History of medicine/Refugee studies:
The medical history of the refugee camp
Project description: This project will explore three main themes in the history of the refugee camp: the use of camps as a medical technology; refugee camps as a site of medical risk for those inhabiting them; and the camp as a ‘medicalizing’ technology.
Populations displaced by conflict, persecution, or natural disaster are often seen as being medically at risk, and as posing a medical risk to the host society. Refugee camps have been run in ways that aim, or claim, to reduce those risks: that is, the refugee camp has been a medical technology. By excluding and isolating refugees, it has aimed to protect the host society; by imposing sanitary and medical regimes, it has aimed to protect refugees from disease. But in many cases, camps have created medical risks for those inhabiting them. They have also been a medicalizing technology, serving to reduce complex political and diplomatic problems (how to integrate, repatriate, or resettle displaced populations) to a medical problem, requiring a technical solution rather than a political or diplomatic one.
Supervised by Dr Benjamin Thomas White (History), Prof Graham Watt (Primary Care and General Practice), and Prof Malcolm Nicolson (History of Medicine), the project will also involve a collaboration with the policy development and evaluation service of UNHCR, the UN refugee agency, based in Geneva.
Person specification: The successful applicant should have a first class/high 2:1 at undergraduate level, and have attained, or expect to attain, a distinction or high merit at Masters level. Their qualifications should be in a relevant discipline or disciplines, such as: history and/or history of medicine; public health or biomedical sciences, ideally with a record of interest in medical humanities; forced migration or area studies. Relevant work experience would be an advantage, but is not essential.
The successful applicant will clearly articulate their vision for the project and relate it to their previous experience. In dialogue with the supervision team, they will have wide scope to shape the research project according to their own interests and expertise—for example, by choosing the region and period of specialization and their own preferred methodological approaches. They will also have the opportunity to develop new subject and methodological expertise in the course of this four-year studentship, drawing on training available across several disciplines (for example, modules on the masters programmes in history, global public health, or history of medicine).
Application details: Potential applicants are invited to contact the lead supervisor, Dr Benjamin Thomas White, to discuss the project: firstname.lastname@example.org
Applicants may submit applications up until the application deadline of Friday 22 January 2016.