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Medical Humanities

Researchers from across the Faculty explore the relationship between medical practices, and their wider political, social and economic context.

We conduct pioneering, internationally recognised research both historically and in contemporary society. We also shape public debate about medicine and influence medical policy and practice.

Research in the Faculty of Arts is strongly interdisciplinary and engages in debates which extend beyond the traditional boundaries of our fields: the medical humanities is a good example of this.

Centre for the History of Medicine

Based in the History department since its inception in 1999, the Centre for the History of Medicine has become recognised as one of the leading global centres for research in medical humanities. It has attracted significant funding, particularly from the Wellcome Trust. Through its PhD programme and success in supporting early career scholars, the Centre has helped grow and consolidate the field of medical humanities across the UK. The Centre's research has focused on a variety of areas, including prisons and medical care, the cultural history of the NHS, household medicine in early modern England and pre-school childcare, to name but a few.

Classics and Ancient History

Our researchers explore the development of ideas of medicine in the ancient world, most notably Greece and the Islamic Middle East, and the reception of these ideas in later periods. Like their colleagues in the Department of History, the classicists engaging in the medical humanities have been successful in winning Wellcome grants to support their internationally recognised research.

Global Sustainable Development/School for Cross-Faculty Studies

Traditional healing in northern Thailand has been explored in the context of global health, modernity, and antimicrobial resistance, bringing together global health and medical anthropology. This project involved academics from higher education institutions and a policy member from the UK All-Party Parliamentary Group on Global Health. Global Sustainable Development's research impact collaborations demonstrate how Warwick research can inform and influence global health challenges by exploring local knowledge and creative forms of expressions like storytelling and photography.

Making and impact...

Professor Hilary Marland, History (with Professor Catherine Cox, UCD) have been working on the impact-focused project, ‘Using the Arts to Explore the History of Mental Health in Prison.’ During a period when prisons and crises regarding staffing, violence, suicide and mental illness were seldom out of the news, the Centre for the History of Medicine developed a series of engagement and impact projects using the Arts to communicate research about the history of mental health in prisons in order to influence public debate and policy.

Find out more

Pictured above: The Lock Her Up exhibition exploring the history of prisoner health at Tate Modern, as part of the Warwick Tate Exchange programme in June 2018.

Find out more about this research theme in Film and Television Studies.

Medical Humanities relates to our research themes of Life Sciences and Health, Histories, Creativity and Theory, Understanding the Human and Ethics, Rights and Social Justice. 

Explore our research further and find out how it is making a difference...