Lives in Medicine

Project Description

The project has been granted pump-priming funding by the John Fell Fund and Dr Jacek Mostwin to develop a major grant application from the Oxford Centre for Life Writing at Wolfson College (OCLW), in conjunction with the Johns Hopkins Medical Institutes, the Oxford e-Research Centre, and the Wolfson College Digital Research Cluster. The major project will seek to improve the quality and ethical environment of medicine by directing the public, the medical and related professions, policy-makers and the medical industries to engage with and learn from the lived experience of patients and practitioners. Combining medical, life-writing and digital humanities expertise, it will create an extensive electronic archive of documents of lived experience in medicine, linked to a set of innovative research sub-projects and providing the platform for a multi-disciplinary, multi-institutional network for research, education and public engagement. Starting from ten thousand patient accounts and additional physician and nursing accounts that have already been identified, the pump-priming project will scope the nature, sources and volume of life-writing data to be included in the archive, survey and identify the technological solutions that would maximize the potential of the data for research. It will also develop a network of researchers and projects, hosted by OCLW, that will engage with the project data. On this basis a detailed plan for a major grant application will be developed.

Research Connections

With its focus on the systematic collection of documents in the public domain, this project is distinct from and complementary to a number of related projects and organisations within Oxford and beyond; we shall collaborate with them as opportunities are presented. We are in contact with Professor Brian Hurwitz (King's College London), whose Wellcome Trust-funded project, Illness Narrative as Life-Writing, explores the literary dimensions of illness narratives and their influence upon the public understanding of patients' experiences. The Healthcare Values Partnership, led by Professor Joshua Hordern, links research initiatives across Oxford University that serve patients and healthcare workers. Research clusters outside Oxford that share parts of our vision are Medical Humanities Sheffield and the Institute for Medical Humanities at Durham University. Further connections outside the UK will be facilitated both by the partnership with Johns Hopkins University and by collaboration with the Oxford-based Health Experiences Research Group (HERG), which is linked to associated groups in various countries under the umbrella organisation, DIPEx International.


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Our upcoming events

Art Exhibition
19 - 19
Jan Jan
The Ways We See Private View
Sunday 19 January - 2:00pm to 4:00pm

Oxford Photographers Exhibition with artists Mark Crean, Howard Stanbury, Darrell Godliman, Alexander Gordon, Judith Taylor, John Duncan, Philip King, Duncan Taylor, Karen Morecroft. Please join us for drinks and nibbles at the Private View to celebrate the opening of The Ways We See.

Art Exhibition
20 - 13
Jan Mar
The Ways We See
Monday 20 January - 10:00am to Friday 13 March - 7:00pm

Oxford Photographers Exhibition with artists Mark Crean, Howard Stanbury, Darrell Godliman, Alexander Gordon, Judith Taylor, John Duncan, Philip King, Duncan Taylor, and Karen Morecroft. Open daily 10am - 7pm subject to College commitments. Visitors are advised to telephone the College Lodge on (01865) 274100 before visiting.

Sports & Wellness
21 - 21
Jan Jan
Mixed Circuits
Tuesday 21 January - 6:00pm to 7:15pm

Mixed Circuits are organised by the Boat Club and run every Tuesday and Thursday at 6 PM all year round in the Games Room. Free and open to all members of college, the sessions are great for rowers keeping fit in the off-season, as a supplement to regular training, or for non-rowers who want to get a bit of exercise while seeing the enthusiasm of the Boat Club first-hand. The workout consists of a few sets of “body-weight” exercises, including crunches, press-ups, squats, etc.