Anna McFarlane examines the impact a posthumanistic approach can have within critical medical humanities research
About the Project
The Medical Posthumanities is a project that brings a critical posthuman lens to the field of the medical humanities, led by associate editor Eva Surawy Stepney.
In 2016 Des Fitzgerald and Felicity Callard suggested that “we need to displace, if not significantly reimagine how medical humanities has tended to figure the ‘human’ (Callard and Fitzgerald, 2016). Since then, however, little serious thought has been given to what a medicine that decentres ‘the human’ really looks like.
In response to this provocation, this project aims to spark discussion around the ‘human’ in the medical humanities: what do we mean by the term ‘human’? What are the implications of this ‘human’ for medical knowledge and practice? Who and what does the ‘human’ exclude? What are the possibilities, and challenges, of moving beyond the ‘human’ in healthcare?
The Medical Posthumanities project will publish work which reflects on, and respond to, the human-centredness of medicine. Ideas for topics include (but are certainly not limited to):
- interspecies medicine
- the environment and environmental health
- care and technology
- virus and pandemics
- posthumanism and health practice
Vision and Ethos
The Medical Posthumanities project is driven by the desire to move beyond the Eurocentric and normative (white, cisgendered) ‘human’ at the centre of both medicine and the humanities. It is only through drawing attention to the entangled and situated (in the material environment, with other species) nature of health and illness that we can destabilise- and move beyond- the certainties of the present.
The project will support scholars, artists, activists and healthcare professionals who are interested in taking a posthuman or non-human centred approach to health, illness, and caregiving. It upholds the Polyphony’s commitment to the ‘critical’ medical humanities as an evolving field.