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Illness as Many Narratives: Arts, Medicine and Culture

Bolaki, Stella (2016) Illness as Many Narratives: Arts, Medicine and Culture. Edinburgh University Press, Edinburgh, 264 pp. ISBN 978-1-4744-0242-2. (The full text of this publication is not currently available from this repository. You may be able to access a copy if URLs are provided) (KAR id:44312)

The full text of this publication is not currently available from this repository. You may be able to access a copy if URLs are provided.


Illness narratives have become a cultural phenomenon in the Western world but their analysis continues to be framed by the context of biomedicine, the doctor–patient encounter and the demands of medical training. This reductive and instrumental attitude prevents the inclusion of more formally experimental genres, different themes and interdisciplinary methods within the field. It also perpetuates the view of the medical humanities as a narrow area of study largely serving the needs of medicine. Approaching illness and its treatments as a multiplicity and situating them in relation to aesthetics, theory, radical pedagogy, politics and contemporary cultural concerns, Bolaki offers close readings of autobiographical and collaborative works across a wide range of arts and media. Through case studies on photography, artists’ books, performance art, film, theatre, animation and online narratives, Illness as Many Narratives demonstrates how bringing in diverse materials and engaging with multiple perspectives can help the arts, cultural studies and the medical humanities to establish critical conversations and amplify the goals and scope of their respective work. Key Features:

•Opens up the category of illness narrative to consider a wide variety of media/artistic forms beyond literature

•Intervenes in current debates in medical humanities/medical education by emphasising more critical as opposed to instrumental approaches

•Explores different physical and mental illness experiences in both autobiographical and collaborative/relational narratives

•Offers new close readings of diverse works by Sam Taylor-Wood, Martha Hall, Guillermo Gómez-Peña, Wim Wenders, Lisa Kron and others

Item Type: Book
Subjects: N Visual Arts > NX Arts in general
P Language and Literature > PS American literature
R Medicine > RZ Other systems of medicine
Divisions: Divisions > Division of Arts and Humanities > School of English
Depositing User: Stella Bolaki
Date Deposited: 11 Nov 2014 18:33 UTC
Last Modified: 17 Aug 2022 12:20 UTC
Resource URI: (The current URI for this page, for reference purposes)
Bolaki, Stella:
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