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Research at the Institute for Medical Humanities



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Research at the Institute

Research at the Institute spans the History of Medicine in its nascent stages through to pressing contemporary debates in Medical Ethics. The following list, while not exhaustive, offers a snapshot of the diversity of research interests at the Institute for Medical Humanities:

  • cultures and philosophies of medicine:
    shifting conceptualisations of health and illness vis-à-vis the rise of ‘personalised’ medicine (longue durée); epistemology of medical uncertainty and its consequences for medical practice (20th – 21st century); medical fallibility (longue durée); medical aesthetics from the ancient world to the early modern era; anatomy and practices of dissection from a historical and epistemological perspective; the cultural history of blood; the cultural history of the hand; norm and deviance in medical and anthropological conceptualisations of the body and human typologies in the 16th and 17th century; medicine and humanism; medieval theories of medicine; bioethical and biopolitical dimensions of medical theories

  • multiculturalism and globalisation:
    culturally and religiously inflected conceptions of health, illness, the doctor-patient-relationship and end of life debates; the genesis and production of medical ethics in the context of culture; culturally specific and gender sensitive counselling in the clinic; research ethics in a globalised world, with particular concentration on the Global South; the ethical dimensions of medical research with ethnic minorities and indigenous communities; contemporary traces of biological race concepts in genetics and biomedicine

  • medical ethics:
    autonomy and dependency at the end of life; gender and care; the relation between history and ethics from a normative perspective; the ethics and history of assisted suicide (19th – 21th century); patient participation, digitalisation and health data; research ethics

  • the history of psychiatry:
    the development and institutionalisation of criminal anthropology in the 19th and 20th century; the rise and professionalization of psychiatry in the 19th and 20th century

  • patient narratives and narratives of illness

  • the production and practices of evidence in medicine
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