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.
Tag Archives: literature
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.
Psychological Humanities and Narrative Medicine
In July 2022, contributed to the Summer School at the University of Trento, reflecting with students on the role of dementia in bestselling fiction, particularly exploring aspects of care and family relationships.
The Normal and the Pathological in Old Age
An invited guest lecture at the meeting of the Versus Arthritis Musculoskeletal Disorders Research Advisory Group, reflecting on arthritis as compared to dementia in cultural discourse, including representations in literary texts and focus in scientific and medical writing.
From a ‘care-free’ distance?
A book chapter on how adult sons perceive of themselves as they confront their parent’s older age and memory loss, reading Michele Farina’s Quando andiamo a casa? (2015), Jonathan Taylor’s Take Me Home (2007) and Nick Taylor’s A Necessary End (1994). In the open access essay collection Ageing Masculinities, Alzheimer’s and Dementia Narratives (London: Bloomsbury, 2022), edited by Heike Hartung, Rüdiger Kunow and Matthew Sweney.
Dementia and the Politics of Memory in Fiction
A book chapter on Alzheimer’s disease and other types of dementia and their deployment in fiction: from narrative experiment to the patient as plot device. In: The Politics of Dementia: Forgetting and Remembering the Violent Past in Literature, Film and Graphic Narratives (Berlin: DeGruyter, 2022 – open access), edited by Irmela Marei Krüger-Fürhoff, Nina Schmidt and Sue Vice.
Interdependent narratives: dementia in science, medicine and literature of the long 20th century
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 of The Diseased Brain and the Failing Mind
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.
Tools of Care
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.
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.