Dr Fiona Johnstone (Durham University) is the PI and project manager for Thinking Through Things. Fiona has enthusiastically advocated for the contribution that visual and material culture can make to the critical medical humanities: her Manifesto for Visual Medical Humanities summarises the findings of a roundtable on ‘Visual Medical Humanities’ held in 2018, which built on a number of earlier events co-organised by Fiona, including a workshop on ‘Curating the Medical Humanities’ at Birkbeck in late 2018, and a Wellcome-funded project on ‘Visualising Illness and Pain’ at Birkbeck in 2014. As associate editor for The Polyphony, the web-based platform for medical humanities based at Durham’s Institute for Medical Humanities, Fiona has pro-actively commissioned articles exploring material and visual culture in relation to health and medicine.

Dr Marie Allitt (University of Leeds/University of Oxford) is a researcher in literary studies and medical humanities, with particular expertise in medical life writing, military-medicine, and medical spaces. Marie has many years of experience working with the NNMHR; she was the administrator from May 2016 to April 2018, during which time she maintained communication across the network, and helped organise several network events. She has recently taken up the role of Postdoctoral Research Assistant for the network, at the University of Leeds. Marie is Humanities and Healthcare Fellow at the University of Oxford, on the project ‘Advancing Medical Professionalism: Integrating Humanities Teaching in the University of Oxford’s Medical School’. Marie will be instrumental in developing and maintaining links between the proposed project and the growing ECR network in the NNMHR and across the UK.

Dr Ashleigh Blackwood (University of Northumbria) is a Research Fellow working within historical and literary medical humanities, with expertise in medical print culture, reproductive health and obstetrics, and mental health. Ashleigh is also trained in public engagement, including through the Wellcome Trust’s Public Engagement Masterclass, and has existing and developing working relationships with a range of cultural heritage organisations including the National Trust, the Royal College of Surgeons, the Royal College of Physicians Edinburgh, Fairfax House Museum, Shandy Hall, and the National Print Museum of Ireland. Ashleigh will support ECRs and cultural partners through the workshops to consider the use of collections in future research and collaborations with non-academic stakeholders, as well as contributing to written outputs including blogs and our Working Knowledge document. Ashleigh will lead on project evaluation and impacts.

Dr Bentley Crudgington (Manchester University) is a creative facilitator and public engagement lead for the Animal Research Nexus (AnimalResearchNexus.org) and Multispecies Medicine (Multispecies.org) projects. His research focuses around the cultural relations and ethical obligations that society creates by collaborating with non-human life in pursuit of human health and wellbeing. He designs collaborative interventions around everyday objects and experiences that make participants complicit in the consequences of their interactions so that they may reimagine their relationship to/with the original material’s construction, definition or purpose. Bentley’s extensive experience in creative facilitation and engagement will be invaluable in delivering our project’s innovative programme of activities.

Dr Ilaria Grando (University of York)is an art historian, writer, and researcher. Her PhD thesis entitled “Visualizing AIDS: Re-codify the Body to Re-codify Society” looked at representations of the male body made during the 1980s and 1990s AIDS epidemic in North America. Written in a creative first-person narrative, the thesis associated art, philosophy, literature, and medicine in the conviction of a necessary union of academic disciplines. During her PhD, Ilaria received important research funds, including the Terra Foundation for American Art Travel Grant and the Getty Research Institute Library Grant, and the Worldwide Universities Network Research Mobility Program. Ilaria’s commitment to a creative approach to conducting medical humanities research through a sustained engagement with visual and material culture mean that she is ideally placed to collaborate on this project.  

Dr Katherine Rawling (University of Leeds) is an historian of medicine with expertise in the visual culture of medicine in the modern period with a specific focus on historical enquiry into the role, use and meaning of photography in medicine and wider society. Her research shows the benefits of considering historical photographs beyond their straightforward evidential value to consider their materiality and wider discursive context. This has opened up new ways of thinking about the visual record of mental ill-health and developed a new framework for re-thinking key concerns like power, agency, patient experiences and identities. Katherine will take a lead on written outputs, including the project’s Working Knowledge document.

Olivia Turner (Newcastle University) is an interdisciplinary artist and practice-led PhD researcher. She is Lead for Newcastle University’s Arts & Medical Research Cluster. Her research focuses on the intersection of art and medical science using the visceral body as metaphor and medium within creative practice. Olivia’s professional experience as an artist – and the connections that she brings with her – will be key to the project’s creative success.

Dr Jacqueline Waldock (University of Liverpool) researches sonic anthropology, with a focus upon co-production methodologies and place making. Her current work explores the relationship between listening cultures, ageing and wellbeing. Jacqueline’s previous work has often focused upon the sensory experience of the archive object and how this can be utilised and understood through different sonic and digital forms. Her experience of engaging research partners and the wider public with the sensory archive and her experience in digital sound brings a significant skill set to the project.