Fully funded PhD studentship in Local Health Inequalities in an Age of Austerity: the Stockton on Tees Study

About the Award
Applications are invited for a fully-funded three-year doctoral studentship as part of a large 5 year research project funded by the Leverhulme Trust. The project aims to provide a contemporary and innovative, theoretically informed, comprehensive, interdisciplinary, mixed methods intensive case study of the aetiology and experience of health inequalities in Stockton on Tees, North East England.

We are looking for candidates who are interested in pursuing doctoral research in the areas of health and wider socio economic inequalities. Candidates will be expected to assist with a longitudinal health survey of the Stockton on Tees area. The survey will investigate the health inequalities between the 20% most and the 20% least deprived wards in the locality using a sample of 500 individuals drawn from households. Interviews will be carried out every 12 months for 4 years providing a face-to-face baseline survey with 3 telephone follow ups. Comprehensive demographic and social determinants of health data will be collected and health will be measured using well validated instruments of general health, physical health and mental health. Candidates will be expected to pursue a particular issue within the social determinants of health.

Applicants should be outstanding graduates (2:1 or 1st class honours degree, Masters degree desirable) of health geography, sociology, social policy, social anthropology, or public health, with a particular interest in social surveys, quantitative data, practical fieldwork and analysis. The project will be supervised by     Professor Clare Bambra, Dr Jon Warren and Dr Adetayo Kasim. The student must be able to work independently but will also be expected to contribute to the wider project including co-authoring PhD and project papers.

How to Apply
To apply for this studentship you must submit all the following documents to Veronica Crooks by Monday 24th June, 2013 at the latest:

  • CV
  • A short summary demonstrating how your skills and interests can contribute to the project (one page)
  • Two references from academic referees
  • Certificates of qualification
  • Academic transcripts

Shortlisted applicants will be invited for an interview at the Wolfson Research Institute for Health and Wellbeing, Durham University Queens Campus, Stockton on Tees. The studentship includes a stipend and the tuition fees at the UK / EU rate. The studentship will start on 1st October, 2013.

If you have any questions about any part of the application process please contact Veronica Crooks.

Further Information

Please see the project website for further details. For informal enquiries regarding the projects, please contact either Professor Clare Bambra  or Dr Jon Warren.

CFP: Disability, Asylum, and Migration (special issue)

Disability and the Global South, An International Journal


Guest Editors: Maria Pisani (University of Malta) and Shaun Grech (Manchester Metropolitan University)

Much has been written and documented on migration and the movements of people within and across national borders. In the light of environmental disasters, wars and conflict, food shortages, and environmental degradation, issues concerning the migration – development nexus have received considerable attention with the development  literature infused within broader subjects of poverty reduction and humanitarian intervention. However, within the research and literature on forced migration, one is continuously struck by the persistent absence of disabled people in its content (other than notable exceptions such as the FMR special issue- 2010) as well as theoretical disengagements. This absence is evident also across all of the disciplinary fields  in forced migration including international development, anthropology, global health and humanitarian action. Moreover, many countries of resettlement, such as Canada and Australia, actively exclude disabled people from their refugee and asylum programs. Critically, disability studies has yet to extensively engage with the predicament of disabled refugees and asylum seekers and their journeys across a range of geopolitical spaces. This is despite the fact that wars, conflict and environmental disasters that cause people to migrate are also a major cause of impairment and impoverishment, whilst the forced migratory passage impacts disabled people as they flee or attempt to reconstruct their lives in other places. This negligence is sustained by the virtual exclusion of disabled migrants, including Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs), refugees and asylum seekers from major policy documents such as the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (UNCRPD) and the most recent offering, the WHO/World Bank (2011) World Report on Disability.

This special issue aims to transcend disciplinary, epistemological, and other boundaries, inviting researchers, activists and practitioners to engage in critical debate around all aspects of the migration experience and disability, following journeys for asylum from global South to global North or within the global South. We are keen to hear from those in the global South, in particular empirical work that prioritises and renders visible these lives and voices, and that pushes for disability and migration as a key area of study and practice. We encourage contributions exploring a range of themes including (not exclusively):

  • Causes of forced migration among disabled people in the global South
  • Experiences of disabled people during exodus and post-conflict/humanitarian contexts
  • Intersections of disability, race, culture,  poverty, gender and legal status in the migration process
  • Asylum, disabled bodies, and (re)construction of disabled lives across borders
  • Globalisation, neoliberalism and the role of the disabled migrant in contemporary imperialism
  • Racism, xenophobia and the position of the disabled migrant
  • Medicalisation and treatment in the West
  • Disabled migrants in policy and practice: critical analyses
  • Disabled migrants in resettlement
  • Disability and migration in disciplines: reviews and approaches for inclusion (e.g. disability studies and migration studies)
  • Disabled migrants, voice, and claims for social justice

Those wishing to submit an article, please email your full manuscript to both Shaun Grech (S.Grech@mmu.ac.uk) and Maria Pisani (maria.pisani@um.edu.mt). Please insert ‘Submission for Disability and Migration Special Issue’ in the subject line. Manuscripts will be sent anonymously for double peer review, and comments and recommendations relayed to authors through the editors. Papers should be no more than 8000 words, with an abstract of 150-200 words. Please follow the journal’s instructions on formatting prior to submission http://dgsjournal.org/information-for-authors/.

Deadline for submission: 1st September 2013.

BBC Radio 4: ‘Untold History of Disability’ (10-part-series)

In a new ten-part radio series, journalist Peter White uncovers new historical sources revealing what life was like for those with physical disabilities in the 18th and 19th centuries.

Disability: A New History, starting on BBC Radio 4 on 27 May, is the first major series to explore the history of disability before the 20th century. It draws on a wealth of new research by historians across the country from sources including letters, diaries, advertisements, even jokes – all of which reveal what daily life was like for those with disabilities. This was an age before political correctness, and although some of the language used is robust, attitudes were often surprisingly compassionate.

The series sets out to challenge modern-day attitudes to disability, and the archive sources provide direct access to voices from the past. Throughout the series a rich variety of voices is heard: a man who complains he is the ‘only dwarf in Liverpool’; deaf children writing home from institutions; a wounded soldier, struggling to walk with a wooden leg; a society beauty disfigured by smallpox; ‘freaks’ who exploited their extraordinary bodies on the streets of London – and made a fortune. Dr David Turner from Swansea University is the academic advisor to the series and an expert in disability history. He provides academic insights throughout, in addition to a number of historians from across the country.

Elizabeth Burke, Producer, says: “The great thing about radio is that we can bring these voices to life, and give listeners a chance to hear first-hand sources – many of which have not yet been published. Some of these accounts are very funny, some are moving and inspiring. This is cutting-edge historical research – it amounts almost to a new historical movement. We wanted to explore what daily life was like for people with physical disabilities, but also to look beyond that, to ideas of beauty and deformity, wider concepts of what it means to be ‘able-bodied’ – which had an impact on real people, then as now.”

For presenter Peter White there is a strong and genuine sense of personal discovery. As a blind man he has always wondered, where were people like him in the past? “I never realised disabled people had a history. History was what happened to everyone else,” White says.

Gwyneth Williams, Controller BBC Radio 4 and Radio 4 Extra, says: “I am so pleased that Peter White, one of our most distinguished presenters, has decided to take up this unexplored area of history. I am looking forward to a challenging and original series which adds to Radio 4’s proud history coverage.”

Notes for Editors

Disability: A New History runs for 10 consecutive weekdays at 1.45pm over a two-week period from Monday 27 May, with an hour-long omnibus edition on Friday nights at 8pm. It was commissioned by Jane Ellison for BBC Radio 4. The producer is Elizabeth Burke for Loftus.

Academic Advisor: Dr David Turner of Swansea University, who recently published the first book-length study of physical disability in 18th-century England, Disability In Eighteenth-Century England: Imagining Physical Impairment.

Historians featured: David Turner, Stephen King, Joanna Bourke , Judith Hawley, Amanda Vickery, Tim Hitchcock, Julie Anderson, Irina Metzler, Naomi Baker, Chris Mounsey, Vivienne Richmond, Caroline Nielsen, Mike Mantin, Selina Mills.

Actors bringing life to the archived first-hand accounts: Gerard McDermott, Euan Bailey, Emily Bevan, Jonathan Keeble, Madeleine Brolly.

CFP: Special Issue on ‘Early American Disability’

Disability studies scholars call disability the “master trope of human disqualification,” emphasizing its ubiquity and relevance across space and time.  Most of us will be disabled at some point in our lives, scholars rightly point out, and we can all expect to become permanently impaired if we live long enough.  These claims are politically and intellectually useful—perhaps even necessary.  However, they also rely on largely ahistorical assumptions about health, ability, bodies, and labor.

This special issue of Early American Literature seeks to identify the contributions that early American scholars can make to the field of disability studies, and to consider how critical attention to disability reframes our relationship to early America and the Atlantic World.  We invite contributors to consider how historically nuanced perspectives—and early American perspectives in particular—alter our perceptions of impairments and/or broader categories of exclusion.  How, for example, disabled, impaired, or unabled bodies register categories of race, class, gender, nation, and indigeneity.  How plantation-based models of economy, militarized and domestic spaces, or exploration and captivity genres account for and narrativize differently abled bodies. Likewise, contributors might ask what defines disability in the early era, and how its modes of visibility (or invisibility) are constituted.  What rhetorics and representational practices of disability were particular to an early American or Atlantic-world context? What issues are particular to the early American study of disability?  What role did disability play in early American communities?  In their politics, law, commerce, and medicine?  In their poetry, prose, or art?  We seek a constellation of diverse and expansive essays to generate a broad discussion in an under-explored area of inquiry.

We encourage submissions that approach any aspect of this topic, broadly conceived, from pre-contact through the early national period.  We welcome submissions from historians, literary critics, art historians, musicologists, and other early American scholars and are interested in submissions that treat particular topics in early American disability. We are especially interested in submissions that also theorize disability in early America.

Send proposals (and enquiries) of 250-500 words to Sari Altschuler saltschuler@usf.edu and Cristobal Silvacs2889@columbia.edu by June 1, 2013.  Essays will be due March 31, 2014.  All submissions will go through EAL’s peer-review process before publication.

CFP: Special Issue of Gothic Studies on Medical Gothic

Proposals are invited for a special issue of Gothic Studies exploring intersections between the Gothic and medical humanities.

Gothic studies has long grappled with suffering bodies, and the fragility of human flesh in the grip of medical and legal discourse continues to be manifest in chilling literature and film. The direction of influence goes both ways: Gothic literary elements have arguably influenced medical writing, such as the nineteenth-century clinical case study. In this second decade of the twenty-first century, it seems apt to freshly examine intersections between the two fields.

The closing years of the twentieth century saw the emergence of medical humanities, an interdisciplinary blend of humanities and social science approaches under the dual goals of using arts to enhance medical education and interrogating medical practice and discourse. Analysis of period medical discourse, legal categories and medical technologies can enrich literary criticism in richly contextualising fictional works within medical practices. Such criticism can be seen as extending the drive towards historicised and localised criticism that has characterised much in Gothic studies in recent decades.

Our field offers textual strategies for analysing the processes by which medical discourse, medical processes and globalised biotechnological networks can, at times, do violence to human bodies and minds – both of patient and practitioner. Cultural studies of medicine analyse and unmask this violence. This special issue will explore Gothic representations of the way medical practice controls, classifies and torments the body in the service of healing.

Essays could address any of the following in any period, eighteenth-century to the present:

  • Medical discourse as itself Gothic (e.g. metaphors in medical writing; links between case histories and the Gothic tradition), and/or reflections on how specific medical discourses have shaped Gothic literary forms
  • Illness narratives and the Gothic (e.g. using Arthur Frank’s ‘chaos narratives’ of helplessness in The Wounded Storyteller).
  • Literary texts about medical processes as torture/torment in specific historical and geographic contexts (including contemporary contexts) 
  • Doctors or nurses represented in literature as themselves Gothic ‘victims’, constrained by their medical environment
  • Genetic testing; organ harvest; genetic engineering; reproductive technologies; limb prostheses; human cloning, and more.

To date the links between Gothic and psychiatric medical discourse have been the most thoroughly explored, so preference will be given to articles exploring other, non-psychiatric medical contexts in the interests of opening up new connections.

Please email 500-word abstract and curriculum vitae to Dr Sara Wasson, s.wasson@napier.ac.uk.

Deadline for proposals: 26th August 2013.

CFP: Disability and the Gothic (International Gothic Series)

The relationship between disability and the Gothic, as Martha Stoddard Holmes rightly observes, has been undertheorized by scholars of the genre. This is surprising, given the intensity with which the Gothic has historically explored and exploited the prejudices associated with human difference as manifested in physiological and mental deviations from a perceived norm. The proposed volume, which will be presented within the established International Gothic Series, published by Manchester University Press, will explore the uses and abuses of disability in Gothic fiction from the eighteenth century to the present, and will advance a genuinely international and multicultural analysis of this neglected aspect of Gothic stylistics. We particularly welcome papers that discuss Gothic textuality beyond the established European and American canon. Issues which might be explored by contributors could include (but are not limited to):

  • Abject bodies
  • Human vivisection
  • Amputation
  • Leprosy
  • Birth defects
  • Mental illness
  • Body Integrity Disorder
  • Phantom limbs
  • Body modification
  • Pigmentation variations
  • Branding and scarification
  • Post-apocalyptic bodies
  • Conjoined siblings
  • Prostheses
  • Corrective surgery
  • Queer bodies
  • Degeneration
  • Ritual disfigurement
  • Hermaphroditism
  • Supernumerary limbs 
  • Hospital culture
  • Zoomorphism

Proposals of approximately 500 words should be sent to the editors by 30 September 2013:

William Hughes, Department of English, Bath Spa University, Newton Park, Bath BA2 9BN UK e-mail w.hughes@bathspa.ac.uk

Andrew Smith, School of English, University of Sheffield, Sheffield S3 7RA UK e-mail andrew.smith1@sheffield.ac.uk

2 PhD Studentships in Medical Humanities, University of Sheffield

Start: October 2013

Application Deadline: 20th June 2013

More Info: http://mhs.group.shef.ac.uk/studentships

Medical Humanities Sheffield (MHS) would like applications for 2 PhD studentships commencing 1 October 2013. The studentships are attached to the medical humanities projects outlined below.

Medical Humanities Sheffield is a new interdisciplinary research and teaching Centre at the University of Sheffield devoted to sponsoring research and teaching at the interface between medicine and the humanities. The studentships accordingly offer exciting opportunities for interdisciplinary research, and offer direct opportunities for engagement with patients, bringing the Humanities and the worlds of medicine into direct conversation.

Applicants are invited to choose from the seven projects on offer, make contact with the supervisors, discuss the project, consider their suitability for the work proposed, and make a formal application. For further details about the studentships and the application process contact Prof Phil Withington (p.withington@sheffield.ac.uk) or Prof Ian Sabroe (i.sabroe@sheffield.ac.uk) for general enquiries, and the supervisors for project-specific questions.


1.      Biopolitics, disability and culture. Supervisors Prof Dan Goodley and Dr Esme Cleal. This project focuses on the historical and cultural development of the use and meanings of disability terms such as autism, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD). Details can be found here

2.      Technology, disability, and identity. Supervisors Dr Nicky Hallett and Prof Ian Sabroe. This project provides direct clinical contact to use self-writing techniques to analyse and understand the impact of modern technology on the patient response to diagnosis and treatment of a severe lung and heart disease, pulmonary hypertension. Details can be found here

3.      Psychological interventions in psoriasis. Supervisors Dr Andrew Thompson and Prof Andrew Messenger. This project provides direct patient contact to develop psychological models to intervene effectively in the treatment of social anxiety in patients with psoriasis. Details can be found here

4.      The socio-economic effects of geography on oral health. Supervisors Dr Sarah Barker and Dr Dimitris Ballas. This project explores, in part using modern simulation models similar to some gaming programs, how geography affects a particular dimension of health. Details can be found here

5.      Communicating risk to patients. Supervisors Steven Ariss and Gareth Walker. This project looks at how clinicians communicate with their patients, using conversation analysis to understand the communication of risk in type 2 diabetes and whether communication styles alter patient decision making. Details can be found here

6.      Empty bodies. Supervisors Dr Julia Dobson and Prof Mary Vincent. This project takes a cultural and historical perspective on what makes a human body, and how experiences of bodies in different contexts, from the theatre to religious parades, inform our understanding of humanity. Details can be found here

7.      Impact of expressive writing in patients experiencing fits. Supervisors Prof Markus Reuber, Prof Brendan Stone, and Dr Ian Brown. This project seeks to make a direct test of whether expressive writing techniques can be used to make a positive impact in the lives and healthcare of patients experiencing fits from either epilepsy, or the related syndrome of non-epileptic attack disorder. Details can be found here


A full 3 year studentship for UK/EU students (including fees at the UK/EU rate and maintenance at £13,726pa) is available.  International students are welcome to apply but they must be able to pay the difference between UK/EU and International fees.


Make contact with the supervisors and determine that the projects you are interested are suitable for you, and that the supervisors are willing to support your application.

Obtain a brief email or letter of support from the supervisors of the project(s) you are interested in. There is no restriction on the numbers of projects that you can be considered for.

Submit in one email (excluding references) to s.watkinson@sheffield.ac.uk by 20thJune 2013 the following documents:

  • A covering letter explaining which projects you are applying for and statement as to why you are suited to each project (no more than x1 side of A4 per project)
  • A CV
  • Supervisors email / letter of support
  • Two references (please ask your referees to email s.watkinson@sheffield.ac.uk their reference clearly including your name in the subject line or include them in your email)
  • Degree transcripts

Shortlisted candidates will be invited for interviews scheduled for the morning of Monday 8th July 2013.

Disability History Association Graduate Student Scholarship

Announcement from Disability History Association:

As part of our commitment to promoting the work of disability historians, DHA is proud to announce this year’s graduate student scholarship to attend professional academic conferences.  This award is not restricted by the geographic location or type of professional academic conference.  The fellowship committee will award either two applicants $250US (or equivalent), or one applicant $500US (or equivalent), depending on strength of proposals and need.  The Association will cover expenses to convert currencies if necessary.

To apply for this scholarship, applicants should provide a one-page (roughly 250 words) cover letter outlining when, where, and what kind of conference will be attended.  Applicants should clearly explain their reason for wanting to attend the conference and what benefits are anticipated in this experience.  For example, a candidate may have been accepted to present a paper or may want to interview for jobs at the conference; another may want to do both, or may want to learn more about subjects presented that relate to his/her own work.

This year’s award covers Summer 2013 through Summer 2014; applications may be submitted beginning on May 4, 2013.  The current scholarship review committee includes DHA members Phil Ferguson, Graham Warder, and Susan Burch. Awardees will be announced on the H-Disability listserv; in accepting the scholarship, winners commit to writing a brief article (500-750 words) about the conference for the next DHA Newsletter appearing after the event.

For more information on the scholarship, contact Susan Burch at sburch@middlebury.edu

MHRNS Lecture: ‘Telling Stories in the Medical Encounter’, University of Edinburgh

Larry Hergott, Professor of Medicine and Director of Outpatient Clinical Services at the University of Colorado, will give a talk entitled “Telling Stories in the Medical Encounter”. Further details below and if you would like to see Larry in action before the event, you can see some of his work on the BBC website here http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/magazine-22046354.

Speaker: Professor Larry Hergott

Talk: Telling Stories in the Medical Encounter

Date and time: Tuesday 14th May, 2013,  5pm-6.30pm (followed by a wine reception)

Venue: Meadows Lecture Theatre, Old Medical School, University of Edinburgh

Brief abstract:  Prof Hergott will discuss, through the sharing of writings of others and himself, the power of meaningful language as it relates to medical narrative and poetry. Themes of the writings will include: celebrating the wonders of medicine amidst its difficulties, gratitude, non-judgment of medical practitioners, loss, ageing, and the preservation of the soul of medicine. Ample time will be allowed for discussion.

Speaker biog: Larry Hergott is a practising consultant cardiologist, Professor of Medicine, and Director of Outpatient Clinical Services at the University of Colorado. His scholarly interest is in writing – philosophical essays and poems that typically deal with how medical practitioners and their loved ones lead the medical life, and with patient-doctor interactions. His essays and poems have mostly been published in medical journals such as the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA), Annals of Internal Medicine, the Canadian Medical Association Journal, and others. His photography has also been published in the New England Journal of Medicine. Professor Hergott has served on the University of Colorado Biomedical Ethics and Biomedical Ethics Consultation committees for over ten years.

This event is free but ticketed. Please register here: http://www.eventbrite.com/event/6541115653