Welcome to the Medical Humanities Network
Welcome to the Glasgow University Medical Humanities Network, supported by the Wellcome Trust. The medical humanities complement, contextualise and critique purely biomedical, technological or other reductive accounts of what it means to experience illness, encounter disease or transact a therapeutic relationship. In addressing how we comprehend health, sickness, disease and “the embodied life”, such concerns are examined from a range of professional and patient perspectives. This website is intended to act as a forum to connect individuals working across a range of disciplines and practices at the University of Glasgow, who are interested in the intersections of medicine, culture, and the arts and humanities. Megan Coyer & Hannah Tweed
Using Gartnavel Hospital, Glasgow – opened as a ‘lunatic hospital’ in the 1840s and since bearing witness to numerous rounds of innovation in psychiatric theory and practice, all inscribed into the materiality of buildings and grounds – we investigate the diversity of ‘psychiatric spaces’ spread across this site as occupied and utilised by generations of patients, psychiatrists, nurses, ancillary workers and volunteers. Through in-depth interviewing of different cohorts of Gartnavel user, past and present, supplemented by walking tours and workshops, we are gathering, ‘coding’ and analysing numerous voices of experience. Alongside identifying implications for mental health policy-and-practice, the over-riding ambition is to re-evaluate the concept of ‘the asylum’: is there still a place for such an institutional amalgam of set-apart psychiatric spaces in the twenty-first century, or should they be consigned to the past as a discredited model of mental health care?
Image Credit: 'New Gartnavel' - A collage of images depicting the spaces of the old building. Photograph by Ebba Högström.