MHRC Discussion Group, Glasgow (Semester 2)

The Medical Humanities Research Centre at the University of Glasgow is delighted to announce the programme for our discussion group for semester two. Please see details of the sessions below. The meetings will all take place in Room 418 in the East Quadrangle (directions available on the discussion group webpages), between 1-2pm. Tea/coffee and biscuits will be provided. All are welcome!


Wednesday 18th January

Session 1 – ‘Prostheses in Ancient Greece and Rome’

Speaker: Dr Jane Draycott (University of Glasgow)

This session will discuss Jane’s work to date about prosthesis manufacture and use in Classical Antiquity. 


Wednesday 15th February

Session 2 – History in Action: Social Psychiatry in Contemporary, Political Perspective

Speaker: Dr Matthew Smith (University of Strathclyde)

In this ‘post-truth’ era, it is increasingly important for historians to be assertive about the insights their research can offer to contemporary debates and issues, but determining exactly what ‘lessons’ are relevant and developing the skills to articulate them to the wider world is not easy.  Using my current research on the history of social psychiatry as a case study, my paper will discuss my ongoing attempts to distil conclusions that matter from my research into the history of health and medicine and communicate them to the broader public.


Wednesday 22nd March

Session 3 – “I’ve just got to keep myself together …”: The psycho-social geographies of living and coping with Social Anxiety Disorder’” 

Speaker: Louise Boyle (University of Glasgow)

This talk examines the psycho-social dynamics of living and coping with Social Anxiety Disorder; a condition marked by an intense and persistent fear of social interactions, situations and anticipated others. Drawing on lived accounts of anxious experiences from online interviews, I uncover the ways in which various situations, spaces and temporalities may be or become beneficial or detrimental to experiences of illness, health and wellbeing. By paying attention to the relational and embodied practices of coping and self-care, and the inherent spatialities of such practices, I explore how social anxieties necessitate an on-going formation and maintenance of psychological, social and material boundaries. I examine how processes of self-care and mechanisms of coping enable individuals to (re)order and (re)gain control of their socio-spatial surroundings but also ask to what extent are people further isolated and/or restricted by their attempts to manage and control their anxious experiences.


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