Medical Humanities

Through our Summer School and Oxford-Globe Forum, Medical Humanities explores the interface between clinical medicine and the humanities. Planning is underway for the next Summer School in 2024.

In other enrichment activity on health humanities, the Medical Anthropology Film and Discussion Group explores the extent to which film can complement, enrich and further the study of medical anthropology themes, topics and methods.

Medical Humanities Summer School

Summer School 2021

The summer school in medical humanities took take place online from 12 July to 16 July 2021. The line-up of distinguished teaching staff included Professor Dame Hermione Lee (biographer of Virginia Woolf, Tom Stoppard and many others), Professor Neil Mortensen (President of the Royal College of Surgeons) and Sridhar Venkatapuram (Professor of Global Health at KCL).

Each session was dedicated to aspects of a broad topic: interpretation, professionalism, ethics, global health, decolonising medical humanities, communication, mind and body.

Read more about the Medical Humanites Summer School 2021

Previous Summer Schools

The inaugural Medical Humanities Summer School in July 2018 introduced 22 students to the connection between the art and the science of medicine: e.g. observation; illness narratives; language and communication; body language; medical ethics; ageing; cultures of normality; diversity, gender, and (anti-)heroes. Teaching was delivered through a mixture of lecture-discussion and interactive workshops.

The Medical Humanities Summer School 2019 took place at Green Templeton from 14 to 20 July 2019.

The Medical Humanities Summer School 2020 had to be cancelled due to the COVID-19 crisis.

Further reading

For those interested in a general introduction to the expanding field of Medical Humanities, we have produced an introductory bibliography to Medical Humanities.

Oxford-Globe Forum on Medicine and Theatre in Practice

The Oxford-Globe Forum on Medicine and Theatre in Practice meets once or twice a year, alternating between Shakespeare’s Globe and the University of Oxford. It brings together researchers and practitioners in medicine, theatre and academia to explore a designated theme.

The theme for the last event, held at Green Templeton College in 2017, was Altered States. Papers included topics such as: consciousness and unconsciousness, hallucinations, possession, sleep and dreaming, melancholy and anxiety, madness, anger, passion and passions, trances, voices, echoes, the senses, obsession, contagion, grief and mourning.


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Participants and speakers at the Medical Humanities Summer School 2019
A group of participants from the Medical Humanities Summer School 2018 outside the Radcliffe Observatory