PhD Scholarship: ‘Blood cultures: the language and metaphors of menstruation’, Manchester Metropolitan University


This project investigates the language and metaphors used to describe menstruation with a particular focus upon atypical bleeding (e.g., amenorrhea, endometriosis, fibroids, bleeding in pregnancy, post-partum haemorrhage and bleeding, flooding and spotting) through the life course (at puberty, in adulthood, in the peri-menopause and menopause). Textual material may be derived from either contemporary (21st Century) imaginative literature, film or life-writing and/or derived from interviews with volunteer participants in the UK, Ireland and, if the candidate has the requisite language skills, one or more non-English speaking language community. The project will produce a discourse analysis of recurrent themes, metaphors, similarities and differences in the language of menstruation today, paying close attention to the significance of class, education, culture, community, ethnicity, religion, disability and sexuality in mediating this discourse.

Aims and objectives

This project builds upon the work of the Critical Medical Humanities research group on critical disability studies, pain and the language of endometriosis.It aims to create interdisciplinary research pathways across literary studies, linguistics/discourse and intercultural studies.The candidate will be supervised by an interdisciplinary team with expertise in the mentioned areas and approaches upon which the project will draw.

Menstruation and atypical bleeding remain sources of social stigma for women, particularly at key moments of transition such as puberty and menopause. This project investigates the ways in which menstruation and, particularly, atypical bleeding are talked about by women today (both individually and in groups), and/or depicted in contemporary literature, film and life-writing. The project aims are as follows:

  • to identify and collate narrative/conversational accounts of menstruation and atypical bleeding
  • to produce a close critical/discourse analysis of the ways in which menstruation and atypical bleeding are depicted and spoken about in these accounts, paying close attention to the use of metaphor and recurrent tropes, conversational/narrative styles.
  • to consider the role and significance of class, education, culture, community, ethnicity, religion, disability and sexuality in mediating ways of talking about menstruation.
  • If the student is fluent in one or more language (alongside English), then the project also aims to compare and contrast, talk about menstruation in different language communities.

In exploring contemporary discourses about menstruation and atypical bleeding, the objectives of the project are as follows:

  • To develop effective methodologies for eliciting, exploring and critically assessing the language(s) of menstruation
  • To utilize the research as a means to break through taboos and embedded attitudes that can lead to marginalisation and social stigma
  • To derive implications that will contribute to the enhancement of communication and the social visibility of the issues explored.

This project supervisory team will include Dr Lucy Burke

Specific requirements of the project

Applicants should have a high upper second or first class undergraduate degree in an Arts/Humanities discipline or equivalent and they should have or be completing Masters level study in any one of the following fields: literary, film or media studies; modern languages, discourse analysis/socio-linguistics; critical and cultural theory, philosophy, medical humanities, medical anthropology or sociology of culture. They require high level skills in either the stylistic/critical analysis of narrative fiction, literary genres, literary/ narrative discourse and/or the discourse analysis of conversational language/written text. Applicants interested in working with different language communities should be able to evidence fluency in their chosen languages.

Applicants must also demonstrate the ability to develop and conduct an independent research project. Experience of transdisciplinary research and/or work at the interface of the arts/humanities and science/medicine is desirable.

The successful candidate would be expected to start in September/October 2018.

Student eligibility

This opportunity is open to UK/EU and International applicants


Informal enquiries can be made to:

Please quote the reference ArtsHum-CELL-2018-1

For more information, see the full advertisement here.

Deadline: 31st January 2018

Interviews: 12th Feb – 9th March 2018


Job advert: ‘Post-Doctoral Research Fellow in Arts & Health’, Derby

Location: Keddleston Rd., University of Derby

Salary: £17,326 to £22,214 p/a

Deadline: 11th December 2017

Reference: 0623-17-R

Please note that this is a 3 year full time contract.

An exciting opportunity has arisen for a motivated individual with research experience and proven ability to write for publication, to work for the newly formed Arts in Health Centre of Excellence part of the College of Health & Social Care Research Centre (CHSCRC). The Research Centre was established in 2014 with the support of  funding from NHS England and Derbyshire’s four Clinical Commissioning Groups (CCGs). The Centre’s main activities have focused around the co-design and delivery of projects with the CCGs, securing external funding and delivery of these projects, and a range of REF-related activities. Going forward, delivering health service evaluations will continue to be a key strand of the Centre’s income generation activity. Alongside this, through close collaboration with the NHS and Clinical Commissioning Groups, and by establishing partnerships with other universities and institutions, the Centre has been working on number of research proposals.

The research fellow is to have primary responsibility for working with our research fellow and academics galvanising research bids from clusters affiliated with the Arts in Health Centre of Excellence, especially orientated towards UOA03. The fellow will be housed within the College of Health & Social Care Research Centre, but will work with cross-College collaborative research bids and bids originating from College clusters.

We need to develop further research in the range of 3* and 4* and highlight work of international significance and world-class research already being conducted, but not sufficiently celebrated and highlighted. The Centre of Excellence will function across College boundaries and be interdisciplinary in nature, instigating collaborative relationships and providing a ‘shop-window’ and marketing opportunity. The Arts in Health Centre of Excellence will bring together excellent practice and research, acknowledging TEF as well as REF.

Your principal accountabilities will be working collaboratively with research clusters to develop fundable research proposals and co-writing with academic colleagues towards joint publications at 3*.

For an informal discussion about the post call or email Professor Susan Hogan at 07973353964 or

We are committed to safeguarding and promoting the welfare of children and vulnerable adults and expect everyone who works for us to also share this commitment and to treat people with courtesy and respect.

Further details: Job Description 

CFP: ‘Madness, Mental Illness and Mind Doctors in 20th and 21st Century Pop Culture’, Edinburgh

Date: 3rd – 4th May 2018

Location: University of Edinburgh


Deadline: 2nd February 2018

“Sometimes it’s only madness that makes us what we are.”

Grant Morrison, Batman: Arkham Asylum (1989)

In Madness and Civilization, Michel Foucault writes that “madness fascinates man”. Indeed, examples of this dark allure are present throughout the ages. From tales of those who paid a penny on Sundays to view the insane held at London’s Bethlem Hospital in the early nineteenth century, to ever popular portrayals of mental illness and madness in the literature, television, and film of the twentieth and twenty-first centuries, representations of psychiatric illness remain loaded, highly visible, and deeply entrenched in Western pop culture.

Mental illness – and more colloquially, madness – often functions metaphorically as representative of a subversive liminality that delegitimizes protest against the status quo. Characters like John Givings in Richard Yates’s novel Revolutionary Road, for example, are ultimately neutralized as political agents through psychiatric diagnosis. Other more recent filmic and televisual representations of mental illness utilize such psychiatric tropes in alternative but highly recognizable ways. Television shows such as Sherlock and House emphasize the connection between madness and genius, while Fight Club and the television series Mr Robot focus on the social equation between mental illness and criminality. The American true crime podcast Sword and Scale has been accused of demonising victims of mental illness. In Andrew Solomon’s Noonday Demon, Allie Brosh’s webcomic Hyperbole and a Half, and Kabi Nagata’s manga My Lesbian Experiences with Loneliness, the line between pathology and pathography, medicine and memoir, has blurred.

 This conference will examine these representations, and explore the ways in which madness, mental illness, and those who are both affected by, and striving to treat, psychological maladies are depicted in twentieth and twenty-first century popular culture. We ask: how have fluctuating historical conditions and attitudes influenced the ways in which madness and mental illness are portrayed in the media? What kind of relationship exists between medical understandings of psychological disorders and popular depictions of such illnesses? Do contemporary portrayals of “madness” in popular fictions work to demystify and destigmatize mental illness, or do these representations reinforce negative stereotypes, further obfuscating our understanding of psychological disorders?

We welcome proposals for 20-minute presentations from a range of disciplines that engage with popular conceptions of madness and mental illness in the twentieth and twenty-first centuries. Proposals that include visual arts or other media, as well as the traditional paper, are welcomed. Topics include, but are not limited to:

  • Depictions of mental illness in film, television, literature, podcasts, graphic novels, and video games.
  • Madness as political/protest (social conformity as ‘true’ madness)
  • Women/gender and madness
  • Madness and creativity
  • Pop culture vs. medical establishment
  • Psychiatry in popular culture
  • Madness and horror/the Gothic
  • Madness, confinement, and physical space
  • Asylums, community care, and deinstitutionalization
  • Madness as metaphor
  • History of psychiatry and antipsychiatry
  • Freud and the history of popularization of psychoanalysis
  • Post-war psychiatry
  • The politics/impact/importance of life narratives
  • The “myth” of mental illness
  • Medical humanities and medical science
  • Mental health and contemporary politics
  • Madness and confessional narrative

Please submit abstracts of 300 words, along with a short biographical note (150 words), to by 2nd February 2018. Further information at

Follow us on Twitter @madpopculture or facebook, under “Madness in Pop Culture PG Conference”.

CFP: Palgrave Communications, ‘Socioeconomic Factors and Mental Health: Past and Present’

Palgrave Communications – the multidisciplinary, open access journal published by Palgrave Macmillan – is currently inviting article proposals and full papers for a new research article collection. ‘Socioeconomic Factors and Mental Health: Past and Present’ will be edited by Professor Matthew Smith and Dr Lucas Richert (University of Strathclyde, UK).

This article collection will examine how the relationship between socioeconomic factors and mental health has been and is understood in an array of different places and periods. Although much of the focus of current mental health research and clinical practice is on the neurological aspects of mental illness and psychopharmacological treatment, historical research demonstrates that a wide range of factors – from vitamin deficiencies such as pellagra, and infections such as syphilis to traumatic life events – have contributed to the onset and exacerbation of mental health problems. Among all these factors, one looms largest: socioeconomic status. On the one hand, socioeconomic inequality has been long recognised as a potential cause of mental illness, as the history of mental hygiene and social psychiatry during much of the twentieth century demonstrates. On the other hand, however, the mentally ill have also historically faced much socioeconomic hardship; today, a high proportion of the homeless and incarcerated in many countries suffer from mental illness.

By exploring this topic across time and place, this collection aims to provide a historical context for today’s mental health crisis, and also to inform current mental health policy, especially attempts to prevent or alleviate mental illness through social change.

Insights on a broad spectrum of themes are welcomed, including, but not restricted to:

  • Homelessness and mental illness
  • Social psychiatry and mental hygiene
  • Community mental health
  • Forensic psychiatry
  • Race and mental health
  • Psychiatry and various economic/political systems (e.g., communism, socialism, capitalism)
  • Socioeconomic factors and child mental health
  • How health professionals deal with poverty and mental health
  • Social policy and mental health
  • Social activism and mental health

This is a rolling article collection and as such proposals and submissions will be welcome before 1st February 2018.Article proposals should be submitted to the editorial team.

PhD Scholarship in Literature and Medicine, Lancaster

Research scholarship in Literature and Medicine and/or Science, University of Lancaster

Number of bursaries: 1
Eligibility: Open to Home/EU and Overseas applicants
Deadline: 2nd March 2018

The Department invites applications for a PhD in English and/or Creative Writing focused upon the relationship between literature and science or literature and medicine from the Early Modern period through to the present.

Topics might include, but are not limited to: the influence of science and/or medicine on novelists and/or poets, or vice versa; literature that challenges or complicates the idea that there are ‘two cultures’ between the arts and the sciences; science or literature as metaphor; popular science writing; the therapeutic effects of writing in terms of bodily or mental well-being; the intersections of science, technology and literature; the Medical Humanities; the use of fiction as the expression or representation of chronic pain; speculative fiction; post-humanism; environmental or eco-critical writing; and drugs and literature. Interdisciplinary projects are strongly welcomed.

The bursary takes the form of a fee waiver for the duration of an individual’s PhD studies and a contribution towards maintenance costs. Applications should be made on the appropriate application form and should be sent to Mrs Leila Atkinson.

Award criteria: The scholarships will be awarded on a competitive basis. Candidates for a scholarship will be ranked based on the following criteria in order of priority:

  1. Potential for an original contribution.
  2. Evidence of scholarly ability:
    – clear and concise description of the study
    – awareness of current literature in the field
    – understanding of research methodology appropriate for an early stage postgraduate student
    – a research project that can be completed within the timeframe allowed for a PhD

The application form is available at For further information, please contact Professor Sharon Ruston (

Screen Seminar: Hannah Hamad, ‘Screening the NHS at 70: Exploring the Political Stakes of Contemporary UK Medical Television’, Glasgow     

Date: 5.30pm – 7pm, Wednesday 6th December

Location: Room 408, Gilmorehill Halls, University of Glasgow

Screen Seminars at Glasgow are delighted that Dr Hannah Hamad (University of Cardiff) will be presenting her work on ‘Screening the NHS at 70: Exploring the Political Stakes of Contemporary UK Medical Television’. All welcome!

‘Screening the NHS at 70: Exploring the Political Stakes of Contemporary UK Medical Television’

In 2018 the NHS is seventy years old. So far the BBC’s most noteworthy gesture towards this has been the nostalgic, reverential and celebrity-oriented television documentary series Matron, Medicine and Me: 70 Years of the NHS (BBC, 2016). The media, including television, have always played a crucial and high-stakes role in making the organisation and its services knowable to the British public, and in negotiating its wavering status as the most seemingly immovable bastion of the UK welfare state. Since its beginnings, the media have functioned as a mouthpiece for government policy and agendas on the National Health Service. But since the immensely controversial passing and implementation of the Health and Social Care Act of 2012, critics like Oliver Huitson have lambasted the news media in particular for their perceived complicity in enabling this to take place with relatively little outcry from either the public or the commentariat. However, as I argue and explicate in this talk, niche outlets and platforms on UK television, even within the mainstream media (e.g. BBC Four’s observational mockumentary sitcom Getting On), have provided audiences and users of the health service with differently oppositional and counter-hegemonic positions on readings and depictions of the NHS under neoliberalism.

Dr Hannah Hamad is Senior Lecturer in Media and Communication at Cardiff University and the author of Postfeminism and Paternity in Contemporary US Film: Framing Fatherhood (New York and London: Routledge, 2013).


Job: Associate Research Fellow in Disability Studies, Bath Spa University

Contract:  Full-time, fixed-term until 31 March 2020

Salary: £32,548 to £36,613 per annum

Deadline: 1st Feb 2018

Interview date: WC. 29/1/18

About us

At Bath Spa University we work with one clear vision: to be a leading university in creativity, culture and enterprise. And we place collaboration at the heart of everything we do.

The Institute for Education is a place where Bath Spa teachers, classroom teachers, education practitioners, academics, and everyone interested in education come together in a community of research and practice. We want to build on our strengths to provide a community for education professionals and to align with the University’s strategic vision.

This role will be working as part of the ‘Disability and Community: Dis/engagement, dis/enfranchisement, dis/parity and dissent’ project aka the D4D project. The project will involve the universities of Bath Spa, Bristol, London, Manchester Metropolitan, Liverpool Hope and Bristol Robotics Laboratory based at UWE. Also involved are several community partners, including Accentuate, Screen South, Disability Arts Online, the New Vic Theatre in Stoke, Shape Arts, DadaFest, NDACA, Graeae Theatre, Misfits, along with campaign organisations, grassroots groups, charities and other stakeholders such as Action on Disability and Work and Designability, stroke support groups.

The project will explore multiple issues around the theme of disability and community. It will work across the spectrum of disability, involving close collaboration between researchers, participants, research partners and stakeholder organisations. D4D will seek to enhance agency and challenge discriminatory and excluding practices.

Through its work-streams, the project will seek to inform policy and practice, and alongside our participants, the research team will aim to challenge current perceptions of disability and to introduce new discourses in the field.

About the role

This role will play a key role in supporting the research activities for D4D team members (academic and non-academics) in the D4D project. More detail about the project can be found here:

About you (requirements)

You will have completed a PhD (or be about to complete a PhD) in a field that relates to the work of the D4D project. With a working knowledge of research methods and techniques, you will make a clear contribution to the project as a proactive independent researcher.

You will have excellent interpersonal, networking and communication skills, both written and verbal. You will be able to manage a range of research and administrative activities, whilst demonstrating a flexible approach to meet competing deadlines and demands.

Applicants with specific experience within Disability Studies are encouraged to apply. Applicants with lived experience of disability/ experience working with communities/ evidence of commitment to the values embedded in the D4D project are likewise encouraged to apply.

For an informal discussion regarding this post, please contact Professor Martin Levinson at

How to apply

For further information/to apply on-line please visit Please note CVs will not be considered and those included with application forms will be removed. Any queries should be emailed to

We offer excellent facilities and benefits to our staff. These include a nursery, childcare vouchers, pension scheme, flexible working practices, an employee assistance programme, and family-friendly policies

Applications from disabled applicants will be welcomed, and the university will endeavour to meet all requests for reasonable adjustment for access or other requirements.

Film Screening: Who’s Your Dandy? featuring Equivalence and Andra Simons, Edinburgh

Date: 7.30pm, Tuesday 28th November 2017

Location: Filmhouse Cinema, 88 Lothian Road, Edinburgh, EH3 9BZ

After an inaugural event that packed Filmhouse, Who’s Your Dandy? returns with more off-the-wall, accessible and film-based artworks from Scotland and beyond.

Equivalence, Sandra Alland’s live short story with film by Ania Urbanowska, receives a remount after sold-out shows at Transpose Barbican and Anatomy. Who’s Your Dandy? also features some of the most unique queer and trans shorts in English and sign languages, plus stunning live performance from Andra Simons and filmmaker Joao Trindade.

Watch Equivalence trailer HERE. Watch the Who’s Your Dandy? 2014 promo video HERE. 

Tickets £8/£6, available from Filmhouse Cinema.

The event will be BSL interpreted and/or subtitled, and audio described.

Programmed by Cachín Cachán Cachunga! in association with Filmhouse. Supported by Film Hub Scotland, part of the BFI’s Film Audience Network.

Artist in Residence Workshop, RCPS Glasgow

Date: 6pm, Monday 20th November 2017

Location: Lister Room, Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons Glasgow, 232-242 St. Vincent Street, Glasgow, G2 5RJ

The Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons Glasgow is pleased to announce an Artist in Residence workshop, on Monday 20th November, 6pm, in the Lister Room in the College building. This will be an informal creative writing workshop, lead by poet and performer Marianne MacRae. The focus of the Residency is Joseph Lister and Glasgow, and the workshop will make use of our Lister heritage collections and those relating to 19th century Glasgow more widely. You’ll get the chance to delve into our amazing Lister and heritage collections to find inspiration for your work, and Marianne will show how this unusual source material can inspire new writing!

The event is free, and refreshments will be provided. To book just email or call 0141 221 6072.

CFP: Histories of Disability: local, global and colonial stories, Sheffield

Date: 7th-8th June 2018

Location: University of Sheffield

Deadline: 1st December 2017

Back in 2001, the historian of American deafness Douglas Baynton argued that ‘Disability is everywhere in history, once you begin looking for it, but conspicuously absent in the histories we write’ (Baynton, 2001, p. 52). Since then the history of disability has burgeoned with many important studies showing this not only to be a significant field but a vibrant one. But several key areas remain to be thoroughly interrogated. The historiography remains largely limited to America and western Europe, historians have been slow to take up the exciting postcolonial questions explored by literary scholars and sociologists about the relationship between colonialism and disability, and a tendency has remained to treat the western experience of disability as a universal one. This workshop aims to interrogate these biases, shed light on geographical specificity of disability and think more about the global history of disability both empirically and theoretically.

Questions of interest might include, but are not limited to:

  • How is the experience and construction of disability specific to time and place?
  • What is the relationship between the local and the global when considering the history of disability
  • How does disability intersect with other identities (such as race, gender, class and religion)?
  • What is the relationship between disability and imperialism/colonialism?
  • How can postcolonial theory help us better historicise the experience of disability?
  • Does the concept of ‘disability’ itself work outside a western context?
  • How are the histories of disability shaped by mobility, movement and travel?

Abstracts of c. 300 words should be sent to Esme Cleall, by 1st December 2017. I’d also be happy to answer any questions.