind, Body, Affect” and the “Critical Medical Humanities” including short presentations and provocations from academics working in the areas of medical humanities and disability studies. Current confirmed speakers include: Sally Sheard, Stephen Kenny, Ciara Kierans and Jessie Cooper, Kirsty Liddiard, Catherine Jones, Ria Cheyne and Lucy Burke.

The second part of the day (14.30-17.00) will feature panels on “Communities of Interest” and DaDaFest, including presentations from academics working with artists and artists themselves. Confirmed speakers include: Lisa Shaw and Julia Hallam and John Hunt. The final session will include talks from Ruth Gould (creative director of DaDaFest) and Rachel Gadsden (visual and performance artist) and tours of exhibitions that form part of this year’s DaDaFest International Festival: Al Noor – Fragile Vision and Art of the Lived Experiment.

Supported by the Wellcome Trust, the workshops are a showcase of work in progress designed to help build connections and foster collaborations among medical humanities researchers, health professionals, artists and advocates. This meeting coincides with DaDaFest International 2014 which showcases and celebrates the best in Disability and Deaf Arts. The DaDaFest programme is available here:

The venue has step free access and there will be a signer for the second part of the day. If you have other accessibility needs, please contact us.

To register for the workshop, or find out more, please email Harriet Ryder: .ku.c1521905192a.kro1521905192y@4071521905192rh1521905192 The event is free to attend, and a number of postgraduate travel bursaries are available. If you would like to apply for one, please state your interest when you register.


Nearest Hotels: Liverpool One Premier Inn, or The Nadler, Liverpool




Posted on 30 Oct 2014, under News.