Oral histories in Dentistry: An update

An update on the project run in the Dentistry School by Barry Gibson, Jan Owens, Michelle Winslow, and Adrian Jowett.

Since receiving funding for the oral histories in dentistry project we have approached students about to go on outreach this year. Our initial contact with the students introduced the project as a pilot project designed to prepare the way to embed oral histories into the undergraduate dental curriculum in order for them to gain deeper insight into the diversity in people’s lives. We explained how outreach enabled them to come into contact with patients from a wide variety of backgrounds from across South Yorkshire and beyond and that we wanted to use that experience to enhance their own learning and those of their peers in the future. As a result a total of nineteen students expressed an interest in taking part which was very encouraging. Continue reading


Listening voices and telling stories

The initial phase of ‘Listening Voices and Telling Stories’, detailed in Storying Sheffield, won funding from Engaged Curriculum to run a new project in collaboration with St Mary’s Community Centre in Sheffield and a group of women from different ethnic backgrounds (Syria, Iraq, Hong Kong, Kurdistan, Iran, Pakistan, Romania and Ireland).

The project had three aims:

  • to explore an epistemological space between English as a discipline and the narratives of displaced and interrupted identities. By inhabiting such a space, the project tried to offer a creative/poetic engagement with such narratives that fall into a grey area between settled communities and the main culture
  • to investigate a pedagogy of ‘safe space’ that takes into consideration the individual’s self-perception of ‘vulnerability’ and ‘safety’, and see if such perceptions are in conflict with dominant conceptualizations of ‘vulnerable participants’ implied by ethical regulations
  • to shift the gaze of the ‘engagement’ towards the university and English literature curriculum by suggesting a teaching pack for the school of English which could defy borders between English as a ‘white middle-class subject’ and the knowledge produced by unacknowledged ‘communities’ in the city. Such an inclusive curriculum could enable students to rethink the transformative role of literature and critical theories through dialogical encounters with concrete ‘others’ in non-academic everyday settings.

Continue reading

Oral Histories in Dentistry

Dr Barry Gibson, Reader in Medical Sociology, shares an update on his project’s progress.

Dental students undertake part of their training in real world dental surgeries across Derbyshire and Yorkshire. This involves treating patients from a diverse range of backgrounds. What we want to do in our project is to pilot and then embed within the dental curriculum the ability of students to undertake oral history from their patients. Oral history is the recording of unique experience, it captures voices and individuals are involved in the process of producing their own life histories. Our goal is to eventually develop an archive which can subsequently be used as a resource for research and teaching on inequalities and the social determinants of health in the School of Clinical Dentistry. Continue reading

Engaging People with Communication Impairment in the Engaged Curriculum

We find out more about this project within Human Communication Sciences, lead by Dr Judy Clegg, Dr Catherine Tattersall and Kim Turner.

This project is creating a unique student led online learning resource to enable speech and language therapy students to develop the attitudes and values needed in the healthcare workforce, highlighted as key priorities for the NHS in the wake of the Francis Inquiry (examining the failings in care at the Mid Staffordshire NHS Trust between 2005-2009). Continue reading