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
  • History of Psychiatry in Asia and History of Alcohol


Senior research affiliates

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

Research fellows

  • Jane Freebody
  • Tudor Georgescu
  • Patrick T. Merricks

Visiting fellows

  • Dr Emmanuel Betta

PhD students

  • Cosmin Koszor Codrea, The Word of Science: The Romanian Reception of Darwinism, 1859–1918
  • Jane Freebody, What did they do all day? Patient occupation, psychiatry and society in France and England, 1920–1940
  • Mark Galt, The Plurality of Prevention: Medical Superintendents and the Practices of Compulsory Sterilization in California State Institutions, 1909–1960
  • Sarah Waters, Melancholia Past and Present: Renaissance History of Women’s Melancholia through Archival, Literary, and Dramatic Sources