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Paul Crawford

Professor of Health Humanities, Faculty of Medicine & Health Sciences



Paul Crawford is Professor of Health Humanities at the School of Health Sciences, Director of the Centre for Social Futures at the Institute of Mental Health, and Co-Director of Nottingham Health Humanities Research Priority Area, University of Nottingham, UK. He is also Adjunct Professor at NTNU, Norway.

He is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts (FRSA) and Fellow of the Academy of Social Sciences (FAcSS). In 2008 he was awarded a Lord Dearing Award for Excellence in Teaching and Learning.

As the founding father of the new, global and rapidly developing field of health humanities, Professor Crawford leads various research in applying the arts and humanities to inform and transform healthcare, health and wellbeing. He is currently Principal Investigator for three projects funded by the Arts Humanities Research Council: Creative Practice as Mutual Recovery: Connecting Communities for Mental Health and Wellbeing (£1,203,198), Florence Nightingale Comes Home for 2020 (£677,065) and the Dementia Arts and Wellbeing Network (£24,215). He has held several visiting professor or advisory board appointments in the UK and overseas. He co-founded the Health Language Research Group at the University of Nottingham, bringing together academics and clinicians to advance communication research in health care settings and is Principal Investigator for both the AHRC-funded Madness and Literature Network ( and International Health Humanities Network ( He also leads the International Health Humanities Conference series.

Professor Crawford serves on the editorial boards of Journal of Medical Humanities, Communication & Medicine and Applied Arts in Health and acts as a referee for several prominent publishing houses and major journals.

Professor Crawford has attracted prestigious funding from AHRC, AHRC/RCUK, ESRC, The Leverhulme Trust and The British Academy. He has written over 100 publications including peer-reviewed papers or chapters and books such as: Communicating Care (1998), Politics and History in William Golding (2003), Evidence Based Research (2003), Storytelling in Therapy (2004), Evidence Based Health Communication (2006), Communication in Clinical Settings (2006), Madness in Post-1945 British and American Fiction (2010), and Health Humanities (2010). Evidence Based Research won a Highly Commended Award in the British Medical Association (BMA) Book Awards in 2004. He is currently lead editor for Companion for Health Humanities (Routledge, forthcoming). Crawford's novel about mental illness, Nothing Purple, Nothing Black (2002) won critical acclaim.

Professor Crawford has also written articles and letters for national and regional newspapers and appeared on BBC Radio 4 (Today Programme, Woman's Hour), Radio 2 (Johnnie Walker), 5 Live (Simon Mayo) and various regional shows.

Expertise Summary

Social and Cultural Perspectives on Mental health (acute, primary, community)

Health Humanities, including:

Language and communication in healthcare (Corpus Linguistics, Critical Discourse Analysis, Discourse Analysis)

Literature and narrative in healthcare (literary analysis, literary theory, cultural studies)

Teaching Summary

  • Mental Health
  • Health humanities
  • Health language and communication
  • Philosophy of research
  • Qualitative research methods
  • Evidence-based practice

Research Summary

My research focuses on applying knowledge from the social sciences, humanities and arts disciplines to the development and practice of mental health, health and well-being.

  • Social and cultural perspectives in mental health Health humanities
  • Language, narratives and communication in mental health and healthcare generally
  • Mental health in community and primary care settings
  • Director, Creative Practice as Mutual Recovery: Connecting Communities for Mental Health and Well-Being (£1.5m large programme grant, Connected Communities, AHRC/RCUK)
  • Director, Nottingham Health Humanities (in association with CAS)

Other responsibilities

  • Co-Founder and Consulting Professor, Research and Education Centre, Derbyshire Healthcare Foundation Trust
  • Co-Founder and Lead, Madness and Literature Network: (AHRC)
  • Co-Founder and Lead, International Health Humanities Network: (AHRC)
  • Academic Lead, Managed Innovation Network in Mental Health Communication, Institute of Mental Health

School of Health Sciences

B Floor, South Block Link
Queen's Medical Centre
Nottingham, NG7 2HA

telephone: +44 (0)115 74 86500