Topic outline

  • Course Description

    Medical images and illustrations are important in medical research, clinical practice, and public communication. This course employs the tools and insights of the humanities (e.g. history and philosophy of science, visual culture) to explore questions such as: What makes medical images so important? What roles do they play? How do images inform and provide evidence? How do images depict what they are about? How are images produced and why does it matter? Do image-makers follow pictorial traditions? How do medical images travel between research communities and the public?

    Students will acquire knowledge about medical images and illustrations as well as relevant approaches and concepts of humanities disciplines.

    There will also be sessions on research methods in philosophical and historical research.

    Students will work individually on a research project of their choice, assisted by support workshops and feedback on a project plan.

    Course coordinators
    Dr Ulrich Stegmann u.stegmann@abdn.ac.uk and Dr Silvia Casini silvia.casini@abdn.ac.uk

    • What skills does the course develop?

      Conceptual work (e.g. identifying, evaluating, and creating arguments and hypotheses),

      Deeper theoretical understanding of medical images,

      Engage critically with intellectual traditions beyond medicine and the life sciences,

      Develop  own research project.


      • What will the timetable be like?

        Week 1 and 2 series of Lectures and seminars – 20 hrs.  The following weeks they will be workshops and project presentation event.


        • How will I be assessed?

          Students will present their project outcomes as part of a course conference – 20%

          and submit their work as a 4000 word essay – 80%


          • Anything else I should know?

            You join at the beginning of the course which is also available for Philosophy and Visual Culture students.


            • Useful Links

              Staff Profile Dr Ulrich Stegmann https://www.abdn.ac.uk/people/u.stegmann

              Staff Profile Dr Silvia Casini https://www.abdn.ac.uk/people/silvia.casini