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Retheorising Women’s Health: Shifting Paradigms and the Biomedical Body

The seminar series Retheorising Women's Health: Shifting Paradigms and the Biomedical Body convened and organised by Prof. M Shildrick (QUB) and Prof. DL Steinberg (Warwick) consisted of 2 one day and two two-day-workshops held at Warwick University, Queens University Belfast, Lancaster University and Liverpool University between 2009-11. The Series aimed to launch a multidisciplinary examination of transformations in the conceptual, cultural, clinical and scientific terrain of women’s health in the light of radical shifts in the socio-cultural, political, economic and technological landscape of health politics more generally in the period of late modernity, and in response to ‘third wave’ feminist and women's health studies and theory. The 'think tank' styled workshops brought together cross-disciplinary and trans-national participants spanning social sciences, humanities, science and medical backgrounds.

Our aims were:

a) to promote co-operative debate and dialogue on the theme of women’s health through interdisciplinary exchange across social scientific, scientific and philosophical approaches involving both theorists and practitioners;

b) to develop a new understanding of the impact both of social, cultural and technological changes in the context of biomedical science, and of advances in relevant theoretical frameworks (and particularly those to do with gender and the body);

c) to re-invigorate the concept of women’s health for the contemporary world by articulating alternative frameworks for defining, evaluating and advancing women’s health.

This project produced a range of published outputs including a forthcoming special double issue of Body and Society ‘Estranged Bodies’ (M Shildrick and DL Steinberg, guest eds).

Project Start Date: 01/01/2009 Project End Date: 31/12/2011



- ‘Retheorising Women’s Health’ Website of the ESRC seminar series ‘Retheorising Women’s Health 2019-10 <>


- 2015 Body and Society (Special Issue), with M. Shildrick, Guest Editors. ‘Estranged Bodies: Changing Paradigms and the Biomedical Imaginary’ September 2015. 21(3)

[This and the following are outputs of the ESRC Seminar Series ‘Retheorising Women’s Health: Shifting Paradigms and the Biomedical Body 2009-11, M Shildrick PI, DL Steinberg Co-I, A Wahadin Co-I]

- 2015 ‘Estranged Bodies: Shifting Paradigms and the Biomedical Imaginary’ with M Shildrick. Body and Society (Special Issue ‘Estranged Bodies’) M Shildrick and DL Steinberg guest eds. September 2015. Vol 21(3) pp. 3-19

- 2015 ‘The Bad Patient: Estranged Subjects of the Cancer Culture’. Body and Society (Special Issue ‘Estranged Bodies: Changing Paradigms and the Biomedical Imaginary’, D.L. Steinberg & M Shildrick eds. Vol 21(3) 115-143

Conducted by Prof Deborah Lynn Steinberg, with Professor Margrit Shildrick (Linkoeping University, Sweden) and Professor Azrini Wahidin (Nottingham Trent University), funded by ESRC £18,000