Presentations

November 12, 2020

‘The breath of degradation’: why is breathlessness invisible?

Prof. Jane Macnaughton

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About Prof. Jane Macnaughton

Jane Macnaughton is Professor of Medical Humanities at Durham University in the UK and Director of the University’s Institute for Medical Humanities (IMH).  After an initial degree in History and English she studied medicine and was Dean of Undergraduate Medicine at Durham until the medical programme transferred to Newcastle University in 2017.  She is now a professor in the Department of Anthropology.  Jane has been centrally involved in the development of medical humanities in the UK since 1998.  She was part of the working group that set up the Association for Medical Humanities in 2001, and she established the Northern Network for Medical Humanities Research in 2013.  Jane has been a member of the Wellcome Trust Expert Review Group for established career awards in medical humanities since 2010. Jane currently holds two large awards from the Wellcome Trust: a Development Grant for the Institute for Medical Humanities and a Senior Investigator Award for her project, the Life of Breath.  This interdisciplinary project involves colleagues from literary studies, anthropology, history, philosophy, clinical medicine and neuroscience, and aims to use this combined disciplinary power to influence management in chronic breathlessness.  Her research broadly focusses on the idea of the ‘symptom’: its initial appearance, development and evolution in connection with medical contexts, habits and technologies.  She continues to be clinically active and is an Honorary Consultant in Obstetrics and Gynaecology at the University Hospital of North Durham.

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