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literature

James Poskett: Stories of psychology

12 Oct, 11 | by James Poskett

Who are the big names in the history of child psychology? Anna Freud? Melanie Klein? John Bowlby? Certainly. But, according to Professor Sally Shuttleworth, in order to locate the origins of child psychology, we have to look to nineteenth-century literature, to authors such as George Eliot and Charles Dickens.

This is just one of the historical titbits to come out of the recent Stories of Psychology conference, ran by the British Psychological Society at the Wellcome Trust. In her paper, entitled Studying the Child in the Nineteenth Century, Shuttleworth argued that the emerging genre of the nineteenth-century novel was the first to take the psychological world of the child seriously. Whilst previous works may have dealt with comings of age, novels such as Dickens’s Dombey and Son began to investigate the psychological world of the child in its own right, particularly within the context of education. (In the novel, Dombey’s son has difficultly socialising and is sent to a number of medical and educational establishments in order to rectify this shortcoming.)

Shuttleworth believes that such literary explorations were picked up by the psychologists and educationalists of the time, citing as evidence the way in which psychological theories were put to use in debates over compulsory education.

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James Poskett: A poetic triumph over the X-ray machine

8 Jul, 11 | by James Poskett

In what begins as an ‘unassuming extension of the ears’ and later develops into a ‘triumph over the x-ray machine’, Anne Merritt’s recently published poem, Stethoscope, neatly captures the development of a unique medical relationship that has little to do with patients: one between a doctor and the instruments with which she plies her trade.

http://mh.bmj.com/content/early/2011/02/16/jmh.2010.005520

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The Drama of Medicine-All the Ward’s a Stage: 8th Annual AMH Conference, 11-13 July 2011, University of Leicester,UK

13 Jun, 11 | by Deborah Kirklin

Plans for the 8th annual conference of the Association for Medical Humanities are now well underway, with an exciting line up of papers, workshops and plenary speakers. Celebrated poet and doctor Dannie Abse will be running a session entitled Poet in a White Coat; Jed Mercurio, author of Bodies and creator of the TV series Cardiac Arrest, will speak on the Doctor as Antihero;  Professor Laurie Maguire, from Magdalen College Oxford, will explore Shakespeare’s guide to health and illness; and Matthew Alexander from North Carolina, a leading authority on the use of cinema in medical education, will begin the conference with a workshop and plenary address on this subject. more…

2011 International Symposium on Poetry and Medicine

17 May, 11 | by Ayesha Ahmad

I recently attended the 2nd Annual Hippocrates Poetry and Medicine Symposium, which was held at Warwick Medical School and hosted by Professor Donald Singer and Associate Professor Michael Hulse. During the day, a group of researchers and clinicians from a variety of backgrounds gathered to explore the role of poetry in the discourse of medicine, including renowned poets, Marilyn Hacker and Gwyneth Lewis.

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Off Sick; Narratives of Illness Past and Present

31 Mar, 11 | by Deborah Kirklin

Scholars from the universities of Glamorgan and Cardiff are currently breaking new ground in the Medical Humanities with the Off Sick project, writes Dr Richard Marsden. This research initiative, led by Dr Martin Willis and Dr Keir Waddington, puts a new twist on the well-known concept of the ‘illness narrative’. It focuses not on the people who actually suffer from illness, but instead on those who support and care for them. In this vein the project team is currently gathering stories from carers across the South Wales area. more…

“Language in Health Care: Inspiring or Dispiriting?”16th-17th September 2010, Woodbrooke College, Birmingham

30 Jul, 10 | by Deborah Kirklin

This is a small, participative, interdisciplinary conference for users, professionals and academics organised by Think About Health, a network committed to doing collaborative ‘intellectual plumbing’ in the NHS.  Key note speakers include Femi Oyebode (poet and psychiatrist) and David Fuller (emeritus professor of English).  Other contributions from Angus Clarke (clinical geneticist), Deb Lee (paediatrician), Martyn Evans (professor of medical humanities).

It will explore the different languages, clinical, technical, managerial, political, colloquial and other, that flow around the NHS, and their effects and implications for health care and those who plan, offer and receive it. more…

“Medicine Unboxed 2010: Stories, Language & Medicine” Cheltenham Saturday 9th October 2010

26 Jul, 10 | by Deborah Kirklin

Cheltenham’s ‘Medicine Unboxed’ is a series of conferences for NHS staff, exploring a view of medicine that aspires to more than the technical and which necessarily refers to values, uncertainty and human understanding – to art as much as science. This year, in partnership with the Times Cheltenham Literature Festival, we engage the interface between medicine, language and stories. more…

Humanities at the Cutting Edge: an AMH Conference with sun, sea and surf as added extras: Truro 5-7th July 2010

10 Jun, 10 | by Deborah Kirklin

The Peninsula College of Medicine and Dentistry, one of the UK’s newer medical schools, has got a lot of things going for it, including its location in the glorious west country. A fact that won’t escape the notice of those lucky enough to be attending the  annual conference of the Association of Medical Humanities this July. Given the many attractions of the two sites for the conference- Truro and Penzance- it’s a wonder that delegates will manage to drag themselves  from the delights of coastal scenery and local hospitality and into the lecture hall. more…

Believing Without Seeing

11 Jan, 10 | by Ayesha Ahmad

Esref Armagan was born blind in Ankara, Turkey. He has now become a famous artist due to his sheer talent and also due to certain significant and unusual reasons. His art displays the colour, vividness, light, dark, imagination and perspective that we are used to considering as the gifts of sight. Esref is changing the meaning of what it is to see the world.

Whilst taking part in a documentary with the University of Toronto, he exclaimed: “why would I want to see when I can see so much more with my hands?” These words fall upon us at a time where medicine is advancing through producing images of our body that otherwise we are blind to, such as fMRI, X-Rays, CT scans. We are looking into how we can perceive the human body in its finest detail. Our direction of what it means to achieve the fullest understanding of the internal physical world of the body is engaged with finding what is hidden. more…

In Sickness and In Health

10 Dec, 09 | by Ayesha Ahmad

Crossing borders always presents the potential for a hold-up. When I prepared to cross the border from Macedonia (or Skopje if you are Greek), into the tiny nation of Kosovo, preparation was the key. I had one mission: to visit the hospital in the capital, Pristina. I travelled by car to the border where a contact of mine in Macedonia had arranged for another car to meet me and drive me across to the other side. I would be travelling with an ethnic Albanian who was well-versed in dealing with the officials. Macedonia has experienced its war wounds in recent years but in Kosovo these wounds are healing but very visable. Lines of hardship tell the story of the past across many faces that I saw. more…

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