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Professor Angela Woods

Professor of Medical Humanities

Professor of Medical Humanities in the Department of English Studies+44 (0) 191 33 48145
Associate in the Department of Philosophy 
Fellow of the Wolfson Research Institute for Health and Wellbeing+44 (0) 191 33 48145
Director of the Discovery Research Platform for Medical Humanities and Director in the Institute for Medical Humanities+44 (0) 191 33 48145


Angela Woods working from home

I am a medical humanities researcher with research interests and expertise spanning three linked areas: the interplay between clinical, experiential and cultural-theoretical accounts of voice-hearing and psychosis; narrative and its role in understanding health; and the dynamics of interdisciplinary and collaborative research. 

I am the Director of Durham's Institute for Medical Humanities and the Director of the Discovery Research Platform for Medical Humanities, funded by a £9.5m Wellcome Trust award (2023-2030). From 2012-2022 I was Co-Director of Hearing the Voice, a decade-long interdisciplinary study of voice-hearing also funded by the Wellcome Trust. 

I completed my PhD in Literary and Cultural Studies at the University of Melbourne, where I also lectured in Postmodernism and was the lead curriculum designer of Australia's first interdisciplinary coursework degree for doctoral students. I joined Durham University's Centre for Medical Humanities in 2010 and until August 2016 was based in the School of Medicine Pharmacy and Health.

I am founding editor of The Polyphony and a Series Editor for Bloomsbury's Critical Interventions in the Medical and Health Humanities book series. I have previously served as Associate Editor of the BMJ Medical Humanities Journal, and as academic lead for the world's first major exhibition on voice-hearing, Hearing Voices: Suffering, Inspiration and the Everyday.

I am an experienced supervisor of interdisciplinary doctoral and postdoctoral projects and have co-supervised researchers based in Psychology, Geography, Anthropology, Philosophy, Education and English Studies, as well as in clinical practice. I currently co-supervise three PhD students: Katharine Cheston, who is studying women’s experiences of the shame and stigma of living with complex, poorly-understood medical conditions; Ariel Swyer, who is examining non-clinical voice-hearing in the context of voice hearers’ lives; and Georgia Poplett, whose thesis combines creative and critical approaches to writing the lived experience of postpartum psychosis.

Unfortunately I will not be in a position in 2023-24 to support new PhD or Postdoctoral Fellowship applications. 

Research interests

  • Critical Medical Humanities
  • Voice-Hearing - Phenomenology
  • Voice-Hearing - Hermeneutics
  • Narrative approaches to mental health
  • Interdisciplinary Research & Practice

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