This issue of 19, guest edited by Louise Hide, Joanna Bourke, and Carmen Mangion, examines the meaning of pain - for sufferers, physicians, and other witnesses - in the nineteenth century. Articles by social and cultural historians, and by literary scholars, discuss the implications of shifting discourses in personal narratives, in religious communities, and in philosophical, medical, and psychiatric texts. Analysing language in the diverse theories of the period, this issue extends and deepens our understanding of the complex interaction between the body, mind, and culture in order to gain insight into the ever-changing subjective experience of pain.
The Birkbeck Pain Project examines narratives of bodily pain produced from the mid-eighteenth century to the present day. Funded by the Wellcome Trust, the three-year project, led by Professor Joanna Bourke, is based at the Department of History, Classics, and Archaeology.