A keynote delivered at Amnesie d’autore: 1920-2020, un secolo di parole per raccontare l’amnesia, an international conference about memory loss at the University of Urbino Carlo Bo, Italy, 23-25 September 2021.
Review by Matthew Broome, chair in psychiatry and youth mental health, and director of the Institute for Mental Health, at the University of Birmingham, in Times Higher Education.
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.
as Lecturer in Health Humanities and Health Sciences.
The research undertaken with this UKRI FLF award evolves at the boundaries of literary analysis, medical sciences and empirical research, to explore two questions: how does scientific research influence how we think about ageing, and how does culture frame scientific research on ageing and diseases of old age.
Giving a presentation on the ‘Tools of Care in the Dementia Detective Novel’ at the Ageing, Illness, Care in Cultural and Literary Narrative conference at the University of Huddersfield, September 5-6, 2019.
Delighted to have contributed to conversations on Care and/in the Community at Birkbeck in June 2019. For Leah Sidi’s account of the workshop surrounding twenty-first century social and spatial conditions of care, see her post on The Polyphony.
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).
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.