Medical and Health Humanities

Medical Humanities

The Trinity College Dublin Medical and Health Humanities Initiative brings together researchers from a wide range of disciplines including, but not limited to, history, philosophy, sociology, politics, drama, health sciences, religion, cultural studies, arts, literature and languages.

Medical and health humanities seek to provide insights into the cultural and social contexts within which diverse but interrelated concerns such as the human condition, the individual experience of illness and suffering, and the way medicine is (or was) practised, might be understood.

The mission statement of the Trinity College Dublin Medical and Health Humanities initiative:
To cultivate a richer understanding of the interactions and synergies between practices and discourses of wellness, health or medicine and the arts, humanities or culture through interdisciplinary research and education"


  • Critically interrogate the synergies between practices and discourses within healthcare, through the health sciences, arts and humanities.
  • Encourage innovative interdisciplinary approaches and debate to healthcare education, and research.                   
  • Develop a leading centre for Medical and Health Humanities building on the tradition of Trinity renowned as a place for scholarship and innovation.
  • Support a proactive policy of public engagement in conjunction with other institutions, locally, nationally and internationally.
  • Develop educational courses and support doctoral and post-doctoral research.
  • Create and attract funding opportunities to drive research initiatives and substantive collaborative projects.           
  • Establish a health-related ‘Trinity Collection’ (Anatomy Rooms/library) as a showcase and resource.


  • Promote awareness of TCD’s Medical and Health Humanities through peer-reviewed publications, and social media.
  • Identify and collate relevant project work in TCD.
  • Identify potential sources of funding to enable TCD to develop innovative projects and research.    
  • Organise public seminar series and conferences relating to Medical and Health Humanities.
  • Archive/Catalogue health-related collections for exhibition.


Members of the Working Group for the Initiative: Profs Desmond O’Neill and Mary Cosgrove (co-chairs), Profs Brendan Kelly, Georgina Laragy, Nicholas Johnson and Ms Mandy Lee.

Medical Humanities

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