Dr Gavin Miller

  • Senior Lecturer in Medical Humanities (English Literature)
  • Associate (Institute of Health & Wellbeing)

Research interests

Office Telephone: 0141 330 2435

Research interests

  • Medical humanities
  • Literary theory
  • Contemporary fiction
  • Science fiction
  • Scottish literature
  • History and theory of psychiatry and psychoanalysis
  • Psychotherapy and theology/religious studies


I am Senior Lecturer in English Literature and Medical Humanities in the School of Critical Studies, University of Glasgow, where I direct the Medical Humanities Research Centre, with Dr Megan Coyer as my Deputy.

I am a graduate of Edinburgh University, where I took my MA Hons and PhD. Prior to joining the University of Glasgow in 2011, I worked at Edinburgh University and Manchester Metropolitan University. I have mainly worked in literature departments, but was from 2010-11 employed within the School of Divinity, University of Edinburgh, as part of the Theology and Therapy Project, where I investigated the overlap of psychotherapy, Christianity, and spirituality in post-war Scotland and England.

I welcome enquiries from potential postgraduate and postdoctoral scholars interested in pursuing their research under my supervision and mentorship.

I specialise in the medical humanities - those areas of the humanities that complement, contextualise and critique biomedical accounts of human nature, health and well-being. My research in this area has included:

Science Fiction and the Medical Humanities

Other Psychotherapies: across time, space, and cultures

I was also recently a Network Member of the AHRC-funded project HAIVAIRN: Healthcare Associated Infection Visualisation and Ideation Network: http://visionon.org/haivairn

I am a founding and steering group member of the Wellcome Trust funded Northern Network for Medical Humanities http://nnmh.org.uk/ and I was also a steering group member of the Wellcome Trust and AHRC funded New Generations ECR Programme in medical humanities

My medical humanities research also extends to critical history of psychiatry, to global and cultural mental health, as well as to the overlap between book history and history of the "psy disciplines".

My literary interests are in science fiction, critical and cultural theory, contemporary literature, public intellectuals, and Scottish Literature.

I am currently completing two monographs: Science Fiction and Psychology (for Liverpool University Press’s Science Fiction Texts and Contexts series) and Miracles of Healing: Psychotherapy and Religion in Twentieth-Century Scotland (for the Edinburgh University Press series Scottish Religious Cultures).

I have externally examined PhDs in contemporary and modern literature, and medical humanities, for University of Aberdeen, University of Bristol, Monash University and University of Stirling.

I have peer-reviewed for a wide range of journals, including: Clinical Psychology and Psychotherapy, Études écossaises, International Review of Scottish Studies, Journal of Social History, Practical Theology, History of Psychology, The Psychiatrist, Scottish Historical Review, Mosaic: a journal for the interdisciplinary study of literature, Scottish Literary Review, Literature and Medicine, Journal of Contemporary Religion, Social History of Medicine, British Journal of Guidance & Counselling, Medical Humanities, Modernism/modernity, Journal of Spirituality in Mental Health, Journal of the Royal College of Physicians of Edinburgh, Ethics and Social Welfare, Transcultural Psychiatry, Text: Journal of Writing and Writing Courses, Griffith Journal of Law and Human Dignity, Psychoanalysis and History and Review of General Psychology.

I have peer-reviewed monographs and related items for various publishers, including Routledge, Peter Lang, Palgrave MacMillan, Bloomsbury, and UCL Press.

I am an Associate Editor for the journal Palgrave Communications, a member of the Peer-Review Committee for Études écossaises, and an Editorial Board member for the Peter Lang series Medical Humanities Criticism and Creativity.

I am a member of the AHRC Peer Review College, as well as the Wellcome Trust Humanities and Social Science Reviewer Pool, and I am also a Carnegie Trust Research Assessor. I have also reviewed for the ESRC and for Leverhulme Trust.

Because of my interest in the history of Scottish psychotherapy, I have also had the pleasure of being for some years a Co-director of the Sutherland Trust http://www.sutherlandtrust.org.uk/, a registered independent charity (Scottish Charity Number SC22013) promoting the study of human relations in Education, Social Services, and Health Care. 2007 – present


List by: Type | Date


Wellcome Trust Humanities and Social Science Small Grant. "Glasgow Medical Humanities Network". January 2019-December 2021. £50 083. Principal Investigator.

British Academy Small Research Grant. "Penguins on the Couch: Penguin publishing on psychoanalysis and psychotherapy c.1935-1990". April 2017 - September 2018. £3 460. Principal Investigator.

Wellcome Trust Medical Humanities Small Grant. “Other Psychotherapies – Across Time, Space and Cultures”. March 2016 – August 2017. £5 000. Principal Investigator.

Wellcome Trust Medical Humanities Seed Award. "Science Fiction and the Medical Humanities". July 2015 - June 2016. £39 614. Principal Investigator

Wellcome Trust Medical Humanities Small Grant. "David Stafford-Clark (1916-1999): Portrait of a Media Psychiatrist". £2 208. Principal Investigator.

Royal Society of Edinburgh Arts & Humanities Small Grants. “DSM-5 and the Future of Psychiatric Diagnosis: Perspectives from Medical Humanities”. July 2014. £668. Principal Investigator.

Carnegie Trust Research Grant. “Psychiatry in the book market: writing on psychiatry and mental health for Penguin (1945-1985)”. July 2013. £551. Principal Investigator.

Royal Society of Edinburgh Research Workshop Award. “Scottish Health Humanities Seminar and Masterclass Series”. March 2013 – February 2014. £4 150. Principal Investigator.

Wellcome Trust Medical History and Humanities Small Grant. ‘"Attentive Writers": Healthcare, Authorship, and Authority'. August 2013. £5 000. Co-Investigator.

AHRC Science in Culture theme Exploratory Award. “Debating the First Principles of Transcultural Psychiatry”. February 2012 – August 2012. £8 500. Principal Investigator.

Royal Society of Edinburgh Research Network Award. “Medical Humanities Research Network Scotland”. April 2011 – March 2013. £9 623. Co-Investigator with Dr David Shuttleton, English Literature, University of Glasgow.

University of Edinburgh Dean’s Fund (College of Humanities and Social Science). “Edinburgh University Medical Humanities Research Network”. January 2011. £750

Wellcome Trust Medical History and Humanities Fellowship. “R.D. Laing: the Medical Doctor as Public Intellectual (1960-1987)”. £168 292. [declined]

AHRC Religion and Society programme Large Grant. “Understanding the Encounter between Christianity, Psychotherapy and Spirituality in Scotland (1945-2000) in Theory and Practice”. Jan 2010 – December 2011. £251 000 [as named R.A. developing bid]

Leverhulme Trust Early Career Fellowship. “Scottish Psychoanalytic Psychiatry 1880-1990”. Jan 2006 – December 2007. £43 086 + matching funding from host institution. Principal Investigator.

Institute for Advanced Study in the Humanities, University of Edinburgh. Postdoctoral Fellowship. October 2004 - September 2005. £5 000


I welcome enquiries regarding postgraduate research supervision in the medical humanities in relation to literature, history of the "psy disciplines", and religious studies. I also welcome postgraduate research enquiries in English Literature relating to contemporary fiction, science fiction, Scottish literature, and literary theory. Please feel free to email. Interdisciplinary projects are very welcome.

I currently supervise or co-supervise research postgraduates working on a wide variety of topics, including:

  • Existentialism and Posthumanism
  • Masochism in European Literature (with German)
  • Representations of stigmatized health conditions in Scottish fiction 1979-present
  • Epic Poetry and Terraforming (with Creative Writing)
  • Cicely Saunders and the narrative legacy of 'total pain' (with Interdisciplinary Studies)
  • the writings and reception of Sir Ronald Ross (1857-1932), physician, malariologist, writer and polymath
  • psychoanalysis and the philosophy of love (with Theology and Religious Studies)
  • the prophetic tradition in Science Fiction

Past PhD topics that I have supervised or co-supervised include:

  • Scottish and Irish archipelagic writing (with Interdisciplinary Studies)
  • the work of T. Ferguson Rodger, former Professor of Psychological Medicine at Glasgow University (with Geographical and Earth Sciences)
  • the mental health service user movement in Scotland (with Economic and Social History)
  • literature of the Vietnam War
  • Holocaust literature


I am Learning and Teaching Convener for English Literature. I convene the Senior Honours option Science Fiction ENGLIT4062, and co-teach on the Senior Honours option Literature and Medicine ENGLIT4059. I also convene the MLitt Option The Bleeding Edge: Contemporary Narratives Of Illness And Medicine ENGLIT5104, I also founded Glasgow's intercalated medical humanities degree, the BSc Med Sci (Hons) in Medical Humanities.