The Network offers three themes for new research in Glasgow medical humanities. These focii are not intended as rigidly prescriptive, but rather to stimulate new work and connections.
The object-based approach acknowledges the importance within Glasgow of objects (including documents) as a means to inquire into specific areas (e.g. literary cultures, histories of psychiatry or surgery). But it also invites investigation of the complex desires, affects, and practices involved in collecting and viewing (e.g. of anatomy specimens), and the mutable biographies of objects themselves.
‘Place’ pursues the reiterated practices that construct Glasgow through continuous yet stratified flows of people, ideas, capital and identities. Alongside the ‘Glasgow Effect’ of excess mortality beyond comparable cities, Glasgow is a ‘place’ of health and healthcare in relation to e.g.: a rural hinterland (Crichton Royal Mental Hospital), a waxing and waning empire (David Livingstone, Haddow and the Zika virus), refugee and asylum seeker populations (cultural mental healthcare), and the global drinks industry (minimum alcohol pricing).
Glasgow is a locus of historical modernization, whether through the Enlightenment, 19C colonialism and industrialisation, post-war utopianism, neoliberal ‘regeneration’, or new and wholly imagined futures. This temporality inflects Glasgow’s health and health care through innovators such as Hunter and Lister, figures such as the police surgeon and Medical Officers of Health, organizations such as Scottish Allotments Society, and the dystopian sci-fi Glasgow of Tavernier’s Death Watch. At a personal level, ‘time’ encompasses biographical finitude in end of life care, the varying tempos of psychoactive stimulation and sedation, and the countdown of the ticking ‘fertility clock’.