We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. You can change your cookie settings at any time. Otherwise, we'll assume you're OK to continue.

Durham University

Centre for Medical Humanities

Draft Programme

16th May


Room 1

Room 2


Registration and coffee




Keynote: Professor Stuart Murray - 'Medical Humanities, Disabled Difference, and Human Flourishing'


Panel 1

Agency in Mental Health

Anthony Morgan – Depression, Responsibility, and the Phenomenology of Agency

Louise E. Boyle – ‘Slapping a label on doesn’t mean anything’: Social Anxiety Disorder and the Embodied Spaces of Health Information and Resistance on the Internet

Georgia Burdett – Losing the Plot: Depression and the Restoration of Narrative in the Work of Gwyneth Lewis

Panel 2

Human Flourishing and Literature

Tom Mandall – Textually Encoding the Body in Jeffery Eugenides’ Middlesex: Reading The Neo-epic Intersex Compendium

Arianna Introna – ‘It made you laugh if you didn’t cry’: Narratives of Contested Passing in James Kelman’s Mo Said She Was Quirky and Violet Jacob’s ‘The Lum Hat’

Erin Lafford - ‘Eternal process moving on, from state to state’: Tennyson and ‘Rhythmized’ Health




Panel 3

Human Flourishing and Philosophy

Jan Pederson – On the Merits of Human Flourishing

Ian Kidd – Can Experiences of Illness be Morally Improving?

Alistair Wardrope – Pathologisation, Physical Normality, and the Concept of Disease


Panel 4

Perspectives on the History of Health and Medicine

Catherine Racine – In the Flourishing of Wonder: Dehumanization reconsidered

Adam Stock - Ghastly paraphernalia’: Cultural Representations of the Hypodermic Syringe and Drug Taking

Chris Stone – Oral and Aural Transmissions of Epilepsy in the Plays of Shakespeare




Panel 5

Creative Writing and the Representation of Illness

Sarah Shaw – Treating the Whole Person; Caring for the Family

Naomi Kruger – The Terrifying Question Mark: Fictional Dementia Narratives and the Possibilities of Representation

Alison Summers – Writing dementia: The Importance for Carers of Biographical Information About People with Dementia

Panel 6

Understanding social experiences of illness and suffering

Veronique Griffith – Online Illness Narratives of Endometriosis

Abigail McNiven – Feminism, Medical Humanities and Pregnancy Loss Experiences

Ben Kasstan – Flourishing Despite Catastrophe: Delivering Jewish Social and Therapeutic Programmes to Ageing Shoah Survivors and Refugees


Conference Dinner

17th May


Room 1

Room 2


Publishing Panel

Martyn Evans

Brian Hurwitz

Deborah Kirklin





Panel 7

Understanding dementia

Kate Latham – First the Purse, then the Teeth: The Role of Dementia in Contemporary Fiction

Rebecca Bitenc – Dementia in Contemporary Autobiographies and Life-writing Projects

Kate Allan – Forgetting yourself: Flow and Persons with Dementia


Panel 8

Cultural representations of clinical encounters

Joanna Kellond – Are we flourishing yet? Psychoanalysis and the Politics of In Treatment

Jenny Cochrane – Sex and the Surgeon: Emotional Distance and Intimacy in Modern Medicine and the Medical Drama

Jacqueline Hopson – The Demonization of Fictional Psychiatrists (and Why Real Psychiatrists Might Want to Do Something About It)






Panel 9

Human Flourishing and Creativity

Peter Swan – The Challenges of Measuring the Efficacy of the Creative Process

Anni Raw – A Creative ‘Workshop Ecology’ to Promote Flourishing: The Workings of an Emergent, Community Arts and Health Practice

Lindsay Ann Coyle and Abigail McNiven – Exploring Embodied Engagements with the Art of Frida Kahlo in Social Research Processes

Panel 10

Perspectives on Voice Hearing

Roz Oates - Narrative as a Therapeutic Strategy for Assisting Voice-Hearers

Susanne Adahl – The Subjective Experience of Voice Hearing

Michael Flexer - Death of the Memoirist: Schizophrenia, Semiotics and the Illusion of Illness Narratives





Plenary/Round table discussion: The Future of the Medical Humanities

Download a copy of the programme:-