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Medical Humanities Reading Group: Images, Image-Making, and the Meaning of Pain

Thursday 23 January 2020, 14:00 to 16:00, at the Keynes Library (Birkbeck College, 43 Gordon Square, Bloomsbury, WC1H 0PD)

The next session of the Birkbeck Medical Humanities Reading Group will be led by Dr Deborah Padfield, Lecturer in Arts and Health Humanities at the Institute of Medical and Biomedical Education, St. George’s, University of London.

We will look at ways in which “images and image-making processes can open up alternative ways of understanding and talking about pain”. To this end, there will be a screening of the film Pain Under the Microscope (Padfield and Omand, 2018). Please also consider the following reading:

  • Padfield et al. (2018). Images as Catalysts for Meaning-Making in Medical Pain Encounters: A Multidisciplinary Analysis. BMJ 44:74-81.
  • Williams and Craig (2016). Updating the Definition of Pain. Pain 157: 2420-2423.

The readings for each session are held in a shared Dropbox folder. If you need access, email

Everyone is welcome at the reading group. There is no need to book. For directions to our Bloomsbury campus please see An access guide to the building is available at Accessible

The Birkbeck Medical Humanities Reading Group aims to create a space in which academics, clinicians and students can come together to explore key readings, ideas and materials in the field of medical humanities. Our endeavour is to find ways of talking across the different disciplines of the humanities and medicine, and we welcome participation from colleagues and students interested and engaged in these areas. For details of previous sessions, please click here.

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