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17 May 2024

Professor Neil Vickers awarded BA/Leverhulme Senior Research Fellowship

‪Professor Neil Vickers, Professor of English Literature & the Health Humanities in King’s Department of English, received a BA/Leverhulme Senior Research Fellowship to progress research in medical humanities.‬‬

240517 neil vickers fellowship news

With the Senior Research Fellowship, Professor Vickers plans to write a book on the subject’s history and deliver open seminars and workshops targeted at engaging young scholars and others who may be new to the field.

“I'm delighted to have been awarded this Senior Research Fellowship. It will enable me to write what I believe will be the first book-length history of the medical humanities. This is a matter dear to my heart because I think the history is often misrepresented. I hope that by exploring the history I can do justice to the theoretical sophistication of the field, for that is what is so often under-rated, with the aim of showing its richness and indicating some of the paths it might take in the future.”

Professor Neil Vickers, Professor of English Literature & the Health Humanities

Medical humanities is a name for applying any attempt to use ideas or frames of reference deriving from humanities disciplines to any question in which medicine has a say. The field was invoked as a way of humanizing medicine, beginning in the 1940s when the technical aspects of biomedicine began to show real results.

“The field is sometimes caricatured as amateurish, but I want to draw attention to how sophisticated it was,” explained Professor Vickers. “The history has got lost, especially in Britain.”

Presented by the British Academy and funded by the Leverhulme Trust, the Senior Research Fellowships enable academics to dedicate time to completing a significant piece of research through a one-year sustained period of leave.

Eleven are granted each year to scholars from across the humanities, social sciences and law, one of which is always given to an academic in Holocaust Studies.

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Neil Vickers

Professor of English Literature & the Health Humanities