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.


The latest from Wolfson College

11 November 2019
Sharmeen Obaid-Chinoy delivers Annual Sarfraz Pakistan Lecture

Pakistan, a deeply patriarchal society is rapidly changing and women are at the forefront.

Alan Bowman Portrait
7 November 2019
Professor Alan Bowman delivers the Ronald Syme Lecture

Alexandria was for many centuries, the largest and most important city in the eastern Mediterranean.

4 November 2019
The Wild East

At the start of October, Harriss-White together with Lucia Michelutti published the collection "The Wild East".

Our upcoming events

Lectures and Seminars
14 - 14
Nov Nov
Book Launch - New Perspectives on Pakistan's Political Economy: State, Clas...
Thursday 14 November - 5:00pm to 6:00pm

This volume makes a major intervention in the debates around the nature of the political economy of Pakistan, focusing on its contemporary social dynamics. This is the first comprehensive academic analysis of Pakistan's political economy after thirty-five years, and addresses issues of state, class and society, examining gender, the middle classes, the media, the bazaar economy, urban spaces and the new elite.

Sports & Wellness
14 - 14
Nov Nov
Mixed Circuit Training
Thursday 14 November - 6:00pm to 7:15pm

Mixed Circuits runs every Tuesday and Thursday, all year long, at 6pm in the Games Room, organised by the Boat Club. It is open to all members of college, featuring a high intensity workout focussing on a sequence of core and cardio exercises as well as stretching.

Annual Lecture
14 - 14
Nov Nov
Annual Sarfraz Pakistan Lecture: Pakistani women on the frontlines
Thursday 14 November - 6:00pm to 7:00pm

The Annual Sarfraz Pakistan Lecture, delivered by Oscar-winning journalist, filmmaker and activist Sharmeen Obaid-Chinoy. Pakistan, a deeply patriarchal society is rapidly changing and women are at the forefront. This lecture explores the ways in which women across the country are working on the grassroots level to create spheres of influence pushing back on archaic laws, age old practice and using the Internet to arm themselves to have a greater voice in society.