Anna Katharina Schaffner wins Wellcome funding

Dr Anna Katharina Schaffner, Reader in Comparative Literature and Medical Humanities from the Department of Comparative Literature, has won a Wellcome Trust Humanities and Social Sciences Small Grant for a research project entitled ‘Human Energy: A History’.

This project analyses bio-medical, psychological, and spiritual models of human energy. Embracing an interdisciplinary and a cross-cultural perspective, the research will explore theories of human energy ranging from ancient India, China, and Greece to the present day, investigating models of human energy such as qi, prana, chakras, auras, the Ãclan vital, libido, and bioenergy.

Although syndromes entailing the loss of human energy (including depression, stress, and burnout) are spreading rapidly, no generally accepted model of human energy exists in Western culture. The project asks why is this the case, and what can we learn from history and the East about this phenomenon?

For further details about the Wellcome Trust’s funding schemes, please see the page here: