Trauma and Repair: A Medical Humanities Laboratory Workshop, Manchester

Location: Council Chambers, Whitworth Building, University of Manchester

Date: 1pm-4.45pm, Friday 9th March 2018

Organised by the Medical Humanities Laboratory at the University of Manchester, thanks to the sponsorship of the John Rylands Research Institute.


This workshop brings together speakers and practitioners from several different disciplines – anthropology, history of medicine, visual culture studies, cultural history, and art—to consider the bodily, medical, and cultural meanings of trauma and repair.  Together we will think about and discuss where the experience of injury, especially to the face, and the practices of surgery intersect and interact.


Our first session includes presentations by an anthropologist, an artist, and a historian of medicine who all work on faces, trauma, and medicine.  After a coffee break, our second session will feature keynote speaker Dr Suzannah Biernoff, Senior Lecturer in Modern and Contemporary Visual Culture at Birkbeck and author of the recent Portraits of Violence: War and the Aesthetics of Disfigurement), followed by a broad collective discussion of the afternoon’s presentations and themes.


We particularly encourage postgrads and early career researchers to attend.  An archivist from the John Rylands University Library will be available to discuss recently catalogued holdings of interest to medical humanities scholars, teachers, and practitioners.


The event is free to all, but please register your attendance via Eventbrite, where a map and more detailed programme will be available.


Workshop schedule:

  • 1pm:  registration and arrival
  • 1:15pm: welcome and introductions, Dr Elizabeth Toon
  • 1:20pm: Trauma, repair, transgression and transformation: Living with facial ‘disfigurement’, Dr Anne-Marie Martindale
  • 1:50pm: Facing out: A portraiture project exploring facial cancer and the gaze, Lucy Burscough
  • 2:20pm: Between trauma and repair: The surgical operation in Dorothy Davison’s medical illustrations, Dr Harriet Palfreyman
  • 2:50pm: tea/coffee break
  • 3:15pm: Keynote: Facelessness in Georges Franju’s Les yeux sans visage, Dr Suzannah Biernoff (Birkbeck)
  • 4pm: general discussion, led by Prof Ana Carden-Coyne


Please register via the workshop Eventbrite page.

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