‘Senses and Health/care Environments’ network

‘Senses and Modern Health/care Environments: Exploring interdisciplinary and international opportunities’

Coming up! Conference 29-30 March 2021, Bristol (CFP will be launched in summer 2020).

Sign up to the mailing list HERE if interested in the senses in health/care environments. This will enable you to find out about upcoming network events.

The network ‘Senses and Modern Health/care Environments: Exploring interdisciplinary and international opportunities’ has been awarded a small grant by the Wellcome Trust (2019-2021). The first workshop on ‘objects’ was on 27 August 2019 in Birmingham, before the EAHMH conference ‘Sense and Nonsense’. A group of network members also presented two panels at the EAHMH conference. For further activities and upcoming events see HERE

The network will explore opportunities for collaborative research and funding in the sensory history of healthcare environments. It has two main aims, with associated activities to achieve these running over a two-year period (one workshop, one large conference, and three project ‘retreats’). Firstly, it will develop interdisciplinary methodologies in relation to the case study of the modern British hospital, thinking ambitiously and creatively about the potential for collaborative publications in the field. Secondly, it will expand a small existing group of UK-based scholars working on (or near) the subject of health/care senses to become (i) more international; and (ii) more collaborative with healthcare practitioners, designers and architects. Ultimately, the project will initiate and deepen interdisciplinary and international networks, with the ultimate goal of collaborative funding applications and publications. 

The following group of ‘core collaborators’ are taking forward plans for an interdisciplinary and collaborative publication:

Marie Allitt is Humanities and Healthcare Fellow at the University of Oxford, on the project ‘Advancing Medical Professionalism: Integrating Humanities Teaching in the University of Oxford’s Medical School’. She is also the Postdoctoral Research Assistant for the Northern Network for Medical Humanities Research, at the University of Leeds. Marie completed her PhD in English Literature at the University of York in 2018, focusing on experiences and representations of spaces and senses in First World War medical caregiving narratives. Marie’s research focuses on medical life writing; practitioner health; medical spaces and senses; and early 20th century surgery.

Agnes Arnold-Forster is a Postdoctoral Research Fellow on the Wellcome Trust Investigator Award, Surgery & Emotion, and is based at the University of Roehampton. Her work explores how people working in the hospital felt about their jobs and their institutions; how those feelings altered across cultural, political, organisational, and technological change; how people related to one another at work (including those members of the hospital workforce left out of traditional histories of healthcare such as laundry workers, receptionists, and laboratory technicians); and how the emotional landscape of the hospital has been represented in popular culture. 

Victoria Bates is Senior Lecturer in Modern History at the University of Bristol. She specialises in the modern history of medicine and the medical humanities, with a current focus on the sensory history of the modern hospital. Her work has been published in a range of journals within the fields of medical history, cultural history, medical humanities and design. She is also involved in a number of collaborative projects with artists and technologists, in order to explore how history/humanities approaches can feed into creative, artistic and design interventions within healthcare spaces.

Harriet Barratt has a background in arts management, communications and bid-writing. She has just completed an AHRC-funded PhD at the University of Sussex on the role and representation of medical objects in literature, psychoanalysis and material culture. She is interested in the lived experience of the material environments of healthcare, and how these bodily and sensory processes are individually and societally conceptualised. She is a member of the Brighton and Sussex University Hospitals NHS Trust’s Onward Arts Group, and in 2019-20 will be a Research Officer on the project ART/DATA/HEALTH at the University of Brighton, which seeks to improve health literacy and digital skills through the use of data science and art practice.

Emma Cheatle is Senior Lecturer in Architecture at University of Sheffield. She is interested in Spatial Medical Humanities and researches historic and modern hospital buildings and settings through the politics of their use and occupation. She is particularly interested in marginalised users such as maintenance workers, and makes creative critical analyses through materialities such as smell, dust, light and air.

Clare Hickman is a Senior Lecturer in History at the University of Newcastle with an interest in the inter-relationship between landscape and health. Having published extensively on the history of healthcare gardens in Britain, she is now developing new strands of research on the role nature has played in the sensory history of hospitals and how a consideration of the multisensory nature of landscapes can aid inclusivity in both design and use.

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