Health, Art and Society

Health, Art and Society  (HAS) is an interdisciplinary research group working on illness narratives. HAS was established in 2015 and is working within the field of medical/health humanities.

Coming up 2019/2020

12. December

Petter Aaslestad, NTNU, contributes as external reader on the midwayevaluation of Ingri Løkholm Ramberg's ph.d. theses Patografien som forsvarsskrift: Amalie Skrams Professor Hieronimus og Paa St Jørgen og Knut Hamsuns På gjengrodde stier. The event takes place at SVHUM-A 3021 from 10.00-13.00.

Ingri Løkholm Ramberg will first introduce her project and the effectuated and planned progression. Petter Aaslestad will then comment on the overall project, and more particular on Ingri's 50 pages of submitted text. Everyone is welcome!

13. December

HAS are hosting four talented MA-candidates. Friday 13 December from 10-14.00 at E 20002 Nora Narvestad (Astrid Lindgren), Trine Opdahl Pedersen (Olaug Nilssen), Ulrikke Stenvold (Olaug Nilssen) and Eva Marie Haugen Talseth (Edvard Hoem) will present their projects and receive feedback in a plenary session. The seminar is intended for HAS-members only. 

Events 2020

21-23 januar

Professor Hilde Bondevik from the Department of Interdisciplinary Health Sciences at the University of Oslo participates in a workshop as part of the The Phronesis-project. More information to come. Contact person is Thor Eirik Eriksen from The University Hospital of Northern Norway The Univeristy Hospital of NOrthern Norway/UiT The Arctic University of Norway.

6-7. May

The annual meeting of  "Nordic Network for Narrative and Medicine" takes place in Copenhagen. CFP can be submitted until 1. February. The title of the meeting is “Storytelling in the Arts of Narrative Medicine” and presentations can be given in any Nordic language or English. HAS encourages everyone to participate and several members of the group will be present in Copenhagen.

25-27 June, 2020

Space, Place and Design in the Medical and Health Humanities

The CHCI Summer Institute takes place in Odense, 25.-27. June 2020. The CHCI Health and Medical Humanities Network is a partnership of over 30 universities worldwide working in the medical and health humanities. One of the keynote speakers is Rishi Goyal (MD, Director of the Medicine, Literature and Society program, Columbia University). Deadline for CFP: 15. januar 2020. More information is to be found here

Earlier events


9. December

As part of the Phronesis-project there will be a workshop where Bjørn Hofmann, NTNU is an invited guest. Hofmann is a professor at the Norwegian University of Science and Technology at Gjøvik and an adjunct professor at the Centre for medical ethics at the University of Oslo. He holds a PhD in philosophy of medicine and is trained both in the natural sciences and in the humanities. His main research interests are philosophy of medicine, philosophy of science, technology assessment, and bioethics.

Hofmann has been a researcher at The Norwegian Knowledge Centre for the Health Services (2002-13) and a Harkness fellow (Commonwealth Fund) at the Dartmouth College (2014-15).

Contact person for the workshop is Thor Eirik Eriksen from The University Hospital of Northern Norway (UNN)/UiT The Arctic University of Norway. The workshop takes place at SVHUM-A 3021 09.15-15.00

22. November Guestlecture by Ernst van Alphen: Madness and Introspection

In the dominant discourse madness is considered as the opposite of rationality. It concerns the decline, and in extreme cases even the disappearance of rationality in the organization of human conduct and experience. I will explore a more recent, modernist discourse on madness. The new discourse does not understand madness as a decline of rationality, but as an increase or intensification of reason.  This modernist discourse on madness manifests itself in literary novels that magnify the practice of introspection to the most extreme extent. In order to better understand the radical effects of introspection through first-person narration, I will focus on the Dutch novel A Posthumous Confession (Een nagelaten bekentenis) from 1894 by Marcellus Emants. In order to understand the literary and psychological impact of this activity comparisons will bemade of Emants’ novel with other narratives that consist of the same speech act of relentless introspection, first of all with Robert Musil’s monumental icon of modernism, Der Mann ohne Eigenschaften, then with Why I am not Mad (Waarom ik niet krankzinnig ben) from 1929 by the Dutch writer Maurits Dekker, and the novella The Kreutzer Sonata by the Russian writer Lev Tolstoy (1891).

Ernst van Alphen is professor of Literary Studies at Universiteit Leiden. His publications include Failed Images: Photography and Its Counter-Practices (Valiz 2018),  Staging the Archive: Art and Photography in the Age of New Media (Reaktion Books 2014), Art in Mind: How Contemporary Images Shape Thought (University of Chicago Press 2005), Armando: Shaping Memory (NAi Publishers 2000) Caught By History: Holocaust Effects In Contemporary Art, Literature, and Theory (Stanford U.P 1997), Francis Bacon and The Loss of Self (Harvard U.P 1995).

The event is organized together with the research group Russsian Space  It takes place 10.15-12.00 in SVHUM  E 0104. Welcome!

11-12. November

Ph.d.-subject "Literature and Medicine" at UiT The Arctic University of Norway hosted by HAS. Contributors Anders Juehl L. Rasmussen, Carsten Stage, Silje H. Warberg, Laura Castor, Henrik Johnsson and Linda Nesby If you would like to participate or have any  questions, please contact Henrik Johnsson

14. November

Associate professor at NTNU, Silje Warberg gives a guestlecture on Olaug Nilssens Tung tids tale at A3019 from 14:15-16. Everyone is welcome!

8. November

John Brumo, NTNU, gives a midwayevaluation on Lise-Marie Lauritzens ph.d. theses Bruk av skjønnlitteratur for å aktualisere folkehelse og livsmestring i norskfaget. The evalution takes place at SVHUM A 2021 0900-12.00 Everyone is welcome!

At 12.30 the same day there will be lunch for invited guests due to the recent publication of the journal Tidsskrift for Forskning i Sygdom og Samfund where HAS were guesteditors.

10 October CFP Spaces of Illness 

Through the project Spaces of Illness, the research group Health, Art and Society seeks to investigate the significance of space for illness and illness experiences among patients and relatives. HAS invite researchers to submit abstracts of maximum 300 words for evaluation. You may read the full CFP here Deadline for abstracts is October 10, 2019. 

8-10. October Professor II Matías Martínes visits HAS:

Tuesday 8.10: Guestlecture Recent Challenges to Literary Authorship. Open lecture.13.15-15.00 E 2003

Wednesday: Ph.d. seminar on how to narrate documentary stories followed by individual supervision 10.15-12.00/13.00-15.00 D 1017

Thursday: Guestlecture Truth claims in illness narratives. Open lecture. 12.15-14.00 A 3021

6. September

Lars Rune Waage, University of Stavanger, evaluates ph.d. Paula Ryggvik Mikalsens ph.d. theses Gothic Infections: Tracing the Gothic in Contemporary Scandinavian Illness Narratives.

20. – 24. May

Professor II, Matías Martínez holds a Ph.d. seminar, gives a guestlecture about narratology and offers individual supervision for the Ph.d candidates. 

28. March

Guestlecture by associate professor Carsten Stage (Universitetet i Århus), Den entreprenørielle kræftfortælling - en ny patografi på sociale medier.   

The event takes place 13.15-15.00 at C-1006 as part of the course HIF 2043-1

1. March

Ph.d. seminar in SVHUM-A 3021. 09.15-12.00. 

13. March

HAS organizes a presentation with Kate Wormersley and Sandra Goldbeck-Wood entitled “From texts to patients - a parallel case study across a generation.”  The presentations will be followed by a plenary discussion.

Kate is currently a junior doctor in Edinburgh who qualified in Cambridge after a first degree in English literature. She´s among other things an accomplished freelance writer who publishes on medical topics in the serious lay media, and co-edits a medical history blog. She has a burgeoning interest in both women´s and sexual health, and in interdisciplinary approaches to health. Kate  is currently working with HAS-member Sandra Goldbeck-Wood as Editorial Fellow at  BMJ Sexual and Reproductive Health. 

The meeting takes place at SVHUM A-3021

15. March

Guestlecture by  Assistant Professor  Lasse R. Gammelgaard (Universitetet i Århus), Teaching "MadLit" in High School Classrooms.  The lecture takes place at SVHUM A-2021 (styrerommet) 11.15-13.00

The forthcoming high school textbook “Galskab i litteraturen” (“Madness and literature”) introduces literature’s extensive engagements with states of mind that have traditionally been classified as being outside perceived normality. The talk will address the structure of the book and the issues and concerns a book about this theme entail. The approach is eclectic; it mixes the scientific, objective, and descriptivist language of psychopathology with literature and discourses of literary theory. The thematic chapters all include diachronic and intermedial components. Methodologically, students are then encouraged to approach the material from different vantage points like psychology, narrative theory, intermediality, or creative writing. The aim is to teach students about an important theme in literary history and to give them knowledge of different kinds of mental illnesses. High school students are vulnerable, impressionable young adults, so the endeavor as such has ethical implications, which will be discussed in the talk.

Lasse R. Gammelgaard is assistant professor at the Department of Communication and Culture at Aarhus University, where he obtained his PhD-degree in 2013 with a dissertation on narrative and poetry. He is co-coordinator of the interdisciplinary research group “Health, Media and Narrative” at Aarhus University, and is currently working on a project entitled “Forms of Mental Illness Representation in Contemporary Literature,” which is funded by the Denmark’s Independent Research Fund’s Sapere Aude-grant.​

21. March

Agata Lubowicka, The Universitetet of Gdansk, will give the guestlecture «Polarhelte på glatis: Repræsentationer af sygdom og kropsligt forfald i nutidig dansk grønlandslitteratur» (Polarheros on the ice: Representations of illness and bodily decay in contemporary Greenland literature).  

The lecture will take place at SVHUM A-2021 from 10.15-12.00. 

28. February

In connection with Ph.d. Dragana Lukic's Ph.d. project Gylne øyeblikk: Samskapende kreative samlinger, the movie Away from Her will be shown for HAS-members and other targeted participants.  The event is a collaboration between Artful Dementia Research Lab and HAS.

At Campus Breivika 16.15-19.30. Light refreshments.

Please click here to learn more about the activities at Health, Art and Society.