Joseph Wood

I am a member of the Glasgow End of Life Studies Group and the Glasgow Medical Humanities Network.

My research is supported by an Arts and Humanities Research Council Studentship through the Scottish Graduate School of Arts and Humanities.

Research Interests

  • History of the hospice movement
  • Cicely Saunders
  • Medical Humanities
  • Narrative at the end of life


University of Glasgow, Rutherford/McCowan Building, Crichton University Campus, Dumfries DG1 4ZL, Scotland

Thesis Title

Cicely Saunders and the Narrative Legacies of ‘Total Pain’


My project investigates the non-clinical theoretical heritage of Cicely Saunders, the so-called founder of the modern hospice movement. Saunders was at the forefront of using narrative in a healthcare setting and frequently used literary, philosophical and theological texts alongside patient narratives in her published works.

My research particularly focuses on investigating the sources cited by Saunders and using them to contextualise her concept of 'total pain', a concept key to Saunders’ thinking that is often underexplored and sometimes misunderstood.


I have a BA English Literature (Durham, First Class, 2012) and secured a Wellcome Trust Masters Studentship for an MSc in Medical Humanities (King’s College London, Distinction, 2016).