Author Archives: Martina Zimmermann

The Diseased Brain and the Failing Mind

My second book is out now: The Diseased Brain and the Failing Mind charts changing cultural understandings of dementia and Alzheimer’s disease in scientific and cultural texts across the 20th Century. Reading a range of texts from the US, UK, Europe and Japan, the book examines how the language of dementia – regarding the loss of identity, loss of agency, loss of self and life – is rooted in scientific discourse and expressed in popular and literary texts. Following changing scientific understandings of dementia, the book also demonstrates how cultural expressions of the experience and dementia have fed back into the way medical institutions have treated dementia patients.

Working Together. Changing Care.

Follow this link to read my reflections on the Dementia, Narrative and Culture Network workshop Working Together, held in Senate House London, 23rd November 2018; published on The Polyphony site, a space for Conversations across the Medical Humanities hosted by Durham University. The post also refers to an interview I conducted with my local project partner, Tony Britton, who launched the Pam Britton Trust for Dementia in Warwickshire (click here for the full interview, hosted on the Trust’s What’s New page).

Creativity in Later Life

Delighted to have been part of the interdisciplinary team that produced Creativity in Later Life: Beyond Late Style (Routledge, 2019), edited by David Amigoni and Gordon McMullan. My contribution explores Terry Pratchett’s documentary ‘Living with Alzheimer’s’, and resists the idea that dementia patients lose their creativity. Among other things, I see creativity expressed in the ways in which patients negotiate with science and scientific discourse related to dementia.