Previous Events:

What can wellbeing and health research look like in the arts, humanities and social sciences?

The NNMHR are delighted to share the programme for partner institution Lancaster University’s upcoming online symposium “What can wellbeing and health research look like in the arts, humanities and social sciences?”, due to take place on 22 and 23 May 2023. The symposium is organised by Lancaster’s Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences Health Hub.

Keynote speakers will be Professor Angela Woods (Durham University) and Dr Alex Wragge-Morley (History Department, Lancaster). The full programme can be viewed here, and registration is via Eventbrite.

What Makes a Good Medical Humanities Research Network?

Online, Wednesday 26 April 2023, 14.00 to 15.00 (GMT). Click here to book via Eventbrite.

The second round of the NNMHR New Networks in Critical Medical Humanities Funding Scheme launches in March 2023 (deadline for applications Friday 12th May 2023). This event will be particularly useful for those considering applying for this grant, but will also be of general interest to all scholars and practitioners engaged in critical medical humanities research anywhere in the world.

Confirmed speakers include:

This event will be chaired by James Rákóczi (Ends of Knowledge Network) on behalf of the Northern Network for Medical Humanities Research.

Medical Humanities and the Ethics of Editing

Online, Thursday 12th January 2023.

Editing is one of the great skills of academic careers. It is integral to how we engage with our own written work, and also in how we build communities of knowledge exchange and collaboration – through peer review, anthologies, outreach projects, editorial board membership, Wiki-thons, offering to look at a colleague’s grant application, etc. It is this central pillar of the academy, and yet at the same time it is seldom discussed and frequently underestimated as a metric of academic success. The practices, rules, and values of editing therefore are things we frequently develop only in private. Everyone must do it, but no one tells us how to – and consequently it is not often addressed how editing speaks to difficult ethical questions of power dynamics, representation, what gets “cut”, and what gets ordered.

This NNMH: Research Practice | Practice Research is an online only event that will foreground the practice and ethics of editing as a key skill of the medical and health humanities. In a workshop panel, four leading medical humanities researchers and practitioners will highlight the applied skills and challenges they face as editors. We will be joined by Arden Hegele (Columbia), co-founder of Synapsis journal, Chase Ledin (Edinburgh), Editor-in-Chief of The Polyphony, Adam Harangozó (NIHR), Wikipedian in Residence at NIHR, and Catherine Belling (Northwestern), former Editor-in-Chief of Literature and Medicine. This will then be followed by an open roundtable with our speakers, chaired by James Rákóczi (Durham and Northumbria).

Our aim is to consider together the relationship between editing, health-related knowledge, and academic careers – particularly as they relate to central issues of the medical humanities: the representation of lived experiences of illnesses; the relation of the field to chronic illness and critical disability studies as well as to mad and neurodivergent studies; the use of patient expression and testimony; the gaps between science and humanities cultures; the intersections of care and medical practice; and the global exchange and transfer of medical information. In addition, the event will act as a practical guide and inspiration for those wishing to consider how to develop and take their editing into new directions and projects.

Publishing Your First Medical Humanities Monograph

Online, Thursday 19 May 2022.

In this online event, run especially for ECR members of the Northern Network for Medical Humanities Research, we will hear from three scholars who have recently published their first monograph within the medical humanities. Each speaker will talk about their experiences of publishing: the pitfalls and difficulties as well as the intellectual and emotional rewards. These authors have published or are publishing with Edinburgh University Press, Berghahn Books, and Manchester University Press. After the three short talks (ten to fifteen minutes each), there will be time for audience members to ask questions about publishing a medical humanities monograph as an early career researcher.

Sara Honarmand Ebrahimi is a Post-doctoral Research Fellow at the School of Architecture, Planning and Environment Policy, University College Dublin. She will join Goethe University Frankfurt as a Humboldt Research Fellow next year, where she will start working on her new project, Non-colonial Internationalists and Hospital Provision(s) in the Global South. Her first book, Emotion, Mission, Architecture, is forthcoming with Edinburgh University Press.

Ben Kasstan is a Vice Chancellor’s Fellow and medical anthropologist at the Centre for Health, Law and Society at the University of Bristol. His research explores the cultural politics of health protection, and specifically how reproductive and child health provoke opposing quests and questions around preserving life between minorities and states. His monograph Making Bodies Kosher: The Politics of Reproduction among Haredi Jews in England was published open access with Berghahn Books (seires on Fertility, Reproduction and Sexuality) in 2019. Email: .

Coreen McGuire is a Lecturer in Twentieth-Century British History at Durham University. Her first book, Measuring Difference, Numbering Normal: Setting the standards for disability in the interwar period combined history of medicine, science and technology studies, and disability history. She will commence a 5-year Wellcome University Award project with Durham University on ‘When Categories Constrain Care: Investigating Social Categories in Health Norms through Disability History 1909-1958’ in 2023. For a full list of publications see and follow on Twitter @coreen_anne.

What Makes a Good Medical Humanities Research Network?

Hosted by The Northern Network for Medical Humanities Research (NNMHR) with guest speakers Josie Gill and Amber Lascelles (Black Health and the Humanities, University of Bristol) and Camilla Mørk Røstvik (The Menstruation Research Network, University of Aberdeen).

Online (Zoom) on Wednesday 6th April 2022, 12.30 to 14.00 BST

Josie GillAmber Lascelles and Camilla Mørk Røstvik will give short presentations on their experiences setting up and running two very different medical humanities networks, the Black Health and the Humanities project and The Menstruation Research Network, addressing questions such as what makes a good network, how to get a nascent network up-and-running, how to ensure the ongoing sustainability of a network, and how to evaluate a network’s success. This will be a relatively informal event, with plenty of time for questions from attendees.

This event is open to scholars and practitioners engaged in critical medical humanities research anywhere in the world, and will be of particular interest to those considering applying for the NNMHR New Networks in Critical Medical Humanities Funding Scheme.

The Black Health and the Humanities project is an interdisciplinary training network and collaborative research initiative. Based at the Centre for Black Humanities at the University of Bristol, UK, we explore the role of the arts and humanities in understanding and improving the health of Black people in twenty-first century Britain.We seek to understand how Black scholarship and creativity shapes and responds to illness, and to explore the role of activism and care in confronting the racialised landscape of medicine. The project’s Principal Investigator is Dr Josie Gill and Dr Amber Lascelles is the Research Associate. The project is funded by the Wellcome Trust.

The Menstruation Research Network (UK) brings together experts from the sciences and humanities, NGOs, the arts, activists and campaigners, industry and the NHS in order to unify knowledge about medical, political, economic, psychological and cultural issues related to menstruation. The network was initially supported by a Wellcome Trust Small Network Grant (February 2019 – February 2020). The MRN has since received a second grant from Wellcome for four more years of activity, and has recently moved its base from the University of St Andrews to the University of Aberdeen where the leader on the grant, Dr Camilla Mørk Røstvik, now works.

Ethics of Sensitive Visual Material in the Medical Humanities

Online, Wednesday 22nd September 2021

The aim of this workshop is to address pressing concerns relating to the uses of visual material in medical humanities, with a particular focus on photography and medical histories. It will address multiple ethical concerns regarding the dissemination of sensitive materials in medical humanities research.

While individual universities require formal ethical approval for many aspects of research, especially when it involves living people, the medical humanities compel further questions and concerns about how we display, share, contextualise, and present details of real lives and sensitive subject matter.

In this workshop, we will identify problems and challenges which can arise when using sensitive visual sources, and seek to develop solutions in order to formulate usable research guidelines. Over the course of the session, we will also see how these issues relate to other sensitive material, which go beyond the visual.

In part, the workshop will address the following questions and concerns:

  • How might we define ‘sensitive material’?
  • What should we consider when using images and visual material in our research?
  • In what circumstances would we not share an image? How might we discuss an image without sharing it?
  • What context and additional information might we provide when sharing sensitive images pertaining to health and medicine, whether in publications, presentations, online posts, or on social media?

The workshop is facilitated by Dr Marie Allitt (University of Oxford/Durham University); Dr Beatriz Pichel (De Montfort University); Dr Katherine Rawling (University of Leeds); Dr Jennifer Wallis (Imperial College London); and Dr Rebecca Wynter (University of Birmingham). It is open to all ECRs working in medical humanities. This event is organised by Dr Marie Allitt, Postdoctoral Research Assistant for the Northern Network for Medical Humanities Research, with the support of Durham’s Institute for Medical Humanities and the University of Leeds, and the Wellcome Trust.

NNMHR 4th Annual Congress, Durham University. Online, 21-23 April 2021.

The fourth Northern Network for Medical Humanities Research (NNMHR) Congress was held online on 21–23 April 2021, in collaboration with the Institute for Medical Humanities, Durham. The aim 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 Congress is not limited to members of the network.

The global and local health inequalities revealed and perpetuated by the Covid-19 pandemic require us to reflect upon how we do medical humanities research. We ask participants to consider the ways in which our work renders some aspects of health and illness visible, while leaving others out of sight. We hope to think more carefully about what sort of experiences the medical humanities has become adept at bringing to light, whilst reflecting on the ways in which theoretical methodologies, research priorities and funding structures have left other voices unheard. Contributors may also wish to consider how the medical humanities can become more visible in wider health funding structures and in relation to strategic health priorities.

Further details, the Programme, and Registration can be found here 

NNMHR 3rd Annual Congress, University of Sheffield, January 2020.

NNMHR 2nd Annual Congress, University of Leeds, September 2018. Click here to read a review of the 2nd Annual Congress.

2014 – 2017:

The series of research workshop days aim to facilitate collaborative research within the NNMHR by strengthening understandings of the research interests and expertise within the network. They will create a forum for interdisciplinary discussions of work in progress and allow members to build connections with non-HEI partners (charities, arts organisations, clinicians) in each of the workshop venues. Priority is given to network members but all events are free. The timing of workshops will allow participants to travel to and from the workshops in one day. Lunch and coffee will be provided.

The network and these workshops are supported by the Wellcome Trust.