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A ‘fine ear for messiness and contradictions’: ‘Literariness’ at work in interdisciplinary collaboration

IMC Tuesday Seminar: Talk by Angela Woods, Professor of Medical Humanities, Department of English Studies, Durham University

Info about event


Tuesday 13 June 2023,  at 11:00 - 12:30


Jens Chr. Skous Vej 4, 8000 Aarhus C, building 1483, room 312 and online (https://aarhusuniversity.zoom.us/my/imcevent)

Angela Woods


Over the last ten years, the UK has seen a sharp increase in the number of intellectually ambitious, humanities-led research investigations of health and human experience. These projects have both responded to and helped define a ‘critical’ turn in medical humanities characterised by more ‘entangled’ and experimental ways of working. In my roles as Co-Director of Hearing the Voice (a large, interdisciplinary study of voice-hearing based at Durham University from 2012-2022), Director of the UK’s Institute for Medical Humanities, and collaborator and advisor to other research teams, I have become fascinated by the way projects in our field imagine, actualise and value the contributions of particular disciplines. This talk will share findings of an interview study Dr Jamie Rákóczi and I conducted with literary studies academics who had worked on two or more critical medical humanities projects. What happens to literature, literariness, the literary text, and the literary scholar as they get caught up in collaborative, interdisciplinary, critical, and health-related projects? What are the theories of literature and of interdisciplinarity that emerge—not in abstraction, contemplation, or op-ed rhetoric but on the ground: in negotiation with funders, colleagues, managers, clinical and community collaborators? This talk will, I hope, be an invitation to wider discussion of some of the specific challenges and critical potential of research in and beyond the critical medical humanities. 

About the speaker

Angela Woods
Professor of Medical Humanities
Department of English Studies
Durham University

Free of charge - All are welcome to attend