The Medical Humanities is an emerging field of enquiry in which the perspectives of humanities and social sciences perspectives are brought to bear upon an exploration of the human side of medicine. These perspectives have a key role to play in analysing our expectations of medicine, and the relationship between medicine and our broader ideas of health, well-being and flourishing.
The work of the Centre for Medical Humanities is for the next five years devoted to a research programme exploring this relationship, with the generous support of a Wellcome Trust Medical Humanities Strategic Award. In doing so, the Centre will promote the engagement of humanities scholars with the accomplishments and challenges of bio-medical advances. The research programme has four key themes of enquiry which, together, are planned to advance our understanding of medicine’s role in sustainable conceptions of flourishing. As the project progresses this provisional organisation is evolving to take account of additional specific research questions that are continually arising.
The Centre’s programme of work is based around a core team of four Durham academics, Professor Martyn Evans and Professor Jane Macnaughton Co-Directors, and Professor Corinne Saunders and Dr. Sarah Atkinson, Associate Directors, who are responsible for the research programme, together with three further full-time academic appointments Dr. Bethan Evans, Dr. Michael Mack and Dr. Angela Woods.
Meanwhile Mike White (Arts in Health Coordinator) and Mary Robson (Associate for Arts in Health and Education) are developing an associated programme of research into the health impacts of arts interventions at both individual and community level.