Trauma and Repair: A Medical Humanities Laboratory Workshop

Organised by the Medical Humanities Laboratory at the University of Manchester, thanks to the sponsorship of the John Rylands Research Institute.

1 pm – 4:45 pm, Friday, 9 March, Council Chambers, Whitworth Building, University of Manchester.

This workshop brings together speakers and practitioners from several different disciplines – anthropology, history of medicine, visual culture studies, cultural history, and art—to consider the bodily, medical, and cultural meanings of trauma and repair. Together we will think about and discuss where the experience of injury, especially to the face, and the practices of surgery intersect and interact.

Our first session includes presentations by an anthropologist, an artist, and a historian of medicine who all work on faces, trauma, and medicine. After a coffee break, our second session will feature keynote speaker Dr Suzannah Biernoff, Senior Lecturer in Modern and Contemporary Visual Culture at Birkbeck and author of the recent Portraits of Violence: War and the Aesthetics of Disfigurement, followed by a broad collective discussion of the afternoon’s presentations and themes.

We particularly encourage postgrads and early career researchers to attend. An archivist from the University of Manchester Library will be available to discuss recently catalogued holdings of interest to medical humanities scholars, teachers, and practitioners.

The event is free to all, but please register your attendance by clicking on this link, where a map and more detailed programme will be available.

Workshop schedule:

1 pm: Registration and arrival

1:15 pm:
Welcome and introductions
Dr Elizabeth Toon

1:20 pm:
Trauma, repair, transgression and transformation: Living with facial ‘disfigurement’
Dr Anne-Marie Martindale

1:50 pm:
Facing out: A portraiture project exploring facial cancer and the gaze
Lucy Burscough

2:20 pm
Between trauma and repair: The surgical operation in Dorothy Davison’s medical illustrations
Dr Harriet Palfreyman

2:50 pm:
Tea/coffee break

3:15 pm
Dr Suzannah Biernoff (Birkbeck)
Keynote: Facelessness in Georges Franju’s Les yeux sans visage

4 pm
General discussion
Led by Prof Ana Carden-Coyne

Please register at:

Whittingham Lives Study Day

Hidden Histories: Alternative Futures


Thursday 12th October 2017
10:30 – 18:00
53 Degrees, UCLAN
Brook St

A thought-provoking day exploring the hidden histories of mental health care through the lens of Whittingham Asylum in Preston, Lancashire (1873–2016), once the largest mental health institution in Europe.

Heritage and medical humanities experts, mental health survivor groups and artists will share their current research and creative responses to the archival heritage of Whittingham. The study day will also showcase alternative ways of taking ownership and representing mental health history to uncover positive and alternative futures for those using services today.

10.30am–12pm Arts & Heritage interactive workshops limited places, booking essential:

1pm–6pm Study Day

For more information please visit

To book the event:

Whittingham Lives are grateful for the support of:

The Heritage Lottery Fund, Arts Council England, UNISON, Music & The Mind, The Friends of Lancashire Archives and our key partners UCLAN, Lancashire Care NHS Foundation Trust and Lancashire Archives for funding and supporting this event.


Grant opportunities in Medical Humanities: a Q&A and advice session

Friday, 19 May 2017, 2 pm – 3 pm
University of Manchester, Simon Building, Room 2.57

Calling researchers and practitioners interested in the intersections of humanities, arts, biomedicine, health care, and the life sciences!

The Medical Humanities Laboratory invites you to a funding advice session.

Dr Dan O’Connor from the Wellcome Trust’s Humanities and Social Sciences Division will be discussing and answering questions about the Trust’s funding schemes.   An experienced university grant writer will also be available to give advice on planning and putting together successful applications.

Everyone is welcome, and early career researchers are especially encouraged to join us.

Tea and coffee provided from 1:45 pm for a 2 pm start.

RSVP and further details

Talk: Objects of Healing – nursing technologies of the First World War

Thursday, 18 May 2017, 5:30pm – 7pm
Kanaris Lecture Theatre, Manchester Museum, Oxford Road, Manchester M13 9PL


Christine Hallett, Professor of Nursing History at the University of Manchester and President of the European Association for the History of Nursing will use objects from the Museum of Medicine and Health to examine and highlight some of the most important tools and technologies used by nurses to heal the wounds sustained by combatants on the battlefields of the First World War. This talk will focus, in particular, on the use of Carrel Dakin wound irrigation technique – a method for delivering the powerful antiseptic, sodium hypochlorite, into deep, infected combat wounds.

This event is open to all, for all backgrounds and ages and no prior knowledge assumed.

Register here