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From Field to Page: Core Skills in the Medical Humanities - Day 2

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From Field to Page: Core Skills in the Medical Humanities

CHASE Cohort Training Days

July 5th & November 8th 2018

Keynes Library

School of Arts, Birkbeck, University of London

43 Gordon Square, London WC1H 0PD

Medical humanities continues to emerge as a live and transforming field of enquiry.  The core work of this field seeks to explore and critique biomedical science and its histories through the various critical frameworks of the humanities disciplines.  Medical humanities research presents scholars with the particular challenges of transdisciplinary research undertaken across the radically different domains of medicine and the humanities’ academic disciplines.  Across the CHASE institutions there is a diverse cohort of medical humanities doctoral researchers that incorporates students from both clinical and non-clinical, humanities backgrounds. As such the cohort represents a broad range of skills-sets, work, academic and training experiences, and previous exposure to the critical methods central to the humanities disciplines. Clinicians come into the field of research with substantial situated knowledge of the real-life settings and practices of medicine and surgery but often with the need to acquire, through training the requisite skills of critical thinking and writing. 

Conversely, non-clinicians and humanities’ scholars are much better versed in critical practice and inquiry, but lack the grounded, lived experience of clinical practice. The range of research projects undertaken in the field is markedly diverse, ranging from practice-led (examining the nature of clinical practice), to practice-based (using clinical practice as research), to purely analytic (discursive analysis) modes of inquiry but all undertake to situate medicine, disease, patient experience, clinical practice and medical education within socio-cultural and/or historical contexts in such a way that critical analysis and discursive understandings may be produced. The aims of medical humanities theses may, or may not, have the avowed intention of contributing to the practical fields of clinical practice, delivery of healthcare or medical education. All medical humanities theses must adhere to the core methodologies and practices of the humanities disciplines and this means that critical thinking and writing skills are key requirements of the medical humanities doctorate.

The CHASE Consortium will deliver two training days, which map the core skills required of medical humanities doctoral research and support doctoral researchers as they undertake their projects.


Day 2, November 8th 2018

10.15-10.30am:  Coffee and Registration

10.30-11.15am:  Keynote Lecture; Prof Eivind Engebretsen (Faculty of Medicine, University of Oslo), title TBC

11.15am-12.30pm:  Medical Humanities and Ethics; with Sam Curtis (artist, educator and curator of Bethlem Gallery), Dr Joe O’Dwyer (President of Association of Medical Humanities/Consultant Anaesthetist), Prof Zoe Playdon, (Emeritus Professor of Medical Humanities, University of London)

12.30-1.00pm:  Open Space to discuss the morning sessions

1.00-2.00pm:  Lunch

2.00 - 3:15 pm: 'Living with Buildings' exhibition tour at Wellcome Collection (183 Euston Road, NW1 2BE)

3.15-3.45 pm: Coffee

3.45-5pm: Putting theory into practice: medical humanities as practice-based research; with Deborah Padfield (Slade School of Fine Art and Institute of Medical and Biomedical Education, St George’s, University of London); Dr Flora Zahra Smyth (Faculty of Dentistry, Oral and Craniofacial Sciences King's College London)

5-6pm:  Breakout group sessions to discuss intersections of the sessions with individual research projects

6pm:  Drinks Reception, hosted by Birkbeck Centre for Medical Humanities