Susie Christensen

Susie Christensen


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Personal profile

Research interests

I am currently completing my thesis at King's College London which is entitled 'The Modernist Anti-Mental: Literary Life-Writing, Neurology and Medical Psychology, 1860-1939'. I am based in the English department and the Centre for the Humanities and Health. My work examines the intersections between neurology, literature and medical psychology in this period, with a focus on the ways which apparently non-mental states or aspects of selfhood became central concerns across these fields. The literary writers examined in depth in my thesis are D. H. Lawrence, H.D., Virginia Woolf and Anaïs Nin. The prominent medical figures include John Hughlings Jackson, Havelock Ellis, Otto Rank, Henry Head and W.H.R. Rivers.

My research interests are literary modernism, medical humanities, the histories of neurology and psychology in relation to literature and life-writing.

I also run the London Interdisciplinary Discussion Group, which held its most recent event at the Science Museum. For more details see:

I have published book reviews in the journal Literature and History and on the British Society for Literature and Science website and have written blog posts for The Centre for the Humanities and Health and the Arts and Humanities Festival at King's College London, as well as for History Workshop online.

Selected Conference Papers

  • Modernist Studies Association (August 2013): 'Looking inwards and finding  time in the neurology of Henry Head and the Diaries of Virginia Woolf.'
  • British Society for Literature and Science Conference (April 2013)and Alternative Modernisms Conference (May 2013): ''What a weathercock of sensibility I am!': Recording Sensations with Virginia Woolf and Henry Head'
  • A Narrative Future for Healthcare. Launch of the International Network of Narrative Medicine (June 2013): 'Diary Writing as Illness and as Therapy'.
  • I have also recently been an invited speaker at Arts and Humanities Discussion Group at St Anne's College, Oxford (November 2012) and at a KCL workshop on 'Illness Histories and Approaches' (December 2012).

Selected Teaching

  • 'Shocks of the New: Modernist Poetry and Prose'. I have taught a seminar group on this second year undergraduate English Literature course during Spring 2013. I also delivered a lecture on D. H. Lawrence's Women in Love as part of this course.
  • 'Medical Humanities MSc'. I have taught a session on 'Neurology and Literature' as part of this Master's course from 2011-2013
  • 'The Boundaries of Illness Summer School'. I have taught a class on 'Neurology and Literature' (which is different from the class of the same name I taught as part of the MSc) as part of this international summer school in 2011 an 2012.
  • 'Language in Time'.  I taught two seminar groups on this first year undergraduate course in English Literature during autumn 2011.
  • I am currently studying for the PGCAP in Higher Education, an academic teaching qualification. On completion of which I will become a fellow of the Higher Education Academy.



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