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Durham University

Institute for Medical Humanities


Experience and the Past: Access, Value and Retrospection through Pre-modern Narratives

21st June 2019, 09:30 to 16:30, CA201 Caedmon Building

Experience and the Past is the third in our series on the theme of researching experience. The workshop explores the possibilities that taking a long historical perspective can open up for medical humanities research.

We will probe what pre-modern frameworks and ideas can offer, how we can access past experience and the meanings we can attribute to it, and the value and challenges of putting the past and present into dialogue. Rather than offering a series of research papers, speakers will focus on methodological opportunities and challenges in researching the past, the possibilities represented by historical archives, literature and material evidence, and what dialogue with the past can offer to the project of the medical humanities. The workshop will also engage with current historiographic debates, including those around genre, retrospective diagnosis and the use of new ‘material’ methods. The day will be structured around themed short papers or provocations, plus panel discussion and facilitated conversation. Speakers will span the medieval period to the nineteenth century, and will draw on a range of disciplinary perspectives.

Confirmed speakers include: Julie Anderson (Kent), Javier Moscoso (Madrid), Rhodri Hayward (Queen Mary), Josie Gill (Bristol), Hilary Powell (Durham).

Places at this workshop are limited. To register email

We will be holding a number of places specifically for research postgraduate students and early career researchers. To apply for one of these places please include a short statement of less than 100 words outlining why you are interested in this workshop and what you hope to gain from attending.

Contact for more information about this event.