Mental Health Humanities: People

a stylised drawing of a human head with plants and pens and rainbows coming out of itMental Health Humanities at Birmingham fosters transdisciplinary and cross-sectoral collaboration. We are a network of interested academics across the university building opportunities for cross-college collaborations, instigating inclusive and equitable knowledge exchange with academics both within and beyond Birmingham, and with public, service users and clinical stakeholders/partners.

Professor Hareth Al-Janabi

Professor Hareth Al-Janabi

Professor of Health Economics

Institute of Applied Health Research

Hareth is a Professor of health economics. He holds a Wellcome Trust Investigator Award (2020-2024) to research investments in mental health promotion in schools and workplaces. 

Hareth’s research interests include the measurement of wellbeing and preferences, the role of family (informal) care in the economic evaluation and decision-making, the economics of mental health, and ...

Professor Lisa Bortolotti

Professor Lisa Bortolotti

Professor of Philosophy

Department of Philosophy

I am a philosopher of the cognitive sciences, focusing on the philosophy of psychology and psychiatry. I am also interested in biomedical ethics.

Professor Matthew Broome

Professor Matthew Broome

Professor of Psychiatry and Youth Mental Health
Director of the Institute for Mental Health

School of Psychology

Youth Mental Health - Birmingham HeroesMatthew is an academic psychiatrist and Director of the Institute for Mental Health at the University.  He is a leader in the field of early psychosis and in the philosophy and ethics of mental health.

Dr Melissa Dickson

Dr Melissa Dickson

Lecturer in Victorian literature

Department of English Literature

My research focuses on the relationships between Victorian literature, science, medicine, and material culture. I am particularly interested in the study and depiction of the senses and in particular on new ways of listening and thinking about sound in the nineteenth century. My current work is on explorations of the body’s physiological and psychological responses to sound and music in the ...

Professor Lisa Downing

Professor Lisa Downing

Professor of French Discourses of Sexuality

Department of Modern Languages

I am Professor of French Discourses of Sexuality and a specialist in interdisciplinary sexuality and gender studies, critical theory, and the history of diagnostic and cultural concepts. My enduring research interest is in questions of exceptionality, difficulty, and (ab)normality as they are represented and understood in cultural, medical, and political fields. My most recent work has been on ...

Dr Sandhya Duggal

Dr Sandhya Duggal

Research Fellow

Department of Social Work and Social Care

Dr Sandhya Duggal is a research fellow at the School of Social Policy, based in the Department of Social Work and Social Care.

Sandhya is currently a co-investigator on a project funded by the School for Social Care Research (NIHR), which aims to explore the process and impact of implementing combinations of asset/strength-based approaches within adult social care, and to assess their ...

Professor Fern Elsdon-Baker

Professor Fern Elsdon-Baker

Professor of Science, Knowledge and Belief in Society

College of Arts and Law

Science and (non-) Religion in Society and Culture. Public Perceptions of Science and/or (non-) Religion.

Professor Fern Elsdon-Baker is part of the Birmingham Plastics Network, an interdisciplinary team of more than 40 academics working together to shape the fate and sustainable future of plastics.  This unique team brings together chemists, environmental scientists, philosophers, ...

Dr Elliot Evans

Dr Elliot Evans

Lecturer in Modern Languages

Department of Modern Languages

Dr Evans is the author of numerous publications on gender and sexuality, and has been invited to speak on these areas at academic conferences, cultural and activist events both in the UK and internationally. They are particularly engaged in debates around feminist, queer and transgender theories. 

Dr Sarah-Jane Hannah Fenton

Dr Sarah-Jane Hannah Fenton

Lecturer in Mental Health Policy

School of Social Policy

Dr Sarah-Jane Fenton is a Lecturer in Mental Health Policy at the Institute for Mental Health (IMH).

The IMH is an interdisciplinary research centre with a specific youth mental health focus that will deliver high quality internationally relevant research to inform and impact upon public policy and practice and improve the care and outcomes for people experiencing problems with their mental ...

Professor Karen Harvey

Professor Karen Harvey

Professorial Fellow and Professor of Cultural History

Department of History

I am a British historian working on the long eighteenth century, with particular interests in gender, the body, material culture and public history.

Dr Matt Hayler

Dr Matt Hayler

Senior Lecturer in Contemporary Literature and Digital Cultures

Department of English Literature

I’m a senior lecturer in contemporary literature and digital cultures and co-director of the Centre for Digital Cultures in the department of English Literature.

I’m CO-I on the AHRC-funded Ambient Literature project and acted as a UK representative for the COST-funded European EREAD (evolution of reading in the age of digitisation) research network.

My research interests focus ...

Dr Vanessa Heggie

Dr Vanessa Heggie

Senior Lecturer in the History of Science and Medicine

Institute of Applied Health Research

Dr Heggie is a historian of modern science and medicine, with a particular interest in the history of nineteenth and twentieth century biomedical and life sciences. She also dabbles in the philosophy of science.

She has published books on the history of exploration and physiology, and on sports medicine, and many articles and chapters on a range of topics from Victorian nursing and public health ...

Dr Clara Humpston

Dr Clara Humpston

Research Fellow

School of Psychology

Dr Clara Humpston is a Research Fellow in Youth Mental Health Methodology at the Institute for Mental Health. Her research interests mainly focus on schizophrenia-spectrum psychoses, although she is also interested in novel therapies for affective disorders. Her research experiences span from psychopharmacology to cognitive neuropsychiatry to phenomenology, and is heavily involved with the ...

Dr Sabena Yasmin Jameel

Dr Sabena Yasmin Jameel

Senior Clinical Lecturer in Medical Professionalism
Academic Quality Lead for the Medical School
Senior Tutor for the Personal Academic Tutor (PAT) System

Birmingham Medical School

Dr Sabena Jameel is a Clinical Academic. She has three main portfolio roles working for the various Medical School programmes. These roles involve teaching, leadership and management, with a golden thread of professionalism running through them all. Dr Jameel is also clinical active, working in the General Practice setting.

Professor David James

Professor David James

Chair in Modern and Contemporary Literature

Department of English Literature

My research and teaching areas span twentieth- and twenty-first-century writing, with a particular focus on the history and theory of the novel. Most recently, I’ve been working on the politics and poetics of affect in contemporary fiction and life-writing, combining my interests in the history of emotions, disability studies, and narrative medicine.

Professor Peter Kraftl

Professor Peter Kraftl

Chair in Human Geography

School of Geography, Earth and Environmental Sciences

Professor Peter Kraftl is best known for his research on children’s geographies, and especially for research into the emotions, affects, materialities and practices that make up their everyday lives. He also publishes on geographies of education and architecture. He is currently an Editor of the journals Area and Children’s Geographies and was a founding member of the Geographies of ...

Dr Irina Kuznetsova

Dr Irina Kuznetsova

Birmingham Fellow

School of Geography, Earth and Environmental Sciences

Dr Irina Kuznetsova's research expertise includes areas of migration, forced displacement, health, and critical urbanism. Her recent projects focus on social consequences of population displacement in Ukraine, Russia, Rwanda, Nigeria and Japan, including mental health and well-being, and the impact of migration on rural communities.

Professor Jeannette Littlemore

Professor Jeannette Littlemore

Professor of English Language and Applied Linguistics

Department of English Language and Linguistics

Jeannette Littlemore is a Professor of Applied Linguistics in the Department of English Language and Linguistics at the University of Birmingham. Her research focuses on metaphor and metonymy and explores the facilitative and debilitative role played by metaphor and metonymy in language education and in cross-linguistic and cross-cultural communication more generally. She is interested ...

Dr Karen Newbigging

Dr Karen Newbigging

Reader in Healthcare Policy and Management

Karen joined HSMC as a Senior Lecturer in Healthcare Policy and Management in November 2013. Originally qualifying as a clinical psychologist, Karen has over thirty years’ experience in the health and social care sector, including direct service provision and commissioning. For the past fifteen years Karen has been involved in research, consultancy and system development for a broad range ...

Dr James Pugh

Dr James Pugh

Lecturer in Modern History

Department of History

Social, cultural and military history of the two World Wars, including a focus on drug culture, consumption and control.

Dr Jessica Pykett

Dr Jessica Pykett

Senior Lecturer in Human Geography

School of Geography, Earth and Environmental Sciences

Jessica Pykett is a social and political geographer with research interests in citizenship, governance, and political subjectivities.  Her research to date has focused on affective and emotional techniques of governance, and the influence of neuroscience and behavioural science on public policy and economic theory. Current work is on the intersections of neuroscience and geography, concepts ...

Dr Leonard David Smith

Dr Leonard David Smith

Honorary Senior Research Fellow

Institute of Applied Health Research

Leonard Smith is a social historian with a special interest in the history of psychiatry and mental health institutions from the seventeenth to the twentieth centuries. His research has focussed primarily on England and the former British West Indian colonies. It encompasses the development of both private madhouses and public lunatic asylums, those who established and managed them, and the ...

Professor Lyndsey Stonebridge

Professor Lyndsey Stonebridge

Interdisciplinary Chair
Professor of Humanities and Human Rights

Department of English Literature

Professor Lyndsey Stonebridge’s work focuses on twentieth-century and contemporary literature, political theory, and history, Human Rights, and Refugee Studies, drawing on the interdisciplinary connections between literature, history, politics, law, and social policy. Her early work was concerned with the effects of modern violence on the mind in the twentieth and twenty-first centuries (The ...

Dr Erin Sullivan

Dr Erin Sullivan

Senior Lecturer

Shakespeare Institute

I am a cultural historian and literary scholar interested in the nature of emotional experience and its relation to art - in particular Shakespeare’s. My research splits into two distinct but nonetheless related strands: the cultural history of the emotions, especially sadness, and the performance of Shakespeare today.

Dr Ema Sullivan-Bissett

Dr Ema Sullivan-Bissett

Senior Lecturer in Philosophy

Department of Philosophy

I am a Senior Lecturer in Philosophy working primarily in the philosophy of mind and psychology.

Dr Sanne Weber

Dr Sanne Weber

Leverhulme Early Career Fellow

International Development Department

Sanne’s research explores how conflict affects gender relations. She is interested in understanding whether and how transitional justice mechanisms are capable of transforming gendered and other structural inequalities, engaging with the connections between conflict, development and social justice. She uses ethnographic, participatory and creative research methods to understand the lived ...

Dr Rebecca Wynter

Dr Rebecca Wynter

Post Doctoral Research Fellow

Institute of Applied Health Research

Rebecca is a Postdoctoral Research Fellow for the four-year AHRC-funded project, ‘Forged by Fire: Burns Injuries and Identity in Britain, c.1800-2000’.

Rebecca is a historian of medicine and of Quakers. Her research and publications centre on the history of psychiatry, mental health, neurosurgery, neurodiversity, and First World War medicine and disability. She has worked with ...