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Arts & Humanities Research

Arts and Humanities offers a multitude of perspectives on health and wellbeing. Arts and Humanities research in this area is concerned with how physical and psychological disorders have been understood and represented in different cultures and across different historical periods. For example, researchers working in Classical Studies investigate how ancient societies viewed the human body and its maladies. One aspect of this research is the Votives Project, involving E-J Graham, Jessica Hughes and Eleanor Betts, to study votive offerings — small objects, often in the shape of body parts, placed in temples or churches in hope of a cure – a practice which continues today in many parts of the world. The project aims to bring together academics and practitioners to understand how these objects have been used and understood across cultures.

M.A Katritzky, Senior Research Fellow in Theatre Studies, is interested in both sides of this relationship: how people with non-normative physiological and mental conditions such as hypertrichosis or conjoined twinning have been presented on stage, and how drama and performance have themselves influenced medical writings. Philosophers, too, are interested in how health and disease are understood: Carolyn Price and Cristina Chimisso are developing a project which aims to investigate the norms by which we judge certain conditions and emotional responses as healthy or unhealthy. In contrast, some Arts and Humanities researchers are interested in the ways in which art and music are themselves used in therapy: for example, Rosemary Golding has a broad interest in the relationships between music and health, and the identities and roles of music in nineteenth-century Britain. Her current research project is focused on the history of music in British asylums, particularly in the first half of the nineteenth century. She is hoping to develop the project further, by comparing historical ideas with current practice in order to provide a fresh perspective on attitudes towards music in therapeutic settings.

British Society of Gerontology initiative Ageing Bites

Back in the Spring and with support and assistance from colleagues, the following video was created - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IjWhJbqdRXc&t=4s This YouTube channel is part of the British Society of Gerontology initiative Ageing Bites and links to a paper that Dr Hannah R. Marston published in March...

Gaming will help future centenarians

Gamer Dr Hannah R. Marston presented her research at the billion-dollar tech company Ubisoft’s Massive Entertainment. The health and wellbeing priority research area fellow was invited by the game designer, in Sweden, to talk about her work ‘From Arcade to World Wide Web – how intergenerational gaming can help you pick up an extra life’. It focuses on levels of immersion, or flow,...

Aging Well series of Public Talks

Jitka Vseteckova is delighted to announce a series of public talks with the title ‘Ageing Well’, which will be offered at the Open University in Milton Keynes. Many changes can be brought about by ageing. Most of the changes are physiological processes, they come naturally, and produce physical and mental deterioration. However, timely interventions such as nutrition, hydration,...

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