Angela Woods is an Associate Professor of Medical Humanities at the University of Durham where she is also Deputy Director of the Institute for Medical Humanities and Co-Director of Hearing the Voice, an eight-year interdisciplinary study of voice-hearing currently funded by the Wellcome Trust. Her research focuses on the interplay between theoretical and subjective accounts of unusual experience and new modes of ‘doing interdisciplinarity.’ In a series of collaborative position papers and edited collections she has argued strongly for a ‘critical’ turn in the medical humanities, as reflected especially in The Edinburgh Companion to the Critical Medical Humanities (2016) edited with Anne Whitehead and colleagues. She has been an Associate Editor of the BMJ Medical Humanities Journal since 2015, and was the founding editor, in 2010, of Durham’s award-winning Centre for Medical Humanities blog, upon which The Polyphony is founded.
I am a Lecturer in English at the University of Exeter, where I teach modules in early modern literature. Prior to joining Exeter in September 2018, I was based at Cardiff University, where I taught for four years on the BA and MA English Literature degrees, also completing my PhD there in early 2018. My thesis explored hospitality in Shakespeare’s plays, and I am currently working on a monograph on hospitality in early modern literature and culture. In 2018/19 I am a Holland Visiting Fellow at Durham University. During my three-month research fellowship, I will be investigating the History of Science Printed Collections. This project reflects my developing interest in the medical humanities and, in particular, early science writings and work related to the history of the emotions.
I welcome proposals from academic or creative practitioners working at the intersection of the medical humanities and any of the following areas:
- Medieval and Early Modern
- English Literature
- History of Science
- History of the Emotions
While in no way limited to these suggestions, prospective submissions might include: critical pieces, reflective accounts, and insights into research projects or works-in-progress. I am also interested in how we teach the medical humanities, and would welcome articles related to pedagogy. I am keen to promote the research of early career academics and I would especially like to encourage submissions from PhD students and independent scholars. If you would like an informal discussion please don’t hesitate to contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org
I am a PhD student based in the School of English at the University of Leeds, where I also teach contemporary literature. Situated across literary studies, disability studies, and the medical humanities, my thesis explores contemporary narratives of mental illness across various genres of life writing. My research investigates how writers with experiences of mental illness grapple with the challenges of producing self-narrative about mental distress in literarily innovative texts that test the boundaries of personhood and autobiography. I also reflect upon the consequences of such texts for further developing critical medical humanities methodologies.
I am interested in publishing pieces that showcase the diversity and richness of work being undertaken across the medical humanities at all levels of scholarship. Alongside my research interests in mental health, trauma, and autobiography, I am particularly committed to curating writing that provokes us to think more critically about the scope and methodologies of the field; with this in mind I’d especially like to encourage people working on the intersections of medical humanities with feminisms, queer theory, transgender studies, postcolonial studies, and disability studies to get in touch.
Fiona Johnstone is an art historian with a particular interest in the relationship between art and visual culture and the medical humanities. She was awarded her PhD from Birkbeck in 2015, and is currently completing two books for I.B. Tauris: a monograph, AIDS & Representation: Portraits and Self-Portraits during the AIDS Crisis in America, and an edited volume, Anti-Portraiture: Challenging the Limits of the Portrait. Fiona co-curated the 2017 exhibition Mr A Moves in Mysterious Ways: Selected Artists from the Adamson Collection, and was an invited participant in a series of public events run by the Wellcome Library in association with this exhibition. She lectures in the History and Theory of Photography at Middlesex University and the University of the West of England.
Fiona is particularly interested in discussing ideas for articles that relates to art and photography, visual and material culture, and curating: this might include reviews of exhibitions, events, or new publications; provocations or position pieces; or something more creative! She is also interested in articles that address pedagogic aspects of Medical Humanities.
I completed my PhD at the Centre for the History of Emotions, Queen Mary, University of London in 2017. My research focuses on the history of trauma and of medicine, but I maintain a broad interest in the social sciences and in science and technology studies. I am particularly interested in research on that implicates the history or sociology of the brain and mind sciences.
I would strongly encourage contributors to get in touch with any proposals or ideas for the Blog relating to:
- The History of Science, Technology and Medicine;
- Psychiatry, Psychoanalysis or Psychology;
- The Neuroscientific Turn;
- The Study of Affect and/or Memory;
- The Material Turn and/or Actor Network Theory
Nathan Fleshner is Assistant Professor of Music Theory at the University of Tennessee, USA. While his Ph.D. (Eastman School of Music, University of Rochester, USA) is in music theory and analysis, he has long held an interest in psychology, the brain, and music’s influence on both. His research focuses on the analysis of music that depicts dreams, mental illness, and trauma and on connections between the music analytic process and the psychoanalytic and therapeutic processes.
Victoria Hume is a composer, arts manager and researcher specialising in the meeting points between the arts, medicine and health. She is currently Director of the UK’s new Culture, Health & Wellbeing Alliance and a Research Associate in the medical humanities at WiSER (University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg), focusing particularly on the arts as research. In 2017 she received a distinction for a Masters in Music and Health Communication focused on hospital-induced delirium. Prior to that she was a hospital arts manager in the NHS for 15 years. Her 2016 EP, Closing (released on Lost Map records), featured on Lauren Laverne’s Best of 2016 playlist (BBC Radio6 Music).
Beata Gubacsi is a final year PhD student at the University of Liverpool. Her current research project, provisionally entitled Literature of Monstrosity: Posthumanism and Authorship, seeks to establish connections between critical posthumanism and New Weird through their understanding and representation of human and non-human sentience and subjectivity, focusing on the meta-features of the popular figure of the monster. She has been involved in Bluecoat’s science fiction projects as part of her LiNK placement, and co-hosted workshops at the Being Human Festival, Tate Exchange and Nottingham New Art Exchange in 2015-16. She is the co-ordinator of the Current Research in Speculative Fiction Conference since 2017. Her research interests are gender and body studies, trauma studies and psychoanalysis, ecocriticism and animal studies, fantastic literatures and genre theory, game narratives, and representations of mental illness in popular culture with special interest in Gothic and horror.
Leah is completing a PhD on dramaturgies of mental suffering in the theatre of Sarah Kane at Birkbeck, University of London. Her research interests include contemporary theatre; mental health and disability politics and activism; psychiatry and psychoanalysis in the humanities; and representations of community care.