Researching the social, cultural and ethical aspects of medicine requires conversations across academic boundaries. A key aspect of medical humanities research is the bringing together of people and practice from different disciplines. In addition, conversations about health often need to expand beyond academia to patients, carers and the general public.

Interdisciplinarity and public engagement undoubtedly bring benefits, helping to broaden our understanding of medicine and health. However working in this way is not without challenges. How can we facilitate meaningful dialogues between researchers and the public? How can we make research accessible and engaging?

There is a growing practice of using techniques from theatre and performance to communicate and understand research, and to facilitate meaningful conversations. The 2nd Public Engagement and Performance Conference will showcase and explore such practices. Last year’s conference drew delegates from fields as diverse as Anthropology, Clinical Trials Research, Counselling & Psychotherapy, Dance, Drama, Education, Health & Social Change, Nursing, Sport & Exercise Science, and Business Management & Marketing.  The conference provided a supportive forum to share and learn about diverse approaches to performing research and public engagement. A video made at last year’s conference is available for viewing.

Our aim once again is to bring together people from across the arts, humanities and sciences. We welcome people at who are at various stages of the research process, and with different levels of experience. Our purpose is to support, present, develop, and foster greater awareness around engaging the public through performance. Full details are available online.

4 Ways to Participate:

  1. Submit in-progress research/ideas for the opening clinic. The session will provide an opportunity to draw on the expertise of our panel and other delegates. A small number of “in progress projects” are selected to help explore more fully the ethical challenges in performative research, practical solutions to public engagement challenges, and questions relating to specific projects.
  2. Submit a performance to the evening showcase. This provides an opportunity to showcase finished projects/performances in a supportive, public setting.
  3. Submit a paper or conference presentation on any issue concerning public engagement and performance (e.g. community participation, autoethnography, evaluation criteria).
  4. Come as a delegate. There is no requirement to present or perform! If you are interested in any or all of the above and would simply like the opportunity to question, watch and be informed you would be very welcome. Please register as a delegate. If you have any questions or queries please email the organising committee.

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Centre for Medical Humanities
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