Elinor Cleghorn talk launches New Centre for Medical Humanities

The University of Kent will launch its Centre for Health and Medical Humanities (CHMH) on Wednesday 12 October with a public lecture and Q&A by Dr Elinor Cleghorn, author of the bestselling book Unwell Women: A Journey Through Medicine and Myth in a Man-Made World.

Dr Cleghorn is a feminist cultural historian specialising in women’s health and its histories. She has given talks for NHS trusts, universities and medical organisations, and has appeared on the likes of BBC Woman’s Hour.  Drawing on her experience of writing Unwell Women, her lecture will unpack the possibilities that the medical humanities opens for researchers to connect across specialisms and engage with the culture and history of medicine in a way that emphasises care, collaboration and critique.

The CHMH brings together researchers, tutors, practitioners and students from across the University to explore the relationship of the arts and humanities to health, healthcare, medicine and medical education, and stimulate ground-breaking research in the health and medical humanities. As well as offering taught programmes, it aims to contribute to a greater and wider understanding of current conversations in the health and medical humanities via a range of digital resources (such as its Conversations series) and public engagement events.

Dr Dieter Declercq, Co-director of the Centre says: ‘We are excited and proud to be launching this new centre which brings together researchers and practitioners across humanities and sciences and plays a vital role in helping to tackle important public health challenges. The Centre for Health and Medical Humanities is all about building bridges and connecting people. We investigate how arts and humanities improve health and wellbeing – and how research in these areas informs healthcare.’

Co-director of the Centre Dr Stella Bolaki says: ‘We are thrilled to welcome Dr Elinor Cleghorn for this launch. Dr Cleghorn approaches her subject not only from a historical perspective but also a personal one as an ‘unwell woman’ living with a condition that was misdiagnosed for years. Considering England’s recent Women’s Health Strategy, Unwell Women is a timely book that directly intervenes in calls for changing attitudes to women’s health and for medical justice more broadly.’

There will be an informal networking event following the lecture.

For further information about how to book your place, please contact the Centre Directors at chmh@kent.ac.uk.