Research related to medical humanities is carried out both at the Centre for Medical Humanities, and at other Uppsala University departments, see list below. Further, the Centre for Medical Humanities works to build a network of researchers in different disciplines and domains with research interests in the field of medical humanities. As a part of this effort, we also offer an introduction course to the field, held in English and available to doctoral students in biomedicine, health, the humanities and social sciences.

Research projects at the Centre for Medical Humanities

Acting Out Disease (ActDisease). How Patient Organizations Shaped Modern Medicine
This project investigates the emergence and role of patient organizations as central actors in medicine in the 20th century. These organizations include allergics’ organizations that pushed for the acknowledgement of their ailments as somatic illnesses around 1900, diabetics’ associations that helped enable an advanced self-management regimen from the 1930s, and organizations for neurological diseases that coordinated rehabilitation resources in the 1950s. ActDisease studies how such organizations reshaped medical concepts and roles, and in expanding the reach of medical modes of thought. ActDisease is funded with an ERC Starting Grant and led by Ylva Söderfeldt.

The emotional citizen. Quality of life debates and the transformation of democracy in 1970s Sweden
Measurements of experienced "quality of life" have become an important resource in policy development, in Sweden as in other western democracies. Yet, when quality-of-life analysis was first introduced to Sweden in the 1970s, it stirred heated debate. This project explores political and academic debates about quality-of-life measurements in 1970s Sweden, in order to understand challenges to and changes within Swedish democracy. Combining the perspectives of governmentality studies with insights from the history of knowledge, the project scrutinizes the emergence of a new citizen category, the "emotional citizen", and its co-production with "emotional democracy", a new democratic ideal. The project also investigates how the emotionalization of citizenship contributed to political challenges to the Swedish welfare state. The project is funded by Riksbankens Jubileumsfond and conducted by Linnea Tillema.

Mistrust in practice. An ethnography of suspicion in general medical practice in the aftermath of COVID-19
Trust in healthcare authorities in many parts of the world is in serious crisis. This project will study mistrust in a specific context, namely Italy, a country hard-hit by the pandemic, even as its population is experiencing the consequences of a neglected and disintegrating National Health System. Ethnographic in design and implementation, research will document the dynamics of mistrust in situated healthcare interactions that unfold between patients and general practice doctors (GPs) in Italy in the aftermath of COVID-19. The study is funded by Vetenskapsrådet and conducted by Mirko Pasquini.  

Regretting Parenthood
The study aims to explore what it means to regret parenthood. By examining online forums and interviewing parents about regret, the study intends to explore how feelings of regret arises, is experienced, handled and treated, and which consequences these feelings have for the individual. Parenthood regret is an unexplored topicin the Nordic context. Previous research comes from countries that differ from the Swedish context in terms of social norms as well as family policies and welfare. The current study contributes with an interdisciplinary perspective on parenthood regret, and brings together medical, psychological, philosophical, gender and historical perspectives. The stydy is funded by Kjell och Märta Beijers Stiftelse and conducted by Maja Bodin

Young women's mental health
An interdisciplinary research program with focus on young women’s mental health has been launched at WomHer. Within the program, the different expressions and possible causes – physiologically, psychologically, socially and culturally – will be investigated. The program is led by Pernilla Åsenlöf at WomHer. Participating researchers from CMH are Ylva Söderfeldt and Linnea Tillema.

Research projects within the Medical Humanities Graduate Programme

Between law and clinical practice: Medical expertise and the unwanted consequences of female genital cutting legislation and politics. PhD student: Rosie Duivenbode, Women's and Children’s Health.

The cells of the immune system: soldiers, carpenters or housekeepers? How to ask the right questions in the era of big data. PhD student: Kristina Humphreys, Medical Cell Biology.

Ethical dilemmas and ethical competence when providing dietary advice – Evaluation of an educational intervention. PhD student: Susanna Pohjola, Centre for Research Ethics & Bioethics (CRB).

Laboratories of the future? A historical biography about complex buildings, flexible organizations, and research and education within the life sciences. PhD student: Martina Wallberg, Ekonomisk historia.Economic History.

The Multifaceted Life of Digital Health Records: Between Official Documentation, Personal Information and Cultural Objects. PhD student Camilla Lyckblad, ALM.

Research projects related to medical humanities

Between life and death. Intrauterine device (IUD) use in Sweden, ca. 1960–1975
The project is conducted by Morag Ramsey, Department of History of Science and Ideas.

Between Openness and Secrecy. Controlling Medical Communication in Twentieth Century Sweden
The project is conducted by Solveig Jülich, Department of History of Science and Ideas.

Choosing mode of birth. How medical and cultural discourses on vaginal births and caesarean sections shape pregnant women's knowledge of and plans for giving birth
The project is conducted by Renita Sörensdotter, Centre for Gender Research and Mio Fredriksson, Department of Public Health and Caring Sciences.

Communicating medicine. Digitalisation of Swedish medical periodicals, 1781–2011
The project is led by Solveig Jülich, Department of History of Science and Ideas.

Controlling the Uncontrollable. The Impact of Reproductive Health Apps on Experiences of Pregnancy, Healthcare Professionals’ Work and Data Governance
The project is led by Lina Eklund, Department of Informatics and Media.

DOME Consortium. Development of Online Medical Records and E-health Services

In tension between primary care and hospital care. What are the conditions for successful implementation of the new primary care reform?
The project is funded by Ulrika Winblad, Department of Public Health and Caring Sciences, Nils Hertting, Institute for Housing and Urban Research, Linda Moberg, Department of Public Health and Caring Sciences and Erik Grönqvist, Department of Economics.

Pregnancy- and Childbirth-Related Media Use to Support Maternal Mental Health (PACMUM)
This project builds on the literature on health information seeking and entertainment-education to study how watching pregnancy- and childbirth-related content on YouTube can affect pregnancy-related anxiety. Using a multi-methodological approach, I focus on two objectives: (1) to understand how pregnancy- and childbirth-related content on YouTube can fulfill different needs for women with pregnancy-related anxiety and (2) to elucidate the underlying processes of the association between exposure to pregnancy- and childbirth-related content and pregnancy-related anxiety. The project is conducted by Femke Geusens.

Scandinavian Border Crossings. Race and Nation in Queer Assisted Reproduction
The project is led by Ulrika Dahl, Centre for Gender studies

Ulleråker – functionality norms and cultural heritage
The project is conducted by Cecilia Rodéhn and Hedvig Mårdh, Centre for Gender Research.

Vardagslivet för barn och vuxna intagna på Vipeholms sjukhus 1935–63 [Everyday life for children and adults at Vipeholm hospital 1935–63]
The project is conducted by Kristina Engwall, Department of Social work, and is part of the larger interdisciplinary project Döden på Vipehom [Death at Vipeholm].

Last modified: 2023-06-16