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Our thanks to the Arts and Humanities Research Council for funding the Madness and Literature Network. Each year the AHRC provides funding from the Government to support research and postgraduate study in the arts and humanities, from archaeology and English literature to design and dance. The range of research supported by this investment of public funds not only provides social and cultural benefits but also contributes to the economic success of the UK. Further information on the AHRC is available on their website.

This project builds on a current project with The Leverhulme Trust on the representation of madness in post-war British and American Fiction. Membership to the Madness and Literature Network is free - Please register under ‘New User Registration’. Benefits of membership include the possibility of attending our invitation-only seminars, being kept fully informed of developments in the broad field of Health Humanities here at Nottingham, and the opportunity to submit fully peer-reviewed book reviews to our database, which will be accredited to the submitting reviewer.

Please note, you are welcome to use these resources and the website for teaching or other purposes, however please do drop us a line and let us know how you are finding the site, or any suggestions you may have for improvements. Paul Crawford. Thank you.

Bibliography of First-Person Narratives of Madness in English (5th edition)

The 5th edition of the Bibliography of First-Person Narratives of Madness in English is available for download (PDF)

1st International Health Humanities Conference: Madness and Literature was held at Nottingham 6th - 8th August 2010

1st International Health Humanities Conference: Madness and Literature was held at Nottingham 6th - 8th August 2010. See 'Seminars and Conference' for further details.

1st International Health Humanities Conference: Madness and Literature - Conference Programme

Revealing Read

More Than It Hurts You

By Darin Strauss


Novel exploring the controversial disorder Münchausen Syndrome by Proxy, now known as Factitious Disorder – i.e. the falsifying of illness or inducing harm of others.

Josh and Dori Goldin are the apparently adoring parents of baby Zack. The novel is mediated through several different perspectives and a degree of sympathy is afforded to Dori, who it transpires has been deliberately drawing blood from her baby and falsifying illness in him, leading to visits to the Emergency Department and consequently a lengthy case involving Child Protection / Welfare officers along with the doctor in charge of instigating proceedings Dr Darlene Stokes and an array of legal professionals. What is made abundantly clear in the novel is Dori’s genuine love for her child, which complicates the notion of her deliberately harming him. Further complicating this is husband/father Josh’s unwavering belief in the absurdity of the child protection claims and the intrusion he feels from the child protection monitoring and investigation. Add in to the mix an array of medical and legal opinions, and you have an emotionally fraught novel.

It’s difficult to review this novel without being caught up in the enormous controversy that surrounds such cases. From a literary perspective, the novel is fraught with tension and unfolds slowly and shockingly, though potentially less so if read by someone with experience or knowledge of the diagnostic categorization and symptom profile of the disorder. Strauss admirably depicts all sides of the controversy in this novel, without reverting to the sensational. 

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The School of English Studies
in collaboration with the Schools of Nursing and Sociology and Social Policy

MA in Health Communication
(by web-based distance learning)

Meeting the challenges of communication - The MA programme in Health Communication provides a unique opportunity to investigate language and communication in various health care contexts. The course gives students a thorough grounding in the concepts, theories and research methods used in this area.

MA in Health Communication PDF Leaflet


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