Birkbeck Medical Humanities Reading Group – Contested Conditions: 25 October 2018, 3.00-4.30 pm

Thursday 25th October 2018, 3.00-4.30 pm

Birkbeck Medical Humanities Reading Group – Contested Conditions

The Birkbeck Medical Humanities Reading Group will meet on 25th October 2018, 3.00-4.30 pm, in the Keynes Library, 43 Gordon Square, London, WC1H 0PD, to consider contested, chronic, and invisible health conditions.

Prior reading

Anna Mollow, ‘No Safe Place’, Women’s Studies Quarterly, Vol. 39, No. 1/2, SAFE (Spring/Summer 2011), pp.188-199

Johanna Hedva, ‘Sick Woman Theory’, Mask Magazine (January 2016). Available at:

Email for a copy of the Mollow article (include your Dropbox-linked email address if you have one).

Everyone is welcome at the reading group. There is no need to book.

The Birkbeck Medical Humanities Reading Group aims to create a space in which academics, clinicians and students can come together to explore key readings, ideas and materials in the field of medical humanities. Our endeavour is to find ways of talking across the different disciplines of the humanities and medicine, and we welcome participation from colleagues and students interested and engaged in these areas.

For details of previous sessions, please click here.

Please get in touch with Sophie Jones ( if you have any queries.

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Browning and Close Reading: A Workshop

‘To be compelled to look at a drama through a pair of horn spectacles would be a cheerful pastime compared with the ennui of tracing the course of Sordello through that veil of obscurity which Mr. Browning’s style of composition places between us and his conception’ (The Athenaeum, June 1864).

If you would like to indulge in such a cheerful pastime, please join us for a close reading workshop on Robert Browning’s poetry on Friday 11th December 2015 at the Centre for Nineteenth Century Studies, Birkbeck, University of London. There will be a session on each of the following four poems: Sordello, ‘Two in the Campagna’, ‘By the Fireside’, and ‘Caliban upon Setebos’. Speakers will offer a short reading of the poem and then open up discussion to the rest of the group. We have three speakers in each session, and the main focus of the day will be close reading as a group. The event will be chaired by Professor Isobel Armstrong (Birkbeck), Dr Clara Dawson (University of Manchester) and Dr Ana Vadillo (Birkbeck). Any enquiries can be addressed to

The workshop will take place in the Keynes Library at 46 Gordon Square, Kings Cross, London WC1H 0PD.

Registration will cost £25 to cover the cost of coffee, lunch and room hire and you can register at the following link:

Please register by 3 December to ensure your place.




Sordello: Matt Campbell (University of York)



‘By the Fireside’: Sarah Kremen-Hicks (University of Washington), Britta Martens, (University of the West of England) Andrew Hodgson (Durham University)



‘Caliban upon Setebos’: Jayne Thomas (Cardiff University), John Woolford (Independent scholar), James Williams (University of York)



‘Two in the Campagna’: Martin Dubios (Newcastle University), Suneel Mehmi (University of Westminster), Sophie Ratcliffe (University of Oxford)

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