Medical and Merchant networks: Ireland, Spain, and Spanish America (PhD Funding, Queen’s University Belfast)

One Department for Employment & Learning (DEL) award is available for full-time postgraduate PhD research in the School of Modern Languages, Department of Spanish and Portuguese, Queen’s University Belfast.

Project title: Medical and Merchant networks: Ireland, Spain, and Spanish America

Supervised by: Dr Fiona Clark (Lecturer in Latin American Studies, School of Modern Languages) and Prof. Mary O’Dowd (Professor of Gender History, School of History and Anthropology).

Recent decades have seen an increased interested, within the field of Irish migration studies, in the links between Ireland, Spain and Spanish America. Whilst significant attention has been paid to the exodus of Irish to the English Americas and even to Spain, less is known about their movements in the 18th century within the broader Spanish Empire. In terms of medical practitioners particularly, much is still unknown about the individuals who chose to forge a career in non-English speaking foreign lands. The current project aims to explore the importance and breadth of medical and social networks open to Irish Catholics in the pursuit of successful medical careers within the late-colonial Spanish empire, including links to key merchant networks, and to analyse their impact on the transfer of scientific knowledge. By studying central players, such as the Irish physician, Timoteo O’Scanlan, a leading and yet largely unstudied figure in Spain with links to government, merchant networks, and the Irish in Spanish America, the project will seek to highlight the linguistic and relational functions of a particularly Irish identity framework, and to analyse the idea of a ‘discourse of migration’ wherein portrayal of national identity shifts depending on the demands of the local power structures; the manipulation of expressions and terms of identity linked to political, confessional, and educational alliances or frameworks. The skills necessary for this work demand a collaborative effort between specialists in Irish and Spanish culture and history, as well as bi-lingual abilities (native or near-native fluency in Spanish and English).

Any interested candidates should check eligibility and application process details for the DEL Strategic Award on the School of Modern Languages site.

Closing Date: 17 February 2014  at  5.00pm.  Applicants must contact the lead supervisor Dr Fiona Clark before submission

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Reading Group on the Pseudo/Sciences of the Long Nineteenth Century (Newcastle, 20 January 2014)

In what ways did reading character off the skull in phrenology contribute to the birth of neuropsychology? How was the spectacle of the trance in mesmerism linked to the emergence of electricity, magnetism and psychoanalysis? What were the connections between the spiritualist seance, the telegraph and the telephone?

These are some of the questions the reading group on Pseudo/Science in the Long Nineteenth Century will address. We will explore the notions of ‘science’ and ‘pseudoscience’, the slippery borders between the two, and the ways in which what was deemed central or marginal to scientific practice, and who was defined as insider or outsider, was contingent on the cultural climate of the times. Why were people in the nineteenth century so fascinated with hidden forces and vibrations? In what ways were the spiritual and the psychical intertwined with the physical and with developing technologies of the age?

This reading group is a collaboration between Newcastle University School of English and the Literary and Philosophical Society. The group will meet six times a year at the Lit and Phil. Each session will be introduced by a member of the group or an invited guest who will have identified a primary text and a secondary critical reading for the group to consider.

You are warmly invited to attend the first session on Monday, 20 January 2014 between 6.00 and 7.30 pm at the Lit and Phil. Andrew Shail, Senior Lecturer in Film and English Literature, will introduce ‘John Zollner, Henry Slade and the fourth dimension’.

For more information and to download the readings please visit our  website.

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Space and Place in the Health Humanities, plus a Masterclass on the Geography of a Dance Intervention – Prof Sarah Atkinson (Seminar, Edinburgh, 23 Jan 2014)

The sixth Scottish Health Humanities Seminar and Masterclass will be on Thursday 23 January 2014.

Prof Sarah Atkinson, Deptartment of Geography, Durham University. Co-Director of Belief, Understanding and Wellbeing, Wolfson Research Institute, and Associate Director, Centre for Medical Humanities

Public Seminar: Space and Place in the Health and Medical Humanities
Thursday 23 January 2014, 3:30-5:00pm
The Old Library, Drummond Street, Edinburgh, EH8 9XP

Masterclass: Moments of Transition: the Geography of a Dance Intervention
Thursday 23 January 2014, 6:00-7:30pm
Room G.04 Doorway 6, Old Medical School, Teviot Place, Edinburgh, EH8 9AG

The arts and health field has given much of its attention to demonstrating the value of the arts to health and wellbeing. However, less attention has been given to how the benefits of the arts may come about. Drawing on geographical theorisations of moments of transition, the seminar will explore the nature of wellbeing and the processes of change through a case study of a dance and movement intervention in a primary school. Please note that registration via email is required for the evening masterclass.


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Health Inequalities Research Network (HERON) (CfP, Conference, London, 14-15 May 2014).

The first Health Inequalities Research Network (HERON) Conference will be held on 14-15th May 2014 in London, England at the Coin St Neighbourhood Centre. HERON is an international network founded in 2010. It aims to develop and promote interactions between health practitioners, researchers and community members and representatives to enable a more collaborative approach to action and research in inequalities in health and health service use at national and community levels.

The conference will feature the distinguished keynote speaker, Dr. David Williams (Harvard University; Florence Sprague Norman & Laura Smart Norman Professor of Public Health, Professor of African and African American Studies and of Sociology).

We invite submissions for presentations on the following themes within health inequalities research:

  • Comparing local and national disparities
  • Public involvement or engagement in research
  • Cross-country comparative studies
  • Life-course epidemiology
  • Physical and mental health co-morbidity
  • Neighbourhood contexts
  • Structural discrimination and health
  • Minority stress and health
  • Young people’s health
  • Ethnicity, migration and health
  • Gendered health
  • Sexual health
  • Health service use

We invite you to submit an application (max. 4000 characters including spaces) for oral or poster presentation. You must provide sufficient information for evaluation of the merit of the presentation using the abstract submission form.  To be considered for presentation, applications must be received by the submission deadline, 3rd February 2014. Please send submissions electronically to A limited number of travel bursaries will be available to UK and international graduate, post-graduate and post-doctoral (max. 2 years after completion) students/researchers. Please complete the travel bursary application form to be considered for the receipt of funding.

The conference is being organised as a part of the ESRC/NIH funded US-UK Comparison of Discrimination & Disparities in Health & Health Service Use study (Drs Stephani Hatch and Bruce Link, PIs). Further information regarding the conference, including registration, submission guidelines and information about the HERON conference advisory committee, can be found on our website.

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Reviewer needed: ‘The anthropology of alternative medicine’ (2012) by Annamaria Iosif Ross

AAM‘Alternative medicine is not a fashionable new trend but an established cultural strategy, as well as a dynamic feature of mainstream contemporary medicine, in which elements of folk traditions are often blended with Western scientific approaches.

The anthropology of alternative medicine is a concise yet wide-ranging exploration of non-biomedical healing. The book addresses a broad range of practices including: substance, energy and information flows (such as helminthic therapy); spirit, consciousness and trance (shamanism, for example); body, movement and the senses (reiki and aromatherapy); as well as classical medical traditions as compliments or alternatives to Western biomedicine (such as Ayurveda).

Exploring the cultural underpinnings of contemporary healing methods, while assessing current ideas, topics and resources for further study, this book will be invaluable to undergraduate and graduate students in anthropology, sociology, psychology, and health-related professions such as nursing, physical and occupational therapy, and biomedicine.’

Expressions of interest are welcome from students, academics and professionals at the seem line of medicine and the humanities, as well as creative thinkers and writers from the wider online community. If you would like to write a review on ‘The anthropology of alternative medicine’ (approximately 1,000-1,500 words in length), then please email our reviews editor with a short explanation of why you are well placed to review the book. Snapped up! Stay tuned for more review calls soon.

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Co-Producing Knowledge on Health, Wellbeing and Place through Participatory Research (CfP session at the RGS 2014 Conference, London 26-29 August 2014)

Royal Geographic Society (with IBG) Annual International Conference
Geographies of co-production
London, Tuesday 26 to Friday 29 August 2014

Call for Papers for a session entitled: Co-Producing Knowledge on Health, Wellbeing and Place through Participatory Research

Session Sponsor: Geography of Health Research Group

This session will bring together researchers who are exploring the links between health and place through co-produced research. The term co-production has gained prominence in the health and social care field in recent years (Munoz, 2013) – representing a shift towards self-management; a more collaborative relationship between service providers and recipients and non-state delivery of health and care services (van Eijk and Steen, 2013). However, we can also think of co-production within the research process itself and the production of knowledge on health and place (Durose et. al., 2013). In this session, we invite researchers to reflect on questions of how and why they have engaged in participatory research on health and place in order to co-produce knowledge on health geographies. The session will explore the benefits and drawbacks of different methods; how impacts have been produced and captured; the outputs and outcomes from this type of co-production and the types of knowledge it can produce. We will consider the ways that this knowledge has been translated into health policy and practice, as well as more traditional academic outputs. We invite traditional presentations but also researchers who would like to ‘demonstrate’ their experiences by engaging the audience in display /use of the participatory methods they have employed.

Please send proposed abstracts to Dr. Sarah-Anne Munoz, University of the Highlands and Islands, by January 31st 2014.


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Doctoral Studentship: ‘Representing Communities: Developing the Creative Power of People to Improve Health and Well-being’ at University of Leeds

A funding opportunity at the University of Leeds for someone wanting to do PhD research on how questions of community health and wellbeing interact with twentieth-century literary fictions.

The doctoral researcher will conduct an in-depth study of health and wellbeing as they are conceptualised, contextualised and interrogated in contemporary (mid-late 20th and 21st century) British fictions. There will be considerable scope for the successful applicant to determine the particular texts and communities under analysis, but in broad terms, he/she will focus on disadvantaged or stigmatised communities or demographic groups from England, Scotland, and/or Wales; this may include a focus on regional, working-class, ethnic minority, non-metropolitan and/or urban subcultural literatures. The project will consider some of the socioeconomic and cultural factors that affect health and wellbeing for particular communities (unemployment, poverty, post-industrial decline, migration, community stigmatisation, negative reputational geographies). Further details of the project and the application process are available here.

The closing date for applications is 17 January 2014. For further information and informal advice on constructing an application, applicants are encouraged to contact Dr Clare Barker:

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