February 5, 2015, by Emma Thorne
New ‘manifesto’ for the health humanities
A new book by mental health experts at the University provides the world’s first manifesto for the new field of health humanities.
Health Humanities, co-authored by Professor Paul Crawford — who was appointed the world’s first Professor in Health Humanities in 2011 — and colleagues in the Institute of Mental Health, draws upon the multiple and expanding fields of enquiry that link health and social care disciplines with the arts and humanities.
The book aims to encourage innovation and novel cross-disciplinary explorations of how the arts and humanities can inform and transform healthcare, health and well-being. It calls for a much richer body of work that breaks out of limited applications of the arts and humanities to any specific healthcare discipline, as in the medical humanities, which to date has been largely preoccupied with training medical practitioners.
As a more inclusive and applied field of activity with a fast-growing international community of researchers, health humanities looks to generate diverse and even radical approaches for creating healthier and more compassionate societies. This book aims to assist readers to consider how the arts and humanities can be applied more ambitiously in generating well-being.
Professor Crawford pioneered the global development of health humanities in 2008, founding both the International Health Humanities Network and Madness and Literature Network with funding from the Arts and Humanities Research Council. Alongside his role as Director of the Centre for Social Futures at the Institute of Mental Health and Nottingham Health Humanities at the University of Nottingham, he is Principal Investigator for the £1.5m AHRC Connected Communities large grant, Creative Practice as Mutual Recovery.
The 4th International Health Humanities conference is due to take place in Denver in the US in April this year.