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About Us

The Institute for Medical Humanities coordinates and supports research on the lived experience of health and illness, with a focus on what we call ‘hidden experience’.

These experiences may be hidden for various reasons – perhaps they have no external symptoms or cannot be measured by conventional scientific methods, perhaps they are considered shameful or stigmatised by society, perhaps they cannot be easily described, or they relate to marginalised groups of people.
More about our Research
Steinar Engeland

These experiences are easy to hide, but difficult to comprehend, explain or get help for. We believe a medical humanities approach can shed new light on these hidden experiences to improve health policy and practice and benefit the lives of communities and individuals. 

Through interdisciplinary investigations spanning three university faculties and drawing in colleagues from English Studies, Theology, History, Geography, Anthropology, Sociology, Sport and Exercise Science and Psychology, among others, we are developing and expanding research projects on topics including trauma, post-natal depression, addiction, deafness, dreams, hallucinations, touch, memory, weather, menopause, and anxiety. 

We are generously supported by Wellcome as an institute for excellence in the study of health through the humanities and social sciences.

IMH are also responsible for the delivery of the Discovery Research Platform for Medical Humanities, which brings together humanities and social sciences researchers, people with lived experience and people working in different sectors to co-develop new and experimental approaches to tackling health challenges.

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Get in touch

For general enquiries, please contact us by email.

Institute for Medical Humanities

Durham University

Confluence Building

Lower Mountjoy

Stockton Road



T. +44 (0)191 334 8277