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The University of Southampton
Southampton Institute for Arts and Humanities

What does it mean to be well?

Self Portrait

SIAH seeks to critically examine the relationship between 'wellbeing' and culture. We are interested in interrogating what it means to use data for measuring and achieving social outcomes in relation to 'wellness' by reimagining data as storytelling, as aesthetics and as representation in culture and cultural production.

Recent Grant Successes

Children and young people’s telephone use and telephone cultures in Britain c. 1984-1999

Lead Researcher: Dr Eve Colpus

This research project, funded by the Arts and Humanities Research Council, is a collaboration between Dr Eve Colpus, BT Heritage & Archives and the John Hansard Gallery to tell a new history of young people as telephone users.  

The shift in young people’s use of telephones from one-to-one voice communication to written and visual communication through texting and engagement with social media represents a pivotal cultural development.

SIAH-Funded Projects

Pandemics: Covid, Obesity and Poverty in Public Health and Government Communications 

Lead Researchers: Dr Yasmin Sekhon and Dr Valentina Cardo

Focusing on lower socio-demographic communities this project aims to better understand the impact of people’s environment (personal and social) as well as the ways in which public health and government directed media messages impact decision-making within these communities. 

Smart textile

Inclusive Smart Textile Design for Healthy Ageing  

Lead Researchers: Dr Yuanyuan Yin and Dr Kai Yang

The population of the world is ageing. In the UK, 4.02 million older people live alone which accounts for 6% of the UK population.  

Studies have highlighted these people are more likely to attend accident and emergency, visit their GPs, have multiple long-term conditions, and develop mental health problems. 

Therefore, this project aims to explore the unmet healthcare needs of aged 65+ people who live alone. It will identify challenges that they face and develop inclusive smart textiles design insights to address their needs.

Socialist Herbalism – Practices of Care for Feminist and Queer Futures   

Lead Researcher: Dr Mihaela Brebenel

The project engages with contemporary feminist and queer questions of care, healing and the ‘more-than-human’ dimensions within community practices. 

It extends Dr Brebenel’s previous critical research on post communism and artistic practice from former socialist Eastern Europe and the Baltic region, by focusing on examples of healing and care.

It investigates historical Socialist visions of the environment, science, and the use of alternative medicines and sets these in conversation with recent global queer and feminist practices of care, which revive herbalism as a community practice.  

It further positions itself within a larger conversation in critical posthumanist studies and more specifically, within a section of this discourse, that of plant studies.  


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