Wellcome Library, London

Wellcome Library, London

This one-day workshop is designed to explore the intricate connections between two dynamic fields and the ways in which fruitful collaborations could be set up between them. It will also invite participants to consider the question ‘where next?’ What research projects might we be able to nurture by paying attention to visual culture in medical humanities?

It is widely accepted that much medical practice depends on visual evidence, that practitioners have produced many visual representations, that images and artifacts relating to health and illness attract wide interest whenever they are displayed. It is equally clear that many practitioners of the visual arts draw upon health and medicine in their work. Yet the medical humanities as a field has not yet seen visual culture take centre stage. Why not, and what areas might prove to be the most generative?

We hope to make a contribution to thinking about the future of medical humanities by taking three themes as a focus: medicine and display, visual thinking, and visual therapeutics. Participants will have a chance to hear short papers and also to learn what is going on at Durham and elsewhere to bring these fields into a productive relationship with one another. The day will start with an exploration of ‘visual culture’ in the form of a round table. A provisional programme can be found here.

Confirmed speakers include Suzannah Biernoff (Birkbeck), Matthew Eddy (Durham), Colin Harding (National Media Museum), Ed Juler (Edinburgh), Julia Midgely (artist), Maggie O’Neill (Durham), Deborah Padfield (Slade School of Fine Art, UCL), Davina Quinlivan (King’s College London), Jac Saorsa (artist), Emma Shepley (Curator: Royal College of Physicians), Ian Williams (Graphic Medicine website Co-director) and Jayne Wilton (artist).

We are grateful to The Wolfson Research Institute and to the Northern Network for Medical Humanities for co-funding this event. NNMH has a small number of travel bursaries available to post-graduates who would like to attend – please contact Harriet Ryder for further information about this.

The workshop is being jointly directed by Jane Macnaughton, Corinne Saunders and Angela Woods (Centre for Medical Humanities) and Ludmilla Jordanova and Janet Stewart (Centre for Visual Arts and Culture). It is a free event, but please note that attendees are responsible for their own travel/accommodation.

Joint workshop with the Centre for Visual Arts and Culture – 18th June Van Mildert College, Durham 10-30 – 17-30pm

To register please click here.


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Centre for Medical Humanities
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