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Health Humanities

Research group Medical (or health) humanities engages with questions about medicine and health from a variety of perspectives including anthropology, literature, language, psychology, sociology and the arts. The perspectives of these disciplines are increasingly informing medical education, ethics and practice.

The medical humanities network in the faculty collects researchers from various departments in the faculty of the arts and outside the faculty. We are all interested in the intersections of health and medicine with traditional humanities disciplines, such as literature, history, ethnology, language etc. We hold seminars and reading groups.

Our events in 2023 are:

17 October: Anne Bettina Pedersen (Ålborg), Humhuset

October (Details TBA): Lauren La Fauci (Linköping), Humhuset.

8 February, 3.15-4.45: "How Can Literature have a Role in Medical Education?" (Katarina Bernhardsson, Lund), Humhuset.

10 November, 3.15-4.45: "Aesthetics, Body, and Care: A Practice in African and Diasporic Writing and Story" (Chisomo Kalinga, Edinburgh), Humhuset.


Our events for 2021-2022 were: 

16 September, 3.15-4.45: "The Swedish Abortion Pill and the Making of Values" (Morag Ramsey, Uppsala) via Zoom. 

24 September, 10-12: "Det sena 1900-talets Svenska amalgamkontrovers" (Final seminar of Umeå PhD candidate Jonatan Samuelsson with examiner Maria Josephson, KI) 

26 October, 1.15-2.45: Joint seminar with Modern Literature, "Physical and Mental Health Among Medieval Recluses" (Godelinde Perk, Oxford)

23 November, 3.15-4.45: Joint seminar with Literature of Modern Languages, "Dermography: On the Affinity of (Human) Skin and Writing" (Irina Hron, Gothenburg) - the seminar will be followed by a reception

Previous events in 2020-2021 were:

18 November, 3:15-4.45: “Organizing Illness – the mobilization of patients in 20thcentury medicine” (Ylva Söderfeldt, Uppsala) via Zoom. 

10 December, 3:15-4:45 : "The Historical Roots of the Placebo Effect" (Karin Jensen, KI) via Zoom. 

11 May, 1:15-2.45: Medicine and "Magical Thinking" in the Middle Ages (Gwendolyne Knight Keimpema, Stockholm)

25 March, 3:15-4.45: Should Computers Help Make End-of-Life Decisions? Advancing a New Debate in Medical AI Ethics (Erik Campano, Umeå)

18 February, 3:15-4.45: "A Cultural Biography of the Prostate" (Ericka Johnson, Linköping)

Head of research


Uncanny soundscapes of gothic nineteenth-century short stories reverberate across centuries

Chilling sounds that crowd Gothic short stories are investigated in a new thesis by Elena Glotova.

Umeå researcher appointed French knight

The Order of Academic Palms has been awarded Lena Maria Nilsson

Latest update: 2023-08-30