Medical Humanities Discussion Group

Our Glasgow medical humanities discussion group meets regularly throughout the year. In the academic year 2017-2018, this group is organised and convened by Dr Manon Mathias, a Lecturer in the School of Modern Languages and Cultures. The discussion group is a forum for work-in-progress presentations and friendly discussion. All are welcome! If you would like further information, or to propose a paper, please contact Manon.

The meetings will all take place between 1-2pm in Room 216, the Hetherington Building, at Glasgow University. Refreshments will be provided.

We are very pleased to announce the times and topics for this Semester’s presentations:   


*CANCELLED UNTIL FURTHER NOTICE* (due to the ongoing industrial action)

Wednesday 14 March 2018: Dr Anna McFarlane (British Academy Postdoctoral Fellow, English Literature, University of Glasgow), Pregnancy in Science Fiction



Wednesday 14 February 2018: Charlotte Orr (PhD in Medical Humanities, University of Glasgow), ‘The self-construction of the scientist in Sir Ronald Ross’s Memoirs: with a full account of the great malaria problem’

[ABSTRACT: Sir Ronald Ross (1857-1932) was a physician, malariologist, writer and polymath. He was, and still is, a renowned figure in the field of parasitology because of his Nobel prize-winning research on malarial transmission (1902). However, Ross did not feel that his labour for science was adequately rewarded. Gordon A. Harrison describes Ross as ‘one who viewed life as a struggle and himself as a soldier perpetually in battle with people and forces that sought […] to frustrate him and hold back the course of human progress’ (Harrison 1978). This presentation examines Ross’s self-construction in his most celebrated literary work: Memoirs: with a full account of the great malaria problem. By exploring Ross’s self-construction in Memoirs, and conceptualising the findings in relation to recent Medical Humanities scholarship on Victorian physician-writers, this presentation will establish how Ross constructs his memoir in order to memorialise himself as a member of the scientific elite and, moreover, as a national hero.]


Wednesday 17 January 2018: Dr Petya Eckler (Senior Lecturer in Journalism, University of Strathclyde), ‘Body Image, Disordered Eating and Social Media: A Research Agenda on Future Directions’










Past presentations include:

Dr Zaman Shahaduz (University of Glasgow) ‘Common or multiple futures for end of life care interventions around the world? Ideas from ‘Waiting room of History’

Dr Douglas Small (University of Glasgow), “Cocaine, Edward Weston, and Victorian Sports Doping”

Sarah Phelan (University of Glasgow), “The ‘Dream Books’ and 1930s Glasgow Psychiatry: Untangling Psychoanalytic and ‘Common Sense’ Patient Narratives”

Louise Boyle (University of Glasgow), “‘I’ve just got to keep myself together …’: The psycho-social geographies of living and coping with Social Anxiety Disorder”

Dr Matthew Smith (University of Strathclyde), “History in Action: Social Psychiatry in Contemporary, Political Perspective”

Dr Jane Draycott (University of Glasgow), “Prostheses in Ancient Greece and Rome”

Molly Ziegler (University of Glasgow), “Shakespeare and Madness: dramaturgies of mental illness in early modern England”

Staff from Archives and Special Collections (University of Glasgow), “Discovering Medical Humanities Collections”

Dr Ian Shaw (University of Glasgow), “The Psychopolitics of Surplus Populations”

Megan Donald (University of Glasgow), “From animal companionship to animal husbandry: exploring a more-than-human ethics for veterinary medical humanities”

Prof. Alexander Kosenina (Leibniz-University Hanover), “Bedlam and Beyond: Madhouse Tourism in the 18th Century”

Dr Anna Mcfarlane (University of Glasgow), “Inequality in Medical Science Fiction”

Arden Hegele (University of Columbia), “University of Pathography and Romanticism”

Dr Mia Spiro (University of Glasgow), “Between two Worlds: The Possessing Spirit of The Dybbuk in Interwar Jewish Theatre”

Dr Emma Laurie (University of Glasgow), “Health and Human Rights: Easier in theory than in practice”

Prof. Stephen Burn (University of Glasgow), “Contemporary American Fiction and Neuroscience”

Dr Jenny Eklof (Umeå universitet), “A New Panacea: The Emergence of Mindfulness Science”

Dr Donna McCormack (University of Leeds), “A Haunting Imaginary of Organ Transplantation”

Jac Saorsa (, “The Power of the Visual: The Artist in Medicine”

Dr Cheryl McGeachan (University of Glasgow), “A Tapestry of Tales: Investigating the Historical Geographies of Art Therapy and the ‘Art Extraordinary’ in Scotland (1950-1980)”

Dr Megan Coyer (University of Glasgow), “The Medical Blackwoodians: Literature and Medicine in the Nineteenth-Century Periodical Press”

Dr Claire McKechnie (Glasgow Centre for Population Health), “Narrative, Community Health, and Medical Humanities”

Dr Hannah Tweed (University of Glasgow), “Poor Things: Diagnosis and Paratext’

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