Vol. 17, Issue 1, Feb 2018

The artwork helping healthcare professionals see beyond patients’ illnesses
Patients as People, an exhibition by artist Emma Barnard https://www.ahsw.org.uk/news.aspx?id=1662

 Special Medical Humanities Issue:

Representing Trauma; Honouring Broken Narratives

Editors: Deborah Bowman, Renata Kokanovic and Jan Parker

Editorial: Stories, narratives, scenarios in Medicine 
Jan Parker

This Medical Humanities Special Issue critiques and reflects on narrative practices around
medical, psychiatric and trauma care. This introductory article explores the affordances of
patient experience narratives and scenarios to illuminate lives interrupted by medical and
psychological criseswhile raising questions about the medical ethics, epistemological frameworks
and potential pathologising of diagnosing complex conditions. It discusses the problematics
and ethics of ‘re-presenting’ trauma in art, photography, film or music and the
potential for theatre to raise difficult issues in and beyond medical training.

Listening to what cannot be said: Broken narratives and the lived body 
Renata Kokanovic´ and Meredith Stone

The core of this special issue of Arts and Humanities in Higher Education emerged from the Broken Narratives and the Lived Body conference held in 2016. The ‘Broken Narrative’ essays included in this issue open up a critical space for understanding and theorising illness narratives that defy a conventional cognitive ordering of the self as a bounded spatial and temporal entity. Here, we discuss how narratives might be ‘broken’ by discourse, trauma, ‘ill’ lived bodies and experiences that exceed linguistic representation. We trouble distinctions between coherent and incoherent narratives, attending to what gaps, silences and ‘nonsenses’ can convey about embodied illness experiences. Ultimately, we suggest that ‘breaks’ are in fact a continuation of embodied narration. This is shown in the ‘Art and Trauma’ forum of essays, which reveal how narrative silences can ‘infect’ other embodied subjects and be transformed, achieving musical or visual representation that allow us to apprehend the ‘constitutive outside’ of narratives of illness or trauma.

Bodywork: Self-harm, trauma, and embodied expressions of pain
Kesherie Gurung
Weathering a violent storm together – Witnessing and co-constructing meaning in collaborative engagement with those experiencing psychosis-related challenges
Lizette Nolte
Honouring a life and narrative work: John’s story
Sara Ryan
‘I am tired from all of these feelings’: Narrating suffering in the film Sick
Senka Bozic-Vrbancic, Renata Kokanovic and Jelena Kupsjak
Mental illness within family context: Visual dialogues in Joshua Lutz’s photographic essay Hesitating beauty
Agnese Sile
Music as post-traumatic discourse: Nikolay Myaskovsky’s Sixth Symphony 
Patrick Zuk
Knowing the past affectively: Screen media and the evocation of
intergenerational trauma
Ana Dragojlovic
‘To give an outsider an idea of what it could be like’: A case study 
Michael Flavin and Bethany James
Improvising in the vulnerable encounter: Using improvised participatory theatre in change for healthcare practice
Henry Larsen, Preben Friis and Chris Heape
The seeing place: Talking theatre and medicine
Deborah Bowman and Joanna Bowman

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