Hogan, Susan

Birth shock

Susan Hogan

Arts-based workshops supported by Arts & Humanities Research Council enabled groups of participants to explore their experience of birth (Hogan et al. 2015).

The filming by Sheffield Vision has been used as part of the research method and as a documentation of the research process. The aim of the filming was four-fold.

Firstly, as a method to record the research (it is research data).

Secondly, the footage is being edited to produce short films that address the research questions. These films are a research output.

Thirdly, the short films themselves also function as teaching and training resources and are being made available for this.

Lastly, a documentary film of the entire process has been made and shown to a public audience. This aims to highlight some of the issues raised throughout the process.

Not all of the participants appear in the footage and it is important to note that editorial changes were made at the request of participants, following consultative screenings.

Different projects met together in ‘mutual recovery’ events in which perspectives were shared through sharing of the art works, film viewings and a verbatim theatre piece in which interview transcripts were enacted, giving additional viewpoints.  A number of events were staged; groups of mothers met together to speak about their art, then met with birthing professionals in a larger event. Each was able to speak about her artwork and to be heard. A conflict-resolution specialist acted as facilitator (though fortunately her expertise was not needed). Finally, the groups attended the theatre performance together, which captured the views of dads and obstetricians as well as further stories from mothers. The sharing of perspectives was done via the sharing of the art works and discussion of the pieces. Research outcomes will be further elucidated.



Susan Hogan is Professor of Arts and Health, Derby and a Professorial Fellow, Institute of Mental Health, Nottingham. Her publications include: Feminist Approaches to Art Therapy (1997); Healing Arts: The History of Art Therapy (2001); Gender Issues in Art Therapy (2003); Conception Diary: Thinking About Pregnancy & Motherhood (2006); Revisiting Feminist Approaches to Art Therapy (2012); The Introductory Guide to Art Therapy (with Coulter, 2013); Art Therapy Theories. A Critical Introduction (2016); Maternal Ambivalence (co-edited volume, in press); Gender Issues in International Arts Therapies Research and Inscribed on the Body, Gender & Difference in the Arts Therapies (both in press). Additionally, she has written on the arts as a research method. She is a member of the Royal Society of Public Health SIG for Arts, Health & Wellbeing, is Director of the Arts & Health Centre for Excellence at the University of Derby and a member of the advisory panel of the International Health Humanities Network.


Recent publications include:

Hogan, S. (2017). Arts and Health.  In: Stickley, T. (ed.) Community-Based Arts, Health and Wellbeing in Britain in Arts Health & Wellbeing: A Theoretical Enquiry. Cambridge Scholars Publishing. p.219-235.

Hogan, S. (2017). Birth Professionals Make Art. Using Participatory Arts to Think About Being a Birthing Professional. Creative Practices for Improving Health and Social Inclusion. 5th International Health Humanities Conference, Seville. Conference Proceedings. Seville: University of Seville. pp. 115-123.


Hogan, S. (2017). Working Across Disciplines: Using Visual Methods in Participatory Frameworks.  In: Pink, S., Fors, V. & O’Dell, T. (eds.). Theoretical Scholarship and Applied Practice. London: Berghahn. pp. 142-166.

ISBN  978-1-78533-416-0.

Hogan, S., Sheffield, D., Woodward, A. (2017). The Value of Art Therapy in Antenatal and Postnatal Care: A Brief Literature Review. International Journal of Art Therapy (IJAT, formerly Inscape). Vol. 22. 4, 169-179.

DOI: 10.1080/17454832.2017.1299774

Recent presentations

I was recently a keynote speaker of the International Health Humanities Conference.