About us

The Centre for Health Humanities (CHH) is a multidisciplinary group of over forty academics at the University of Reading, whose interests coalesce around the themes of health, sickness, and wellbeing.

Our aims are to promote transformative research, impact, and teaching on the cultural and scientific study of health in the humanities and sciences at Reading, and to provide a stimulating and supportive environment in which scholars can meet, share, and develop truly innovative ideas.

Our three ‘unique selling points’ as a Centre are:

  1. A distinctively holistic approach to health, which encompasses a variety of conditions, stages, and outcomes of illness, from ‘perfect recovery’ and wellbeing, to abnormal development, starvation, and death. In doing so, we seek to broaden and rebalance our overall picture of the human condition, while fostering empathy for patients today.
  2. Our particularly wide chronological, global, and disciplinary scope, which stretches from medieval Europe to modern China, India and the Middle East, and brings together scholars from archaeology, English literature, history, pharmacy, psychology, linguistics, and modern languages.
  3. We benefit from a unique relationship with Special Collections and Archives, particularly the Cole Collection of Zoology and Early Medicine. The Cole is a special asset, with over 8,000 historical volumes from the History of Science, and 3,225 accessioned specimens in the museum.

The work undertaken within the Centre for Health Humanities tends to fall under four key themes:

Contact Us

If you are interested in our work, and would like to get in touch, please email one of the three Co-Directors, Professor Parastou Donyai (p.donyai@reading.ac.uk), Dr Rohan Deb Roy (r.debroy@reading.ac.uk), Professor Andrew Mangham (a.s.mangham@reading.ac.uk). We would be delighted to hear from you.