New research project on humanitarian research ethics

Dr Annette Rid, Reader in Bioethics & Society at GHSM, was awarded a £9,500 grant from the Faculty of Social Science & Public Policy Research Fund to work on the project “How should humanitarian principles shape the conduct of health research during humanitarian emergencies? A pilot study”. Continue reading

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Medical London; The Migration Museum

Global Health & Social Medicine students from King’s College London were lucky enough this term to get the opportunity to go on a tour of the Migration Museum Project as the first part on a series of ‘Medical London Excursions’, run by GHSM (open to staff as well as students), and aims to encourage attendees to explore the rich and unique medical and global health history of London through visits to places of interest – and, of course, to get to know each another along the way! Continue reading

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POSTPONED: GHSM Seminar Wednesday 6 December with Prof. Nikolas Rose and Prof. Tony Bennett: “Habit, the (in)attentive body and the governance of conduct”

*Unfortunately, due to unforeseen circumstances, this seminar has been postponed.*

When: Wednesday 6th December from 13:00-15.00

Where:Room K0.20, King’s Building, Strand Campus, King’s College London

This seminar engages with the increasing attention to the notion of ‘habit’ in the social science literature (see below) and draws on work for an Australian Research Council grant on which Bennett and Rose are collaborating, which examines how habits have been conceived in modern Western disciplines, and how these conceptions have informed the techniques of mundane governance through which habits have been managed. It will focus on the governance of ‘city habits’ from the late 19th century to the present.


Prof Tony Bennett

In this seminar, Tony Bennett will present a paper on habit (see abstract below) and Nikolas Rose will discuss this with him, focussing on the question of how habits have been conceived of and utilised within strategies for the government of conduct.


 Tony Bennett is Research Professor in Social and Cultural Theory in the Institute for Culture and Society at the University of Western Sydney.  He is a member of the Australian Academy of the Humanities and of the Academy of the Social Sciences in the UK. His main books include Formalism and Marxism (1979), Bond and Beyond: The Political Career of a Popular Hero (1987, with Janet Woollacott),Outside Literature (1991), The Birth of the Museum (1995), Culture: A Reformer’s Science (1998), Pasts Beyond Memory: Evolution, Museums, Colonialism (2004), Making  Culture, Changing Society (2013), and Museums, Power, Knowledge (2018)..   He is also lead co-author of Accounting for Tastes: Australian Everyday Cultures (1999),Culture, Class, Distinction (2009) and Collecting, Organising, Governing: Anthropology, Museums and Liberal Government (2017).



Prof Nikolas Rose

Nikolas Rose is Professor of Sociology in the Department of Global Health and Social Medicine at Kings College London which he founded in 2012.   He is a social and political theorist, with a particular focus on questions of political power, mental health, psychiatry and neuroscience.  His most recent books include The Politics of Life Itself : Biomedicine, Power, and Subjectivity in the Twenty-First Century(2007); Governing The Present (with Peter Miller, 2008) and Neuro: The New Brain Sciences and the Management of the Mind (with Joelle Abi-Rached, 2013).  His current work seeks to develop new relations between the social sciences and the life sciences, partly through  research on mental health, migration and megacities: his forthcoming book The Urban Brain: Living in the Neurosocial City (with Des Fitzgerald) will be published by Princeton University Press in 2018.  His long overdue book on Our Psychiatric Future? will be published by Polity Press in 2018.


 Recent papers on habit

Bennett Tony (2013) Habit: Time, freedom and governance. Body & Society, 19(2–3): 107–135.

Blackman Lisa (2013) Habit and affect: Revitalizing a forgotten history. Body & Society, 19(2–3): 186–216.

Pedwell, Carolyn Transforming Habit: Revolution, Routine and Social Change.Cultural Studies, 2017. 31(1): p. 93-120


Habit, the (in)attentive body and the governance of conduct

Tony Bennett


Abstract: In his account of late-nineteenth century discourses of attention, Jonathan Crary traces the development of a concern to locate attentiveness in the embodied perceptual and physiological make up of persons to the work of Francois-Pierre Maine de Biran.  Biran also wrote what has proved to be a significant text for the subsequent development of discourses about habit:  The Influence of Habit on the Faculty of Thinking.  Its influence, however, ran along two different paths.  One, drawing on Biran’s conception of an ‘incarnated soul’ to break with earlier conceptions of mind as an inner space for reflection, redefined the relations between attention and subjectivity as the effects of active bodily processes.  This led to a range of late-nineteenth century scientific discourses in which habit and attention were related to interconnecting psychological and physiological conceptions of personhood.  A second path leads through Felix Ravaisson whose Of Habit has informed revisions of more philosophical traditions of reflection on habit. These two paths overlap:  they are brought into contact with each other in the work of Henri Bergson, John Dewey and William James, albeit in different ways.  This seminar will address the issues at stake in these intersections regarding their implications for how habit, has been conceived as governable in variable ways through the place accorded it within historical mutable architectures of personhood.  

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November 30th 6:15 pm: an event hosted by KCL Global Health Society on ‘The History of Eugenics – From Then Till Now’ with Giulia Cavaliere

When: Thursday November 30th, from 6:15 to 8 pm

Where: Function Room HRB, Henriette Raphael Building, King’s College London Guy’s Campus

Eugenics has become somewhat of a dirty word due to its close ties with the Nazism in the 20th century. However how has this movement affected the lives of others throughout time? Inspired by Disability History Month, which takes place from 22nd November – 22nd December, the KCL Global Health Society have invited one of our department’s own PhD students, Giulia Cavaliere, to delve into this topic.

We hope to not only unearth this dark history of medicine and the capacity it had to intervene on disabled people’s lives but likewise to explore the bioethical issues of contemporary reproductive technologies. If you are looking for a truly interdisciplinary event, weaving between bioethics, history, science and philosophy, then add this date to your calendar!

About the speaker:


Giulia Cavaliere

Giulia Cavaliere is currently carrying out a Wellcome Trust sponsored project titled “Preimplantation genetic diagnosis and eugenics: a social moral epistemology approach” here at King’s and holds an MSc in Bioethics AND an MA in Philosophy, Ethics and Politics, all on top of her BA in Philosophy. She is looking forward to there being tons of time for discussion after her talk so come prepared to get involved and ask questions!


The event is free but you need to register. Tickets are available here:

If you want to know more about Giulia’s research and publications click here.

You can also follow Giulia on twitter: @giuli_cavaliere

About KCL Global Health Society:

In the Autumn of 2015, a handful of students from the new undergraduate course in Global Health and Social Medicine put their heads together and came up with the idea of society built around ideas from their course. Convinced that health was more than a medical matter, they imagined a society in which students from schools across King’s could come together, at thought-provoking events and with fantastic networking opportunities, to begin a discourse built on their collective experience and expertise. Their dream was, and is, that every student at King’s might understand that they have a role to play in building a healthier world – and have a chance to get involved in just that!

The society exists to raise awareness of the concept, goals and initiatives of Global Health, and to encourage an interdisciplinary approach to building a healthier world. We seek to facilitate a broad and accessible discussion between students and academic professionals from areas such as medicine, social science, geography and anthropology, spanning a huge range of subjects such as gender, ecology, security, mental health, bioethics, biopolitics and globalisation. To achieve this, KCLGHS hosts a number of events throughout the year.

To know more about the KCLGHS events, or if you are interested in joining, click here.

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Report of Culture Medicine & Power Autumn Writing Workshop

23960855_10155955163471974_1689209244_o.jpgThe Culture Medicine & Power research group held its annual Autumn Writing Workshop on 24 November. We discussed work in progress focusing on exciting and thought provoking topics including interdisciplinary explorations of the wellbeing concept; human rights and moral complexities within community mental health in Ghana; ethnographic approaches to the experiential trajectories of Afro-Caribbean young migrants in Chile; and that in relation to remembering and imagining among Somalis in London. CMPThrough constructive and creative work we derived at new concepts, explored various literatures, and built bridges between our academic interests. It will be exciting to see the shared works flourish in forms of dissertations, publications and presentations.

You can read more about the CMP’s activities here:

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