Centre for Medical Humanities

The Centre for Medical Humanities (CMH) was established in late 2014/early 2015. It builds and expands on the work of the Centre for Health, Medicine and Society: Past and Present in new directions. First and foremost, it aims to promote world-leading interdisciplinary research and actively engage with new academic and non-academic audiences. Second, it strives to encourage a fresh collaborative partnership across the Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences and the University more broadly. Third, it brings together historians of medicine and scholars with interests in medical humanities from History, Philosophy, Social and Life Sciences as well as Anthropology and Religion. Finally, it seeks to explore new opportunities for extending its current academic network and establish new ones. To this end, CMH will endeavor to communicate more effectively with similar institutions, nationally and globally, and thus to provide new and innovative solutions to a wide range of issues in medical humanities.

This new strategy is needed to move beyond the limited field of history of medicine and to position the Centre’s interrelated research in medical humanities within a new institutional framework, which fosters interdisciplinary and innovative scholarship. In seeking to achieve its short- and long-term goals, the CMH will continue to offer a high quality academic environment aiming to increase its international profile, along with its ability to secure substantial funding, not only for established scholars but also for graduate students and early career researchers.

Current areas of research

  • Eugenics and the control of reproduction
  • Motherhood, family and children
  • Sexuality, domesticity and gender
  • Pregnancy, Abortion and Maternal bodies
  • Forensic medicine and crime
  • Drug treatment, hospitals and cancer chemotherapy
  • Race, immigration and multiculturalism
  • Risk, Governance and Society

Advisory Committee


Senior research affiliates

  • John Hall
  • Anne Digby
  • John Perkins
  • Maria Sophia Quine
  • Annie Skinner

Junior research affiliates

  • Patrick T. Merricks


  • Tudor Georgescu

Research fellows

  • Dr Emmanuel Betta

PhD students

  • Alexandra Barmpouti, The Hellenic Eugenics Society and the Population Problem in Greece, 1950s–1980s
  • Hanna Choudhury, The Forgotten Children; The Association of Parents of Backward Children and the Legacy of Eugenics, 1946–1960
  • Jane Freebody, What did they do all day? Patient work, psychiatry and society in England and France, 1900–1940
  • Mark Galt, The Plurality of Prevention: Medical Superintendents and the Practices of Compulsory Sterilization in California State Institutions, 1909–1960
  • Catriona Gilmour-Hamilton, A Cohort of One: oral narratives of cancer research in Britain, 1970–2005
  • Catherine Rushmore, Chemicals and their users in the British Home, c. 1930s–1980s
  • Simon Wilson, Science and Ideology: Evolution and the Reshaping of Education in Britain, 1918–1945

MPhil students

  • Barnabás Kalina, A New Conquest: Palingenetic Ultra-nationalism and Fascism in Hungary, 1910–1944