Congratulations to Part Time PhD Student Peter Simcock for his appointment as Senior Lecturer in Social Work at Birmingham City University!

Part Time PhD Student Peter Simcock has recently been appointed as Senior Lecturer in Social Work at Birmingham City University.  Peter will start in this new role in January 2018 and is looking forward to the position after working for eight years at Staffordshire University.  Peter’s PhD research is exploring the lived experiences of older deafblind people.  He is therefore delighted to be working for Birmingham City University’s Social Work Department, which offers both Social Work Programmes and the course in Rehabilitation for Visual Impairment, with a top up year relating to complex needs associated with conditions including deafblindness.  The timing of this new post also coincides with Sense, the National Charity for Deafblind people, opening a new centre in Birmingham; Peter’s research has been supported by Sense, so he is excited by the possibility of further collaborative projects.


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GHSM student Meryem Cicek is Prize Winner for the Best Overall Submission for the King’s Experience Research Award


GHSM undergraduate student Meryem Cicek

GHSM congratulates our undergraduate student Meryem Cicek for her success winning the Prize for the Best Overall Submission for the King’s Experience Research Award! We hope that her experience (outlined below) will inspire other students to gain extra curricula work experience during their studies through the King’s Undergraduate Research Fellowships (KURF), internships or volunteering.

The following entry has been written by Meryem Cicek

I feel immensely excited and proud to have been awarded Prize Winner for the Best Overall Submission for the King’s Experience Research Award! I would like to share my experience in the hopes of inspiring and encouraging fellow peers and Departmental staff to further participate and foster the wonderful research culture in our Department!

What is the King’s Experience Research Award?

The King’s Experience Research Award is one of many King’s Experience Awards that are on offer for students to achieve. They are given for learning that is undertaken outside the formal curriculum, which can be based on experiential learning or undertaking additional learning. The awards require applicants to demonstrate experiential learning through supported reflection and to submit an assessment of their choice. The King’s Experience Awards are recognised and rewarded by the University and are displayed on degree transcripts as co-curricular achievements. The Research Award is awarded to students who show outstanding ability to present learning outcomes and reflect on research work. This can be achieved through independent research work or the King’s Undergraduate Research Fellowships (KURF) scheme, which gives undergraduate students the unique opportunity to learn and be involved in contributing to cutting-edge research alongside leading academics during the summer.

I enrolled onto the Awards through the KURF scheme, by applying and being accepted onto working on a research project with Dr Hanna Kienzler from the Global Health and Social Medicine Department, in the summer of 2017. I took on the role of Undergraduate Research Assistant for the research project ‘Support and Independence within the Community’. This study is an ethnographic study of the mental health landscapes in the West Bank of occupied Palestinian territories (oPt), Ghana, and England. As well as investigating the available mental healthcare infrastructure and community-based support services, this research aims to understand the socio-cultural and political factors that affect the way in which mental health is understood and how it is dealt with in different community settings. The project also explores the rights of persons with mental health from a social justice and legal perspective. It is part of larger 5-year interdisciplinary research initiative funded by the Wellcome Trust called ‘Mental Health and Justice’, which, broadly-speaking, explores the concept of ‘decision-making capacity’ of persons with mental health disorders from different disciplinary perspectives.

My fellowship entailed working on the research component for the West Bank of Palestine for one month in the summer. I had an enriching learning experience that was task-packed and novel for me in some respects; I was given the opportunity to hone my existing skills and to develop new ones in the process. Working with the support of Dr Kienzler, I produced a dynamic directory that maps all available ‘Mental Health and Psychosocial Support’ (MHPSS) service providers available in the West Bank. Upon collaborating with Dr Kienzler and our research team, I designed a comprehensive survey tool for assisting data collection through telephone interviews with participants. Additionally, I presented an effective project management tool to the research team, for which I produced a user guide and supported fellow colleagues with adapting the tool for optimal use. Furthermore, I attended research team meetings with colleagues from both our project and from the larger research initiative, which provided valuable insight into the workings of an interdisciplinary project.

It was an enriching experience working in a multidisciplinary team, and being part of a research project with an interdisciplinary focus. The most valuable aspect of this fellowship to me is that I now have experience in an area of my undergraduate studies, BSc Global Health and Social Medicine. As I am in the final year of my degree, and considering future career paths, this fellowship experience has shown academic research as a potential route for me. At present, I continue to contribute to this research study as Research Assistant.

Finally, I would like to acknowledge and thank my supervisor Dr Hanna Kienzler for her support, guidance, and confidence in my abilities, throughout the fellowship period and beyond. I would also like to celebrate the fantastic opportunity that the organisers of the King’s Undergraduate Research Fellowships have provided. I couldn’t recommend undertaking the Research Award, or any of the other King’s Experience Awards enough! It is a unique opportunity to contribute to current academic research and knowledge production, while gaining valuable work experience – a fantastic way to enhance learning and employability. Indeed, this has been a very enriching personal and professional development journey for me!

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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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