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About us

Birkbeck’s Centre for Medical Humanities was established in 2014 and relaunched as the Birkbeck Centre for Medical and Health Humanities in 2023.

The Centre aims to generate creative and critical discussion about the contribution that the arts and humanities can make to biomedical science, practitioner activity, patient care, and wider health-related experiences.

Our research explores the cultural, historical and social contexts of developments in medicine and healthcare, including the relationship between language and the clinical encounter; treatment pathways and cultures of care; the experience of embodiment and disability; representations of pain and illness; and human lifecycle stages including conception, birth, ageing and death.


  • Suzannah Biernoff (Co-Director), Reader in Visual Culture, School of Historical Studies
  • Grace Haldon (Co-Director), Senior Lecturer in Modern and Contemporary Literature, School of Creative Arts, Culture and Communication
  • Penny Newell, Lecturer in Creative Writing, School of Creative Arts, Culture and Communication
  • Lisa Baraitser, Professor of Psychosocial Theory, School of Social Sciences
  • Sarah Marks, Senior Lecturer in History, School of Historical Studies
  • Sarah Howard, Postdoctoral researcher on Connecting Three Worlds
  • Jemma Walton, PhD student
  • Kate Errington, PhD student