‘Waiting Times’ brings together an interdisciplinary team to investigate waiting as a cultural and psychosocial concept, and an embodied and historical experience, in order to analyse and understand the relationship between time and care.
Working across Medical Humanities and Psychosocial Studies, our project uncovers the history, cultural representation, and psychosocial organisation of delayed and impeded time, from 1860 to the present. This research attends both to the agonies and the unexpected possibilities found within waiting and underpins focused investigations of ‘watchful waiting’ in current general practice, psychotherapy, and end of life care. We ask which ideas of time are at work within healthcare, developing new models of durational temporality to conceptualise how waiting might operate as a form of careful attention, historically and in the present. By contextualising these healthcare practices within broader social organisations of time, the project opens up the meanings, difficulties, and potentialities of waiting in current times.
Through academic publications and extensive public engagement, ‘Waiting Times’ is working to reframe current debates about waiting in and for healthcare and enable a more comprehensive and nuanced understanding of the relation between waiting, care, and changing experiences of time.
Image: Fontes 1992/2008 by Cildo Meireles