Life Narratives and the Biological Reality of Ageing

In March 2023, I was invited to deliver a seminar at Trinity College Dublin. The hybrid seminar was part of the Medical and Health Humanities Seminar Series in association with Trinity Long Room Hub. It examined the role of illness in older age in directing self-perceptions and self-representations of ageing as failure, and considered different forms of life narratives and their possibilities and limitations in articulating ageing as a biological reality. You can listen to a podcast of the seminar following this link.

Annie Ernaux in the Poetics and Politics of Alzheimer’s Disease Life-Writing

Delighted to learn that Annie Ernaux has been awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature 2022 ‘for the courage and clinical acuity with which she uncovers the roots, estrangements and collective restraint of personal memory’. I discuss Ernaux’s writing about her mother with dementia in my first book, The Poetics and Politics of Alzheimer’s Disease Life-Writing (2017). The book is free to download thanks to Wellcome Trust funded open access.

Literature and Dementia Care

The title of the plenary lecture I delivered at the Symposium on Ethics, Agency, and Personhood in Dementia at the University of Southern Denmark, Copenhagen, in August 2022, reflecting on how particular genres, narrative perspectives and tropes may or may not be productive for an enabling approach to the person with dementia and their care. Great to join Marlene Goldman, Ina Kjogx Pedersen and Peter Simonsen for a panel discussion, moderated by Cindie Maagaard, on the use of narrative medicine in dementia care.