Durham Team

The Durham University team are based within the Institute for Medical Humanities and draw in the expertise of colleagues in the English, Anthropology and other departments.

Professor Jane Macnaughton (Senior Investigator)
JaneMacnaughtonJane leads Life of Breath at Durham University. She is Professor of Medical Humanities at Durham University and Director of the University’s Institute for Medical Humanities. Jane has published in the fields of medical education, medical humanities, literature and medicine, history of medicine and health care environments, and was a founder member of the Association for Medical Humanities. Jane’s current clinical work is in gynaecology at the University Hospital of North Durham and she also contributes to Durham’s Phase 1 Medical Programme.

Professor Corinne Saunders (Co-Investigator)
Corinne_SaundersCorinne is Professor in the Department of English Studies and Co-Director of the Institute for Medical Humanities. She specialises in medieval literature and the history of ideas, and has particular interests in romance writing, gender studies and the history of medicine. She and Jane Macnaughton have co-edited works on the cultural history of the body and illness.

Dr Andrew Russell (Co-Investigator)
andrewrussellAndrew is a Reader in the Department of Anthropology. His research focuses on tobacco, its use and control. He is particularly interested in understanding smoking as an embodied physical and emotional experience, the history of tobacco use and smokers’ rituals and sense of identity, and then exploring how this might contribute to policy and therapeutic interventions not only in tobacco but other areas of public health.

Dr Sarah McLusky (Project Manager)
SMcL profile pic2Sarah coordinates the Durham team’s activities and engages the wider world with Life of Breath. She has developed and managed events, education and public engagement programmes for a number of different organisations, as well as turning her hand to teaching and writing. Sarah’s academic background is in biochemistry.

Dr Arthur Rose (Researcher)
arthurArthur is a Postdoctoral Research Fellow in the Department of English Studies. His work for the project focuses on the respiratory conditions caused by the mining, and industrial and household use, of coal and asbestos, and how these conditions are represented in different literary and audio-visual media.

Dr Krzysztof Bierski (Researcher)
Krzysztof is a Postdoctoral Research Fellow in Anthropology. Krzysztof works across the fields of health, communication and ecology with a specific focus on mental health, contemplative techniques, social media and volunteering. As a keen dancer, Krzysztof seeks to expand the role of attentive movement in anthropological research and education.

Mary Robson (Creative Facilitator)
Mary_robsonMary is Associate for Arts in Health and Education at the Centre for Medical Humanities and her role is to build the community of the researchers, with a particular emphasis on interdisciplinarity and transferable methodology. Mary trained as a theatre designer and now works as a creative facilitator and social pedagogue – she works with people to make things.

Prof David Fuller (Researcher)
David is Emeritus Professor of English and former Chairman of the Department of English Studies. From 2002 to 2007 he was also the University’s Public Orator. He has written books and essays on a wide range of poetry, drama, and novels from Medieval to Modern and the theory and practice of criticism. His main other interest is in music, especially opera and song. He trained as a Musicologist, and plays the piano and organ.

Fredrik Nyman (PhD Student)
Fredrik is a PhD student in the Department of Anthropology. His doctoral research will explore the lived experiences and embodied awareness of people who live with chronic breathlessness and respiratory illness in northern England, and address how they practice and manage lay self-care of their lung conditions.

Jade Westerman (Exhibition Project Officer)
Jade is helping to coordinate the Catch Your Breath exhibition and associated events to promote wider public engagement with the Life of Breath project. Jade previously studied MA Museum and Artefact Studies at Durham University and has contributed to various exhibitions, including Between Worlds: Folklore and Fairy Tales from Northern Britain and Bodies of Evidence: How science unearthed Durham’s dark secret.

Steven Beckett (Project Administrator)
Steven provides administrative support for the Life of Breath project research team at Durham University. He recently completed a PhD at Durham in Young Adult and Children’s Literature and continues to conduct research within his field.