Nyligen besökte Humtank Copenhagen Centre for Health Research in the Humanities (CoRe) vid Köpenhamns universitet, där vi träffade centrets ledare Astrid Pernille Jespersen och forskningskoordinator Mads Torbenfeldt Christoffersen. Medan humaniora generellt i Danmark drabbats hårt av nedskärningar har detta forskningscenter, som samlar humanistisk forskning om hälsa i en tvärvetenskaplig miljö, en positiv utveckling med stora forskningsanslag och omfattande samarbeten med samhällsaktörer. Vi ställde tre korta frågor till Astrid Pernille Jespersen, som i botten är etnolog, om CoRe:s verksamhet.
1. What is CoRe?
CoRe is a research centre at the University of Copenhagen, that studies the culture-analytical and historical aspects of health- and illness-related issues from an everyday-life perspective. The centre houses 15 researchers who work on a variety of mostly interdisciplinary projects with a focus on lifestyle and interventions. Among the major research topics are: ageing and the life-course, food, diet and eating, obesity/fatness, historical demography, and the history of psychiatry. CoRe is funded almost exclusively by external and project funding.
2. Why have you chosen to focus on the medical humanities?
The researchers at CoRe are all specialized in humanistic health research, and as such, it is not so much a strategic choice but a shared concern and interest. ‘The everyday-life’ perspective and point of departure is important for our knowledge about health and illness: as it has become a key arena for different interests, actors and initiatives. Cultural analyses can offer perspectives, knowledge, and ideas for how people cope with health and illness, and how knowledge of everyday-life can be incorporated into new and better health promoting initiatives.
3. How does CoRe work with outreach and collaboration, relative the general public, institutions or politicians?
We have a lot of experience of collaborating with public and private partners on research and development projects. For instance, working in partnerships with municipalities on initiatives for older people: we do fieldwork in the municipalities, organize joint workshops and seminars to exchange ideas and insights, as well as produce reports and catalogues with ideas and suggestions for the municipalities.