Reflecting on the Postgraduate Course on Medical Humanities in Uppsala

February 27-28, 2023 MotherNet members from the Faculty of Medicine of Vilnius University prof. Diana Ramašauskaitė and MD, Rūta Morkūnienė visited Uppsala to attend the introductory part of the course on “Medical Humanities”. The postgraduate course was organized by the Centre for Medical Humanities, Uppsala University. Participants from Vilnius University attended the first two days of the course that introduced the medical humanities as a field of research, while the other meetings will focus on one subtheme within Medical Humanities, such as Inequality, Literature, History, Anthropology, Science and Technology Studies, and Sociology.

Prior to the start of the course, participants had to read the indicated literature, reflect on the readings and write the reading log. Every day attendees of the course had to read and discuss each other ‘s reading logs in small groups. After the group discussions, invited lectures and seminars took place. The invited speaker on the first day of the course was Eivind Engebretsen, a Professor of Interdisciplinary Health Science, from the University of Oslo. Eivind Engebretsen is a cutting-edge person in Medical Humanities nowadays. His lecture focused on the Medical Humanities in a post-pandemic world and what lessons medical humanities can draw from the Covid 19 pandemic.

The second day of the course was held by colleagues from the Centre for Medical Humanities, Uppsala University. Ylva Söderfeldt, Associate Professor at the Department of History of Science and Ideas, Director of the Centre for Medical Humanities, gave a lecture on the medical humanities from a historical perspective. The lecture discussed major developments in medicine as a field of research and practice and showed how those relate to the humanities and social sciences. After that, together with colleague Erika Sigvardsdotter, PhD of Human Geography, Uppsala University, coordinator for the Center for Medical Humanities, they held a seminar on the topic of the lecture.

This experience greatly enriched the participants’ knowledge of the medical humanities and gave them ideas for future research directions and collaborations.