I am a Professor in Medicine and English Literature.
I have research and teaching interests in modernist, postmodernist and contemporary fiction; medical humanities; modernity and the contemporary; poststructuralism; philosophies of temporality, ethics and affect; psychoanalysis; neuroscience and language.
I have published widely on the work of Samuel Beckett, including a monograph entitled Samuel Beckett: Laughing Matters, Comic Timing (Edinburgh University Press, 2012). I am completing another monograph — Aphasic Modernism: Revolutions of the Word — which is a study of the relationship between modernism, modernity, and early twentieth-century neuroscientific conceptions of language. I am researching a book for Edinburgh University Press called Slow Modernism.
I work in the English Department and in the Wellcome Trust Centre for the Cultures and Environments of Heath.
With Lisa Baraitser (Birkbeck) I am joint PI on the Wellcome Trust Collaborative Award Waiting Times project.
Professor of Psychosocial Theory, Department of Psychosocial Studies, Birkbeck
I joined Birkbeck as a faculty member in 2005, and have been involved in the development of Psychosocial Studies at Birkbeck ever since. My first degree was in Medical Science and Psychology, followed by a Master’s in Counselling and Psychotherapy, and a PhD in Psychology. Between 1995 and 2005 I trained as a psychodynamic counsellor, and worked in a range of mental health settings, thinking through the psychological ramifications of violence, abuse and poverty in the lives of women. During this time, I was also the Artistic Director of an experimental theatre collective known as PUR. Since taking up an academic position, my research is on gender and sexuality, motherhood and the maternal, feminist theory, psychoanalysis, and philosophies of ethics, affects, materiality, temporality and event.
My current research is on gender and temporality. I am interested in time that fails to unfold, and the place in contemporary culture of various forms of ‘stuck’ or suspended time that play out in relation to the more and more ‘qualified’ time of work. I am writing about temporal tropes such as waiting, staying, delay, maintenance and endurance in relation to a range of durational practices and social projects (psychoanalysis, mothering, care, incarceration, activism) in a bid to understand affective survival in late liberal conditions. A new monograph, Enduring Time, is published with Bloomsbury (2017).
I am joint PI on the Wellcome Trust Collaborative Award Waiting Times project.
Doctoral candidate, University of Exeter
I am a PhD candidate working on the relationship between time and care in contemporary end of life narratives, supervised by Professor Laura Salisbury.
Previous to this I completed my MA in Modern Literary Studies at Goldsmiths College, University of London. My MA dissertation considered posthuman visions of the body in twentieth century speculative fiction. As part of the ‘Mediterranean Imaginaries’ Erasmus program between Goldsmiths and the University of Malta, I also recently examined the aesthetics of ‘late style’ in J.M. Coetzee’s As a Woman Grows Older.
Dr Jocelyn Catty is a Child and Adolescent Psychoanalytic Psychotherapist and an Adult Psychotherapist. She is Research Lead for the Child and Adolescent Psychoanalytic Psychotherapy doctoral training at the Tavistock Centre, and also works in an Adolescent Team within a Child and Adolescent Mental Health Service (CAMHS) in South East London.
She was previously Senior Research Fellow in Mental Health at St. George’s, University of London, where she worked for ten years conducting research into services for adults with severe mental illness. She coordinated several large-scale studies there, including an international RCT about supported employment and a longitudinal study of continuity of care in mental health. She twice won the Tavistock Society of Psychotherapists’ Hamish Canham prize for papers on child psychotherapy (2014) and psychoanalytic work in schools (2010). She has a DPhil in English Literature, and her book, Writing Rape, Writing Women: Unbridled Speech (1999/2010), based on that work, is published with Palgrave.
She has particular research interests in the therapeutic alliance in psychotherapy and generic mental health care and in measuring complex interventions. She is a member of the Society for Psychotherapy Research, and of the Research Committee of the Association of Child Psychotherapists. She is also a Series Editor, with Margot Waddell and Kate Stratton, of the Tavistock Clinic Series (formerly with Karnac and now Routledge).
She is Senior Research Fellow on the Psychic Life of Time strand of the Waiting Times project.
Doctoral candidate, Birkbeck
I am a PhD candidate with Birkbeck, University of London, working on temporality and care in the community.
I have a professional background in mental health social work and human rights which I have pursued alongside an enduring academic interest in philosophy and communication.
I became interested in the connection between language and temporality as a postgraduate student of Rhetoric at the University of Central Lancashire. My dissertation was a study of how our everyday sense of worldly time can be altered and regulated using rhetorical devices.
More recently, I have enjoyed lecturing on social policy and advanced communication for undergraduate students in the School of Human and Social Sciences at the University of West London.
Michael J Flexer
Publicly Engaged Research Fellow, University of Exeter
I am the publicly engaged research fellow working on the Wellcome-funded ‘Waiting Times’ project led by Professor Laura Salisbury (Exeter) and Dr Lisa Baraitser (Birkbeck).
My PhD at University of Leeds was in the semiotics of ‘schizophrenia’ and was cross-supervised by Professor Stuart Murray in the School of English and Professor Allan House in the Institute of Health Sciences.
I worked on a post-doc project with Professor Brian Hurwitz at King’s College, London, analysing post-WWII published medical case reports, and we hope to publish a paper of our findings in 2018.
I have taught psycholinguistics at Sheffield Hallam University, drama and Shakespeare at University of Leeds and worked as Teaching Fellow at Imperial College, London on the BSc in Medical Sciences with Humanities, Philosophy and Law.
Research Fellow, University of Exeter
I am a Research Fellow at the Wellcome Centre for Cultures and Environments of Health at the University of Exeter. My research for the Waiting Times project concerns the historical construction and experience of waiting within the British health services since 1900.
Prior to my role on Waiting Times, I was an Associate Research Fellow in the Centre for Medical History (University of Exeter), working with Professor Mark Jackson on his Wellcome Trust-funded Senior Investigator Award “Lifestyle, health and disease: changing concepts of balance in modern medicine”. As part of the Balance team, I researched the ways in which the medical pursuit of physiological balance in twentieth-century diabetes care intersected with – and often ran contrary to – an overlapping array of social and cultural demands made on patients. Moreover, developing themes I sketched out in my PhD at the University of Warwick (2010-14), I explored how a seemingly holistic concept like balance became bureaucratised in modern medicine, examining the mechanisms and politics through which the practices and professionals involved in the maintenance of balance were increasingly subject to frameworks of management.
Many of these ideas will be central to my work on waiting. As health services changed over the twentieth century, clinicians, civil servants, politicians and the pubic increasingly cast time as economic object to be accounted for, and waiting as a problem to be managed through various temporal technologies. Waiting was also, however, a contested construction, a concept and experience with a varied set of meanings for patients and practitioners that changed over time and across context. By opening a space for the plurality of these histories, I hope to contribute to the project’s overarching question: what does it mean to wait “now”?
Queen Mary University
Martin is an artist and thinker whose work considers existence with a severe chronic illness within our contemporary situation.
Martin suffers from cystic fibrosis and his practice uses physical endurance, hardship and pain based practices to examine what it means to be born with a life shortening disease.
He is famous for long durational or pain based solo performances as well as his collaborations with the legendary body artist Sheree Rose. Martin has been commissioned and funded by the Live Art Development Agency, Arts Council England, Arts Catalyst, Midlands Art Centre, DaDaFest, Spill Festival of Performance, and the British Council.
He has presented work throughout Britain and Europe, Canada and the USA. He was artist in residence at ONE National Gay and Lesbian Archives, LA, in 2015. He curated the ground breaking symposium ‘Illness and the Enduring Body’ in 2012. The book Survival of the Sickest: the Art of Martin O’Brien was published in 2018 and documents his work through his own artist writings, photographs and critical essays by scholars.
Associate Professor (Reader), Contemporary Art, Plymouth
Dr Deborah Robinson is Associate Professor (Reader) in Contemporary Art Practice at the University of Plymouth, and an artist who collaborates with scientists, artists, biomedical experts and technologists in the making of experimental installation artwork using moving image and sound. Her artworks have explored data transposition, questions of agency (human/non human), disease and mental health. Her work is exhibited in the UK and internationally.
Wellcome Trust Fellow in Medical Humanities and Psychoanalyst
I joined the Department of Psychosocial Studies at Birkbeck in 2013, where I am Wellcome Trust Fellow in Medical Humanities. I am a psychoanalyst in private practice, an associate member of the Círculo Psicanalítico do Rio de Janeiro (CPRJ), and of the Instituto de Estudos da Complexidade (IEC), Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Between 2013 and 2016, I was Marie Curie Fellow in Sociology at the Department of Psychosocial Studies. In 2009/2010 I was a Fulbright Fellow at the Institute for Public Knowledge, New York University, US. I received my doctorate from University College London in 2011, with a thesis on the sociology of creativity.
My work situates itself at the intersection between psychoanalytic theory and social theory. In psychoanalytic theory, I am especially interested in on the themes of psychic fragmentation and psychic splitting. I am also interested in the thinking of Sándor Ferenczi, Michael Balint, and in the works of the Budapest School of Psychoanalysis. In social theory, I work on theories of recognition, and theories of collective trauma and collective creativity.
My recent monograph, Working-through Collective Wounds: Trauma, Recognition and Denial in the Brazilian Uprising (Palgrave, Studies in the Psychosocial Series, 2018) proposes a trauma theory and a theory of recognition that start from a psychoanalytic understanding of fragmented psyches and trace the social life of psychic fragments.
As a Fellow of the Waiting Times project, I work on the theme The Psychic Life of Time.