Health has always had an intimate relationship with visual and material culture. Given this, it is surprising that visual and material culture has not played a more dominant role in the development of medical humanities to date, where it has often been subordinated to literary or narrative approaches.
The Visual and Material Lab looks to the new questions, innovative methods, and alternative perspectives on health that are generated when visual and material culture is taken as a starting point. Responding to recent calls for capacity-building in the visual medical humanities, the Lab will support an extended network of researchers and other practitioners working with visual and material methods across a range of disciplines and spheres of practice, some already aligned with medical humanities, others less so.
Led by Dr Fiona Johnstone, the Visual and Material Lab will include two postdoctoral positions in visual and material medical humanities, curatorial fellowships, mid-career visiting fellowships and short-term international visiting fellowships. The Lab expands on previous successful IMH-led visual and material methods projects, including Confabulations (2021-2023) and Thinking Through Things (2019-2021). It also engages with, and provides a platform for, the work of external collaborators, cultivating new and existing relations with recent national and international developments in visual and material approaches to health-related research. The Lab will focus on mapping the field and developing a team across the 2023-24 academic year in preparation for a formal launch.
If you are interested in getting involved or to find out more, please contact Fiona Johnstone.