Health Humanities

Health Humanities

The Health Humanities Research Group takes an interdisciplinary approach to topics such as the representation of health and illness in texts, the semiotics of health and illness, the interaction between health, culture and religion, and the language of health and illness. Its members span the fields of linguistics, literature, media studies, and public health.

The group additionally hosts research seminars, talks, and reading groups. Recent events include seminars on communication issues in medical encounters; disfigurement, discrimination, and the media; and applying corpus linguistics to healthcare communication. Potential outputs include papers in Medical Humanities, Literature and Medicine, and The Journal of Medical Humanities.

The group builds on members’ previous successes in external funding (such as the National Natural Science Foundation project ‘Leveraging behavioral science to augment voluntary blood donation in China’) and publications on health and media (JOMEC: Journal of Media and Cultural Studies), mental health and literature (Modernist Cultures), healthcare and social context (Global Public Health; Ethnicity & Health), and historical perspectives on health and illness (English Studies; Neophilologus; Public Understanding of Science; Journal of Science Communication).


Penelope Scott Yuexi Liu Jing Zhu Yi Li
Qingwei Wang Francesco Perono-Cacciafoco Lin Lin John Moraros
Kimvi Nguyen Hui Miao Fengzhi Zhao

Virtual/Visiting Fellows 2022-23

Dr Ling Zhang

Ling Zhang is an assistant professor of cinema studies at State University of New York, Purchase College. She received her Ph.D. in cinema and media studies from The University of Chicago. She is completing her book manuscript, Unruly Sounds: Chinese Cinema and Transnational Acoustic Culture, 1929-1949. She is also the coeditor of the volume Medical Culture in East Asian Cinema and Media (to be published in 2024). Zhang specializes in film sound and acoustic media, Chinese-language cinema, documentary, and Third World cultural exchange.

Dr Xiaoqian Ji

Xiaoqian Ji is a historian of China. She got her Ph.D. in History from Johns Hopkins University in 2023 and is currently a visiting research fellow at the Centre for Culture, Communication, and Society. Her research interests lie in the intersection of medicine and technology, material and visual culture, and writing and publishing. She is revising her dissertation, “More than Beauty: Cosmetics, Gender, and Material Life in Early Modern China,” into a book manuscript. It uses a single class of objects – cosmetics – to connect the histories of material culture, medicine, gender, and the senses; and explore the transmission and production of knowledge, and technologies of gender in early modern China.

Call for Papers

Abstracts of 500 words should be submitted to by December the 11th, 2023.