Medical Humanities at King’s College London: An Integrative Meeting

When: 30th June and 1st July 2014
Where: Royal College of Physicians of London

Since 2009 the Centre for the Humanities and Health (CHH) at King’s has conducted a multi-stranded research programme entitled ‘The Boundaries of Illness’ funded by the Wellcome Trust. The programme has consisted of six distinct yet overlapping strands of work grounded in a variety of disciplines:
• Distress and disorder (philosophy and psychiatry)
• Concepts of health (philosophy)
• Nursing and identity: Crossing borders (nursing, literature and film studies)
• Cultural and historical forces in psychiatric diagnoses (psychiatry, history of medicine)
• Illness narrative (literature)
• Case studies of medical portraiture (history of art).

The purpose of this meeting is to share our findings with the wider Medical Humanities community, explore intellectual exchange between strands and initiate further cross-disciplinary working in the field. The PIs on the award, PhD students and postdocs, will put their work into the wider context of the Medical Humanities to focus on the question of integration itself and why it seems an important issue within the field today.

Monday June 30th Council Room
08.50 – 09.15 Registration with tea & coffee

09.15 – 10.00 Welcome and introductions Brian Hurwitz

10.00 – 11.30 Distress and disorder
Speaker: Derek Bolton
Respondent: MM McCabe
Chair: Silvia Camporesi

11.30 – 11.45 Tea and coffee

11.45 – 13.15 Concepts of health
Speaker: MM McCabe
Respondent: Derek Bolton
Chair: Brian Hurwitz

13.15 – 14.15 Lunch
Tour of portraits and exhibition
Ludmilla Jordanova and Keren Hammerschlag

14.15 – 15.45 Nursing and identity: Crossing Borders
Speakers: Anne Marie Rafferty, Jessica Howell
& Elisabetta Babini
Respondent: Edgar Jones
Chair: James Whitehead

15.45 – 16.00 Tea and coffee

16.00 – 17.30 Cultural and historical influences on psychiatric diagnosis
Speakers: Edgar Jones, Bonnie Evans, Stefanie Linden
Respondent: Anne Marie Rafferty
Chair: Keren Hammerschlag

17.30 – 17.45 Refreshment Break

17.45 – 19.00 Keynote: Medical Humanities and the Idea of Democratic Criticism
Stuart Murray, Professor of Contemporary Literatures and Film and Director of the Leeds Centre for Medical Humanities followed by questions and discussion.
Chair: Brian Hurwitz

19.00 – 20.30 Drinks

Tuesday July 1st Dorchester Library

09.10 – 09.30 Arrival tea & coffee

09.30 – 10.30 PhD and Postdoctoral Session

Speakers: Emma Bullock, Silvia Camporesi, Monika Class,
Keren Hammerschlag, Jessica Howell, Elselijn Kingma, Maria Vaccarella, James Whitehead
Respondent: Ludmilla Jordanova
Chair: Ben Chisnall

10.30 – 11.30 Tour of portraits and exhibition
Ludmilla Jordanova and Keren Hammerschlag

11.30 – 11.45 Tea & coffee

11.45 – 13.15 Illness narratives
Speaker: Neil Vickers
Respondent: Ludmilla Jordanova
Chair: Jessica Howell

13.15 – 14.15 Lunch

14.15 – 15.45 Case studies of medical portraiture
Speaker: Ludmilla Jordanova
Respondent: Neil Vickers
Chair: Elselijn Kingma

15.45 – 16.00 Tea and coffee

16.00 – 17.00 Cross strand synergies: the Medical Humanities today
Discussion led by Alan Cribb, Professor of Bioethics & Education, Co-director of the Centre for Public Policy Research, King’s College London

This event is by invitation only. For any inquiries please email Sabrina Beck:

Inaugural Café Scientifique at King’s College: November 21, 17.00- 19.30

Professor Anne Marie Rafferty, Director of Academic Outreach and Professor of Nursing Policy Florence Nightingale School of Nursing &Anne-Marie-Rafferty-2013-490x250 Midwifery and Centre for the Humanities and Health Kings College London, is delighted to announce the inaugural Café Scientifique event on Thursday 21st November at 5.00pm in Chapters at the Strand Campus. The event is running under the patronage of of Professor Evelyn Welch Vice-Principal, Arts and Sciences and Karen O’Brien, Vice-Principal, Education, and aims to bring together the different and increasingly overlapping, communities of the Centre for the Humanities and Health (CHH), Centre for the History of Science, Technology and Medicine (CHOSTMS) and the Department of Social Science Health and Medicine to begin a conversation to scope out the synergies and common ground between these scholarly domains.

The idea behind the Café Scientifique is to create an atmosphere in which all participants feel able to contribute in a more informal setting than the seminar room. In order to stimulate discussion three eminent speakers; Brian Hurwitz, David Edgerton and Nik Rose will outline where their field is heading in terms of the exciting ideas that are animating the field. After each has spoken for not more that 15 mins we shall open it up to you, the audience for a café conversation expertly facilitated by Daniel Glaser, Director of the Science Gallery at King’s.

In the spirit of a café conversation we hope to continue the evening with a reception after the event.

The running order for the evening will be:

1. Welcome and introductions 17.15-17.30
2. Pitches from panellists 17.30-18.15
3. Café conversation 18.15-19.00
4. Reception 19.00-19.30

This event is open to all KCL students and academics with an interest in this field.
To reserve you seat please RSVP to Sabrina Beck, Centre Manager for CHH:

‘Writing the Nurse’ Symposium

On Friday the 18th of October, CHH hosted a one-day symposium titled ‘Writing the Nurse.’ The purpose of this day was to bring together those researching nurses’ lives and letters, in order to share methods and discuss materials we have found relevant to our own work. Participants included Anne Marie Rafferty and Jessica Howell, from King’s College London; Rosemary Wall, from University of Hull; Jane Brooks and Christine Hallett, from the University of Manchester; Linda Bryder, from the University of Auckland, New Zealand; and Nadia Atia, from Queen Mary’s, University of London. Each participant presented an excerpt of primary materials she has analysed, discussing how she discovered these materials and why she thinks they are significant. Topics addressed ranged from the life writing materials of colonial nurses in Africa and the Caribbean; to nursing during World War I (letters from nurses posted in Egypt and the WWI fiction of Rebecca West); to nursing during WWII (letters from nurses serving during an Italian typhus epidemic). Also, we discussed the role played by material items and official documents (training pamphlets and schedules, for example) in the study of nurses’ lives.Image