PhD Scholarship: “Remake Up” and paramedical tattooing, Glasgow

Application Deadline: Friday 15 March 2019

An ESRC SGSSS Collaborative PhD scholarship is available in HGRG at University of Glasgow with Hester Parr and Chris Philo and Emma Laurie – based on partnership with Remake Up( a social enterprise in Glasgow that uses profits to fund free permanent make-up (paramedical tattooing) for those with disfigurement or critical illness experiences. This research will explore the politics and practices of changing facial aesthetics and create an impactful research record for charities, social enterprise and NHS services that provide aesthetic reconstructions. 

Further details:

Applications are live – deadline is in March.

If you have questions please feel free to email Hester Parr:

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Categories: MH resourcesPhD ScholarshipsUniversity of GlasgowPost navigation← Save-the-date: Glasgow Medical Humanities Symposium, 15 May 2019Book Review: Disclosures: Rewriting the Narrative about HIV, edited by Angie Spoto (Scotland: Stewed Rhubarb Press, 2018). (96 pp). £10.99. ISBN: 987-1-910416-10-5 →

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Symposium Registration: ‘History of Medicine at the University of Glasgow’

Date: 9.30am – 4.30pm, 6th December 2018

Location: Yudowitz Seminar Room, Wolfson Medical Building, University of Glasgow

The Centre for the History of Medicine at the University of Glasgowinvites you to a one-day symposium. The event takes place on 6th December 2018, between 9.30am and 4.30pm in the Yudowitz Seminar Room, in the Wolfson Medical School.

The papers cover three main themes:

  • the history of infection control from the early modern period to the present day
  • law and medicine (nineteenth and twentieth centuries)
  • responses to reproductive health issues (1950 to the present day)

Entry is free, but numbers are limited and registration is required for catering purposes: please register here.

Please email or to advise of any dietary or other requirements.


09.15 – 09.30 – Registration & coffee

09.30 – 10.30 Introduction and opening talk

  • Dr Angus Ferguson – Welcome
  • Professor Marguerite Dupree – Aspects of the History of Infection Control in British Hospitals since c.1870.

10.30 – 10.45 – Coffee and cake

10.45 – 12.15 Understanding diseases

  • Mona O’Brien – Pox and Poverty: Developments in municipal health care and poor relief in early modern Nuremberg.
  • Frances Osis – Specimen Stories: Finding Venereal Disease in Medical Museums.
  • Dr Hannah-Louise Clark – From Jinn Theory to Germ Theory: Translating Bacteriological Medicine in Colonial Algeria.

12.15 – 13.15 – LUNCH served in the Atrium

13.15 – 14.15 Law and medicine in Scotland (Chair: Dr Angus Ferguson)

  • Dr Cheryl McGeachan & Ross McGregor – A Distinctly Scottish Surgeon? Uncovering Police Surgery in 19th Century Scotland.
  • Dr Jeff Meek – “Lillies, Whitehats and Retired Lawyers”: The Interaction between Law and Medicine in Categorising Homosexual Offenders in Early Twentieth-Century Scotland.

14.15 – 15.45 Responding to reproductive health issues (Chair: Dr Rose Elliot)

  • Vanessa Cook – Analysing silences: accessing men’s emotions towards childlessness during the 1960s and 1970s.
  • Paula Blair – The Genetics of Prenatal Diagnosis, c.1950 – 1990: The Case of Malcolm Ferguson-Smith.
  • Dr Maelle Duchemin-Pelletier – Stillbirth in Britain: the experience of women and their partners, 1980-c.2016.

15.45 – 16.30 – Coffee followed by round-table discussion on the history of medicine at University of Glasgow

Workshop: ‘Connecting or Excluding? New Technologies & Connected Communities’, Glasgow

Date: 2-8pm, Wednesday 26th September

Location: The Lighthouse (Conference Suite), 11 Mitchell Lane, Glasgow, G1 3NU

Date: 9.30am-6pm, Thursday 27th September

Location: St Luke’s (Main Hall), 17 Bain Street, Glasgow, G40 2JZ

This free event will explore how digital technologies and infrastructure help enable innovative co-creation and co-research with communities and can build new communities of learning, shared knowledge and creativity.

The event contributors include researchers, community groups and representatives, artists, and commercial partners who have worked with the Digital Transformations and/or Connected Communities Themes over the course of their development.

The two-day event will include a range of activities including talks, presentations, workshops, performances, networking and exhibition elements.


Wednesday 26th September:

 Keynote speakers:

  • Helen Manchester (University of Bristol)
  • Giovanna Fassetta & Esa Aldeghei (University of Glasgow)

The Roundtable Session:

How do we use the digital to support new forms of collaboration and co-creation and to create more inclusive forums of knowledge production?

Speakers will include: Keri Facer (University of Bristol); Jon Rogers (Mozilla Foundation); Richard Clay (Newcastle University);Ming Lim (University of Liverpool Management School).


Short screening of films created by Michele Aaron and Bryony Campbell as part of the AHRC-funded Life:Moving project, a collaboration between researchers at the University of Birmingham and the John Taylor Hospice.

Book Series Launch:

The Connected Communities Theme will launch the Foundation Series, 8 reviews exploring the different theoretical and methodological foundations of collaborative research. The reviews will be available to view at the event and download online afterwards.


Thursday 27th September:

Decolonising the Digital:

How far and in what ways is our digital world reinforcing existing elites and hierarchies? How far is it a potential vehicle for change and resistance?

Speakers will include: Natalia Cecire (University of Sussex);Nelson Mundell (University of Glasgow); Tim Hitchcock (University of Sussex).

Disability, Illness & the Digital:

How can digital environments help us to reconceptualise disability, illness and accessibility? How can processes of co-creation prioritise the experiences and insights of people with illnesses and/or disabilities?

Speakers will include: Michele Aaron (University of Warwick); Martin Levinson (Bath Spa University); Jayne Wallace (Northumbria University).

Community Connectivities:

How can digital environments promote co-creation and collaborative methods in research and what represents best practice? What have we learnt from trying to build connected communities?

Speakers will include: Hannah Wright (Glasgow Women’s Library);Chiara Bonacchi (University of Stirling); Mike Wilson (Loughborough University).


How are digital environments fostering the re-evaluation of the nature of the archive and encouraging different communities to create new types of archive? How can creating archives challenge existing power structures and enhance community identity?

Speakers will include: Rebecca Kahn (Alexander von Humboldt Institute for Internet and Society); Simon Popple (University of Leeds); Niamh Moore (University of Edinburgh)

Attendance is free, but places are limited – please register via the Eventbrite page.

If you have any queries email the team at:


Registration: ‘Writing Recoveries: International Conference for Writing Interventions for Mental Health’, Glasgow

Date: 3pm, Wed 21st March – 5pm Friday 23rd March 2018

Location: Level 5, Sir Alywn William Building, University of Glasgow, G12 8RZ

What is the relationship between Creative Writing and Mental Illness? How can creative writing provide a route to recovery for sufferers of mental illness?

Dr Carolyn Jess-Cooke from University of Glasgow leads this three-day international exploration of research in the field of creative writing in therapeutic contexts. Writer and illustrator Debi Gliori will discuss her new book, NIGHT SHIFT, an illustrated book on depression, in the University Chapel on Wed 21st March at 6pm (see this coverage in Stylist of her stunning approach). Two distinguished experts, Professor Joshua M. Smyth (Opening Up by Writing It Down) and James Withey (The Recovery Letters) will be giving keynote addresses on the morning of 22nd and 23rd March.

Tickets are free but limited: book your place now hereIf you cannot participate in person but would like to receive a weblink to engage in live streamed events and/or receive podcasts, please email Carolyn Jess-Cooke at

Other invited participants include: Jay Griffiths, author of Tristimania; Dr Sophie Nicholls, Lecturer in Creative Writing at Teeside University; author Stephanie Butland (Lost for Words); Claire Williamson, Director of the ‘Creative Writing for Therapeutic Purposes’ MSc programme at the Metanoia Institute; Lapidus Chair Clare Scott.

Funded by the British Academy/Leverhulme Trust.

Follow on Twitter! @writedepression

CFP: ‘The Gut-Brain Axis’: Cultural and Historical Perspectives, Glasgow

Date: 4th-5th May 2018

Location: University of Glasgow

Research into the so-called ‘gut-brain axis’ has seen extraordinary growth in the past decade as microbiologists, neurologists and nutrition scientists have discovered new ways in which these supposedly separate parts of the body interact. Whereas our guts, brains, nervous systems, and behaviour were thought to be distinct, increasing evidence shows that the boundaries between them are more porous. Both scientific and popular interest in the topic continues apace, with a constant stream of publications aimed at specialist and lay audiences, and the first international Gut-Brain Axis Summit taking place in San Francisco in December 2017.

Important work has also been undertaken on gastro-psychic connections by researchers from the history of medicine, literature and psychology, but so far, there has been little in the way of a coordinated, targeted contribution to the debate on the gut-brain relationship from the humanities and the social sciences.

This workshop will consider the value of cultural and historical perspectives on the relationship between the gut and the brain, an area of our lives that so emphatically crosses somatic, emotional and psychological experiences. The event will engage with this topic from a critical perspective, not only taking new approaches but also asking:

  • What are the risks or challenges involved in studying the gut-brain relationship from perspectives beyond the strictly biological or the clinical?
  • How can disciplines beyond science contribute to the understanding of this area of human experience?
  • How does a humanities and social sciences approach differ from and / or enrich scientific research on the gut-brain axis?
  • What can a cultural and historical perspective on digestive health achieve?
  • How might different cultural understandings of the gut-brain relationship be communicated to scholars in the sciences, non-academic audiences, and public health practitioners and organisations?
  • Who might the audiences be for this form of research?

Topics may include but are not limited to:

  • The implications of categories such as race, class, age, or gender on understandings of the gut-brain relationship
  • Variations across nations and cultures in understanding the links between the gut and brain
  • The history of the gut-brain relationship
  • Shifting definitions of ‘the gut’ and ‘the brain’ according to discipline, nation or time period
  • The construction of the gut-brain relationship through productions such as literature, the visual arts, social media, and film
  • The ways in which links between the gut and the brain might  contribute to our understanding of what it is to be human

Contributions are invited from scholars in any area of the humanities and the social sciences, but preference may be given to papers focusing on the modern period (1800 to the present). Papers focusing on non-Western nations are strongly encouraged, as are proposals from postgraduate and early career researchers.

The confirmed keynote speaker for this event is Professor Elizabeth Williams (Oklahoma State University), who has published seminal articles on psycho-gastric conditions in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. She is currently completing a study of scientific and medical thinking about the appetite for food from the Enlightenment to the mid-twentieth century.

Proposals of 250 words for 15-20 minute papers, along with a 150-word biography, should be sent to by 31st January 2018.

Scoping Event: major health collections in Glasgow City Archives

Call for Expressions of Interest

Glasgow Life in conjunction with the Medical Humanities Research Centre and the College of Arts in the University of Glasgow invite expressions of interest from researchers who may wish to work with the internationally significant medical history and humanities collections held in the Glasgow City Archives, Mitchell Library. The following major collections were catalogued with Wellcome Trust funding, and are eligible for Wellcome’s Research Bursary Scheme (funding up to £25k, see, other Wellcome schemes, and those of other funders.

Glasgow Public Health Records
Glasgow has an unenviable reputation in respect of the health chances of its citizens. Ill health and disease within Glasgow was entrenched during the first half of the nineteenth century as a result of large-scale migration. The scale of the problems and the work by Glasgow’s pioneering Medical Officers of Health and its Sanitary Officers, form a major part of the collections.

(1) Department Of Public Health records, including annual reports of the Medical Officer of Health and Sanitary Inspector, 1863-1985; reports on Glasgow housing conditions, 1911-1923; housing photographs, c1902-1944; returns of infectious diseases, 1920-1973; Port Local Authority files, 1901-1969; papers of Medical Officers of Health, 1892-c1959; publications by staff of the Public Health Department, 1897-1974.

(2) Police Commissioners. Prior to the establishment of the Public Health Department in 1895, the Commissioners were responsible for all aspects of public health. Their records date back to 1800 and include: minutes of Nuisances, Sanitary and Health Committees, 1856-1910; minutes of Hospitals Committees, 1867-1914; minutes of the Port Local Authority, 1903-1910.

(3) Annexed Burghs. The 13 burghs which surrounded Glasgow were gradually absorbed as the city expanded. As independent burghs of varying duration, they had public health functions. They include: Gorbals (1700-1900); Govan (1853-1912); Govanhill (1876-1891); Hillhead (1867-1891); Maryhill (1856-1891); Partick (1852-1912); Pollokshaws (1813-1912).

(4) Scottish Women’s Hospital. During WW1 UK female physicians developed, staffed, and led their own voluntary organisations serving honourably and often under direct fire, on the Western Front. Of these, the Scottish Women’s Hospitals for Foreign Service (SWH) represented the largest medical endeavour completely directed by British women doctors. The SWH made a crucial contribution to the delivery of medical care during the First World War, sending out 14 medical units to serve in France, Serbia, Salonika, Russia, Romania, Corsica and Malta.

A scoping event is planned for 2-4pm, Wednesday 14th February 2018 in the Mitchell Library. City Archives staff will introduce the collections, display illustrative materials, and facilitate the development of related research projects. A key, but not exclusive objective, will be to assist in bids to the Wellcome’s Research Bursary Scheme for scoping projects, with a first round deadline in 2018 of 2 April 2018.

If you are interested, please contact Dr Irene O’Brien (irene.o’ by 31st January 2018 with your contact details, affiliation and level and stating which collections and particular materials you are interested in, your initial research idea, as well as any particular schemes and funders. The event is open to academic researchers of postgraduate level and above.

Write the Future! Competition Winner

As part of the Being Human Festival 2017 Dr Hannah Tweed and Dr Anna McFarlane held a creative writing workshop, ‘Write the Future!’, to encourage young writers to think about science fiction, medicine, and disability. Those who participated were invited to submit their stories in a writing competition, and it gives us great pleasure to share the winning entry, ‘To the Bone’ by Jamie Graham. Jamie is a student at the University of Glasgow and his story considers some possible problems with the commodification of bodily implants.

We’d like to thank creative writers Elaine Gallagher and Russell Jones for leading the workshop and allowing our young writers to benefit from their experiences; thanks to our writers for their contribution to this fascinating event; and thank you to Jamie for his story, and for allowing us to publish it here.

To the Bone

By Jamie Graham

Let me ask you this question: before you laugh at me, I’m not spouting any kind of rhetoric when I say that I seriously want to know. Have you ever felt something in your bones?

They’re a sensitive lot, which is hard to believe when you watch our games. Most of the time though we do pull together, and we always pull through. It’s just sobering to me that most of the lads at the rugby club wouldn’t have a clue about what I’ve just asked.

On Friday, we made a breakthrough. A national championship! The first one under our belts in months! We had some injuries of course: players on both sides went over their ankles, but that’s not a problem. It’s not like the ankle vendors are shutting anytime soon. Besides, it’s the end of the season!

However, that still didn’t excuse the lads their shoddy performance. Credit where it’s due, right, they did listen to me about coordination, but they weren’t running nearly enough with the ball (when they got it that is!). The criticism stung a little, but luckily for them I had neither the time nor the lower body strength to give them a demonstration. I know I’m a fine one to talk. I know what the fans mean when they ask how I can possibly be expected to coach a line up when I should be coaching myself to walk upright. Honestly though, I’ve had worse said to my face during my tenure and I don’t chastise them for questioning. I’ve loved this club since I was a boy. Trust me, it’ll take more than a few weeks of scepticism to put me off. I wasn’t always this feeble after all, but time rubs off on us all.

That’s why most of the lads got them Slipskins. Y’know, as part of that Omni-joint malarkey? If the team knows me for anything, they know me best for my slagging of ‘the extra arsehole’. I am joking, but the second someone unzips their leg or arm in the locker rooms, I just about boak. I was reluctant to get them on my own legs at first, but you get used to it after a while. I admit, it’d be nice to have a set of bones to go along with it, but hey, we can’t have everything. At least I’ve got somewhere extra safe to keep my keys! The Hospital claims these omni-joints make people safer; as far as I’m concerned folk are clumsier than they were, and they take their bodies for granted much more often, so I don’t trust that so much.

Thomas, our team rep, caught up to me before I headed off. He was one of the few who knew where I was going that afternoon, and before I left he passed me something: a business card for some fella … I can’t recall his name … who he said could help me out. Thomas was always big into the old Omni-joint. He’d spent a lot of money getting both him and his wife matching knuckles for their anniversary. Engraved and everything. Surely that can’t be healthy?

At least that was my Doctor’s mindset. A stern one, that bloke. I guess you’d have to be if you choose of your own volition to work behind one of the Hospital’s clinically sterilised counters every day of your life. My problem is the calf bone, you see. They haven’t been broken or anything, they were stolen a few months back. Some lowlife grabbed me in the street, dragged me around a corner and…next minute I was on the ground with no bones to hold me up. It was an hour before anybody thought to come down the lane. I get by. They gave me some drugs a while back to convince my lower half it’s still around, otherwise the pain’d be unbearable. The Doctor shoved a big catalogue my way. Apparently, the synthetic stuff is now really damn durable and very cheap. Call me sentimental, I’ve got attached to the concept of a real bone somewhere in my body, but there’s lots of complex DNA donation stuff to get through if you want something exactly as it was. As much as they like you to believe, kindness ain’t cheap these days.

It was a long time before I got in the door. It always is when the lift is bunged up and I’m too tired to wheel my seat. I heaved my chair over the bump in the door and flailed my coat on the hangar. After it fell off a good few times I left it on the ground, and out fell Tom’s card from one of my pockets.

The fella was kind enough to meet with me. Amiable enough, but he did go a little overboard on the life story. I checked his credentials and he seems to be the real McCoy. We both aren’t keen on the Hospital, he certainly made that clear. Him and a bunch of pals walked out on them. They weren’t teaching them enough apparently. All the same, he promised he’d get me an Omni-joint at a reduced rate, claiming that it was the least he could do to help people get the real help they need. I tried emphasising there was only one thing I wanted, a human-ish Omni-joint that I could keep for sport. I wouldn’t have to walk or run, just keep it for special occasions. He told me I should do some market research.

Before the club’s weekly session, I wheeled my way through the medical district. I was aware how popular the Omni-joint was, but not that it was a fashion statement! There’s all sorts, some even I’d say were practical. Omni-joints that don’t crack or get stiff. Some with built in electric heaters! There were some cheap synthetic mock-ups knocking about for those looking to recycle old bottles and things. I saw proud parents signing their children up for prescriptions. I heard once that some woman in America spent thousands getting her Mother’s whole skeleton reconstructed in Omni-joints. She wears it in memorial. I passed a guy shouting in the street about being boneless: don’t ask. There are plenty novelties. Who’d want what is essentially a leg bone to double up as a dog chew toy? Or a funny bone that laughs when you poke it? What happened to bones that were just there for show? Apparently, I was a bit of an oddity. The unaltered skeletal structure is pricey, especially when there’s little left of it in most to begin with.

The training session helped me lighten up. It certainly did Tom. He’d been complaining most of the day about his hands aching. We laughed and told him it was growing pains. We laughed and told him to stop being an old man. We didn’t laugh the week after.

Skeletal Shredding, it was. A registered disorder now apparently. Something in the Omni-joint. A rancid chemical laced in the marrow. The body realises that the Omni-joint isn’t real, is an intrusion, and tries to get rid of it quickly. The body’s solution? To break it down and try pushing through the skin. Yeah, Slipskins were real useful then. Tom was screaming too much for us to touch them. I don’t blame the fella I spoke to, or any of his friends for all this. I cancelled my appointment.

Screen Seminar: Hannah Hamad, ‘Screening the NHS at 70: Exploring the Political Stakes of Contemporary UK Medical Television’, Glasgow     

Date: 5.30pm – 7pm, Wednesday 6th December

Location: Room 408, Gilmorehill Halls, University of Glasgow

Screen Seminars at Glasgow are delighted that Dr Hannah Hamad (University of Cardiff) will be presenting her work on ‘Screening the NHS at 70: Exploring the Political Stakes of Contemporary UK Medical Television’. All welcome!

‘Screening the NHS at 70: Exploring the Political Stakes of Contemporary UK Medical Television’

In 2018 the NHS is seventy years old. So far the BBC’s most noteworthy gesture towards this has been the nostalgic, reverential and celebrity-oriented television documentary series Matron, Medicine and Me: 70 Years of the NHS (BBC, 2016). The media, including television, have always played a crucial and high-stakes role in making the organisation and its services knowable to the British public, and in negotiating its wavering status as the most seemingly immovable bastion of the UK welfare state. Since its beginnings, the media have functioned as a mouthpiece for government policy and agendas on the National Health Service. But since the immensely controversial passing and implementation of the Health and Social Care Act of 2012, critics like Oliver Huitson have lambasted the news media in particular for their perceived complicity in enabling this to take place with relatively little outcry from either the public or the commentariat. However, as I argue and explicate in this talk, niche outlets and platforms on UK television, even within the mainstream media (e.g. BBC Four’s observational mockumentary sitcom Getting On), have provided audiences and users of the health service with differently oppositional and counter-hegemonic positions on readings and depictions of the NHS under neoliberalism.

Dr Hannah Hamad is Senior Lecturer in Media and Communication at Cardiff University and the author of Postfeminism and Paternity in Contemporary US Film: Framing Fatherhood (New York and London: Routledge, 2013).


Artist in Residence Workshop, RCPS Glasgow

Date: 6pm, Monday 20th November 2017

Location: Lister Room, Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons Glasgow, 232-242 St. Vincent Street, Glasgow, G2 5RJ

The Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons Glasgow is pleased to announce an Artist in Residence workshop, on Monday 20th November, 6pm, in the Lister Room in the College building. This will be an informal creative writing workshop, lead by poet and performer Marianne MacRae. The focus of the Residency is Joseph Lister and Glasgow, and the workshop will make use of our Lister heritage collections and those relating to 19th century Glasgow more widely. You’ll get the chance to delve into our amazing Lister and heritage collections to find inspiration for your work, and Marianne will show how this unusual source material can inspire new writing!

The event is free, and refreshments will be provided. To book just email or call 0141 221 6072.

Glasgow History of Medicine Seminars, RCPSG

The Centre for the History of Medicine (part of the Institute of Health and Wellbeing at Glasgow University) and the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Glasgow invite you to a series of free seminars on medical history.

Venue: Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Glasgow, Library Reading Room, 232-242 St Vincent St, Glasgow, G2 5RJ

Time: Coffee and biscuits from 5pm. Talks begin at 5:30pm

Booking: email or call 0141 221 6072. This event is free but please contact us to book as places are limited.

Tuesday 10th October

Dr Steven Craig (University of Glasgow), ‘”Enquire into all the Circumstances of the Patient Narrowly”: John Rutherford’s Clinical Lectures, Edinburgh, 1749-1753’

Tuesday 7th November

Professor Tilli Tansey (Queen Mary University of London), ‘Witnessing Recent Medical History’

Tuesday 5th December

Professor Sam Cohn (FRSE, University of Glasgow), ‘Epidemics: Hate and Compassion from the Plague of Athens to AIDS: Towards a Conclusion’