The aim of the module is to explore and critique past and current models of the mind in medical research and practice, through the medium of science writing, literature, theatre, history and film. It will consider issues relating to mental illness, neurological disorder and trauma memory in the light of these models.


The module takes place over 10 two-hour seminar/workshops. These will involve guest speakers, seminar discussion, performance-related activities, and student presentations. Learners will read works by Virginia Woolf, Samuel Beckett, Oliver Sacks, Harold Pinter and/or Sarah Kane. The module convenor is Dr Elizabeth Barry an expert in the field of the medical humanities and modernist literature, with contributions from colleagues including Dr Jonathan Heron.

PHASE 1: Woolf, Medicine and the Modernist Mind

PHASE 2: Beckett, Psychiatry and the Brain

PHASE 3: Contemporary Writers and the Embodied Mind