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Staff profiles

Dr Michael Flexer

Postdoctoral Research Fellow

I am the publicly engaged research fellow working on the Wellcome-funded 'Waiting Times' project led by Professor Laura Salisbury (Exeter) and Dr Lisa Baraitser (Birkbeck).

My PhD at University of Leeds was in the semiotics of 'schizophrenia' and was cross-supervised by Professor Stuart Murray in the School of English and Professor Allan House in the Institute of Health Sciences.

I worked on a post-doc project with Professor Brian Hurwitz at King's College, London, analysing post-WWII published medical case reports, and we hope to publish a paper of our findings in 2018.

I have taught psycholinguistics at Sheffield Hallam University, drama and Shakespeare at University of Leeds and worked as Teaching Fellow at Imperial College, London on the BSc in Medical Sciences with Humanities, Philosophy and Law.

Research interests

My research interests are: semiotics, structuralism and post-structuralism; medical semiotics; illness narratives; film and psychosis; literature and mental health; critical history of medicine and psychiatry; the politics of mental health care, including decarceration; the medical case report; contemporary European drama.

I am currently working on the Waiting Times project, funded by the Wellcome Trust and led by Laura Salisbury (Exeter) and Lisa Baraitser (Birkbeck).

Other information

Teaching experience

I taught Drama and Theatre Studies A-Level at Barnet FE College from 2006-2010.  At University of Leeds, I taught the first year drama module and the second year Shakespeare module.

For two years, I taught psycholinguistics at Sheffield Hallam University, and supervised student dissertations. 

At Imperial, I taught on a range of medical humanities topics including: anatomy and the history of the human body; critical histories of medicine; the history of psychiatry and neurology; politics and anti-psychiatry; cultural representations of mental health; medicalisation of death; medical semiotics.

Teaching approach

I believe in creating a lively discursive classroom environment, teaching and learning dialectically with the students.  I often incorporate drama techniques, with role plays, improvisations and mini-plays, and enjoy stimulating debate and dissent.  I am a committed educationalist, having taught in secondary schools and tertiary education and serving as a primary school governor for five years.

Teaching

Teaching experience

I taught Drama and Theatre Studies A-Level at Barnet FE College from 2006-2010.  At University of Leeds, I taught the first year drama module and the second year Shakespeare module.

For two years, I taught psycholinguistics at Sheffield Hallam University, and supervised student dissertations. 

At Imperial, I taught on a range of medical humanities topics including: anatomy and the history of the human body; critical histories of medicine; the history of psychiatry and neurology; politics and anti-psychiatry; cultural representations of mental health; medicalisation of death; medical semiotics.

Teaching approach

I believe in creating a lively discursive classroom environment, teaching and learning dialectically with the students.  I often incorporate drama techniques, with role plays, improvisations and mini-plays, and enjoy stimulating debate and dissent.  I am a committed educationalist, having taught in secondary schools and tertiary education and serving as a primary school governor for five years.

Biography

I studied for BA at St. Hugh's College, Oxford and then completed an MA in Advanced Theatre Practice at Central School of Speech and Drama.

After working for nearly 10 years as a dramatist with my own small theatre company, and as a practicising semiotician, I returned to academia in 2010.  I studied for my MSc in Medical Humanities at King's College, London and was awarded the inaugural medical humanities PhD studentship at the University of Leeds Centre for Medical Humanities in 2012.  

My PhD was an interdisciplinary piece of research into representations (cultural, medical and testimonial) of psychosis.  I was cross-supervised by Professor Stuart Murray in the School of English and Professor Allan House in the Institute of Health Sciences.

In 2016, I completed a post-doc at King's College, London with Professor Brian Hurwitz and prior to my appointment at Exeter, I worked as a Teaching Fellow at Imperial College, London, designing their new BSc in Medical Sciences with Humanities, Philosophy and Law.