Experiences of illness and death: learning from the discourses of realities and fictions – Call for Papers

BAAL Health & Science Communication SIG Workshop 
28th November 2016
“Experiences of illness and death: learning from the discourses of realities
and fictions”

Hosted by the Faculty of Well-being, Education and Language Studies The Open University, Milton Keynes

“Any serious illness is a medical event, but it is lived in narrative terms” wrote Andrew Solomon in a recent article for The Guardian. This workshop will focus on these ‘lived’ and ‘narrative’ aspects of the experience of illness and death from a variety of disciplinary perspectives. Accounts of illness and dying by patients, carers and healthcare professionals have been at the heart the medical humanities for several decades.

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They have been called upon to better understand patients and to enable patient-centered care, to improve training and empathy in healthcare professionals and to begin to assist those who informally support and care for the ill. They have been investigated from the perspectives of history, sociology, literature, the visual arts and, more recently, linguistics. At the same time, these disparate approaches and applications, have tended to leave the field somewhat fragmented. The aim of this workshop is to bring together researchers of different backgrounds who examine and use experiences of illness and death to discuss and explore the methods and applications that allow us to get the most out of these rich and powerful sources of evidence.

Confirmed keynote speakers:
Dr Julie Ellis, University of Sheffield (http://www.sheffield.ac.uk/socstudies/staff/staff-profiles/julie-ellis)
Dr Jonathon Tomlinson, NHS The Lawson Practice
(https ://abetternhs.wordpress.com/about/)

Call for Papers: The BAAL Health & Science Communication SIG invites abstract proposals for 20-minute presentations addressing the themes of the workshop. We are particularly interested in contributions that discuss what we can learn from lived experience and first-person narratives, be they fictional or not, as well as how we can make the most of them. We are also keen to build theoretical and methodological bridges between the academic disciplines of linguistics, medical humanities, and health and social care and healthcare policy and practice, so encourage contributions that showcase different methods of analysis and/or different contexts of application.

Submission details
Deadline for abstract submissions: 19th September 2016
Abstracts should be no more than 300 words including references. Please send abstracts to Zsófia Demjén: zsofia.demjen@open.ac.uk.
Registration opens: September 2016

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