Medicine, Health and the Arts in Post-War Britain is a series of Wellcome Trust-funded interdisciplinary seminars designed to bring together undergraduate and postgraduate students, early career academics, health practitioners and arts therapists working throughout the complex field of Medical Humanities. The main premise of the seminar series is that the relationship between medicine, health and the arts can only be understood by examining the processes of exchange between them.

The seminars are designed to explore the post-war relationship between medicine, health and four art forms: art, music, literature and drama. Each individual seminar comprises three speakers and will begin with an introductory overview, addressing broad themes and methodological issues. This introduction will then be followed by a ‘case study’ of the post-war impact of the art on medicine/health/wellbeing and another paper which is a ‘case study’ of the reverse.

By considering the reciprocal relationship between medicine and the arts, the intention is for each seminar to act as a discursive forum that is useful not only for medical historians and students of medical humanities, but also to move conceptually away from looking at the relationship between medicine and the arts as mono-directional.

Seminars will be held at St. Nicholas Priory, Exeter (with the exception of 16th March at Bristol University) and will take place on the following dates:

  • Friday 3rd Feb, 6.15pm-8.45pm (ART)
  • Friday 16th March, 2pm-6pm (LITERATURE, BRISTOL)
  • Tuesday 1st May 6.15pm -8.45pm (MUSIC)
  • Friday 25th May 6.15pm-8.45pm (DRAMA)

The seminar series establishes a South-West medical humanities network, involving representatives from the universities of Exeter, Plymouth and Bristol, as well as participants from Medical Humanities centres across the country.

Attendance of each seminar is limited to 30 places; please contact the seminar organisers on either address below to reserve a place. There are also a limited number of train tickets available for those travelling from Bristol/Plymouth to Exeter and vice versa; these are on a first come first served basis so please email to enquire as to their availability. Snacks and refreshments will be served.

Our first seminar will take place on the 3rd of February and will focus on the relationship between medicine, health and art. Please see the Medicine Health and the Arts for details of speakers and presentations. In advance of the first seminar a tour of Double Elephant at the Exeter Phoenix is available at 5.15pm. Double Elephant is an open-access community-based printmaking studio who do a great deal of art/health work in the local area, particularly a project called ‘Print on Prescription’. If you wish to attend the tour, please email to confirm a place as attendance is limited.

For all enquiries or any further information on the seminars, please contact Sam Goodman or Victoria Bates.


3 Comments

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