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Dr Sophie A. Jones


Wellcome ISSF Postdoctoral Fellow

BA (Manchester), MPhil (Cambridge), PhD (Birkbeck)

I joined the department in September 2017 for a three-year position as a Wellcome ISSF Postdoctoral Fellow. My research lies at the intersection of post-1945 American literature and film and the critical medical humanities. I am currently working on three projects:

  • My first monograph, The Reproductive Politics of American Literature and Film, 1959-1973 (under contract with Edinburgh University Press), which examines the way writers and filmmakers of the long 1960s engaged with the changing social horizons of pregnancy by reflecting on their own practices of cultural production.
  • A new research project that explores how the concepts of attention deficit and neurobehavioural enhancement have shaped the modes of ‘minimalism’ and ‘maximalism’ in contemporary American literature.
  • An edited collection, The Edinburgh Companion to American Health Politics (under contract with Edinburgh University Press). Co-edited with Martin Halliwell, this book brings together 40 chapters to appraise the politically contested nature of health and health care in the United States since 1945.

I completed my AHRC-funded PhD and a six-month postdoctoral fellowship at Birkbeck in 2015, after which I moved to the University of Leeds to take up a Wellcome ISSF fellowship in medical humanities. I then joined the Leeds-based medical humanities research project Augmented Selves, where I became part of a cross-institutional group of researchers from the fields of literary studies, robotics, engineering, philosophy, and healthcare. I have a longstanding interest in the intellectual possibilities and material conditions of collaborative and multi-disciplinary research.

At Birkbeck, I convene the Medical Humanities Reading Group, which meets two to three times a term, and the School of Arts Writing Group, which meets twice a week in term time.