Medical Humanities Research Network Scotland (MHRNS) Symposium 2013

The second symposium of the MHRNS will be held in the School of Critical Studies, University of Glasgow, on Saturday 18 May 2013.

The RSE/Scottish Government-funded MHRNS aims to enable greater and more sustained collaborative research within Scotland in the medical humanities. The network’s website is available at:

The symposium addresses two of the network’s themes: ‘Mental Health’ and ‘Dependency’.

Abstracts of up to 250 words for 20-minute papers on topics such as those indicated below are invited for submission by 8 April 2013. We welcome submissions from medical students and clinical practitioners, as well as from academics in medicine and the humanities.


‘Mental Health’

  • Diagnosis, treatment, welfare provision and the shaping of social attitudes
  • How do we define “mental health” and is the concept being redefined in the face of economic recession?
  • To what extent should policy towards “mental illness” be based upon ideals of eradication, interventionism or self-management?
  •  How can the critical insights of those working in the humanities – in which “neurosis” and “madness” have often been embraced, perhaps naively, as sources of insight, inspiration, creativity and originality – contribute to these debates?



  • This focus invites research to explore further the possible alliance between medicine and the humanities in the exploration of dependency; it may include, but is not limited to, areas such as disability studies, illness narratives, and legal, philosophical and theological perspectives upon dependency.


The Keynote Speakers will be:

Dr Lucy Burke, Manchester Metropolitan University, on ‘Care and Dependency: Keywords in Disability Culture or Why Language Matters’
Dr Jonathan Andrews, Newcastle University, on ‘Asylum patient cultures: contextualising patient contributors to Edinburgh Asylum’s Morningside Mirror’

Please send abstract as an email attachment (.docx, .doc, .rtf, .pdf) to

Deadline for abstracts: 8 April 2013

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