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Biomedical Humanities – Place and Purpose

7th December 2017 @ 13:30-16:00

In this, our fifth CCH seminar in our series at the WHO Collaborative Centre on Culture and Health, ‘Biomedical Humanities, Place and Purpose’ we will hear from Professor Sarah Atkinson, Professor of Geography and Medical Humanities, Durham University; Professor Giovanni Boniolo, University of Ferrara; and Professor Havi Carel, Professor of Philosophy, University of Bristol.  The seminar will look at the extent to which medical humanities illuminates experiences of illness and wellness from different perspectives, will explore experiences of engaging outside of academia, and how narrative approaches might be used in clinical decision making.

Sarah will explore how the experiences of living with multiple conditions of ill-health and/or disability offer a critical encounter with medicine’s dominant perspectives on hope. During her short presentation, Sarah will illustrate the value of hopelessness as an analytical construct in directing attention away from only the internal cognitive and
affective disposition of the individual in understanding the daily experiences of living with chronic ill-health

Giovanni will examine the role of biomedical humanities to consider how a humanistic perspective can help shape ethical and existential choices in severe clinical decisions, especially in the oncological field. In so doing, he explores how genetic analysis in the laboratory intersects with a patient’s physical situation and broader socio-cultural circumstances, and he remarks on the relevance of the tools offered by the philosophical tradition to cope with the troubles of life due to pathological situations.

Havi Carel will talk about the Life of Breath project, which aims to explore breathing and breathlessness at the interface between arts, humanities and medical practice. Particular focus will be placed on the challenges and opportunities of multidisciplinary working, and engagement with health practitioners.

We welcome academics, researchers, public health policymakers and practitioner, as well as any interested members of the public.

There will be light refreshments available at this event.

If you can not attend but are interested, please do register for our webinar at: https://attendee.gotowebinar.com/register/1413886578279085570 – Please note that the start time for the Webinar will be 2 pm.

For further queries, please contact Kerry Dungay, Project Manager for the WHO Collaboration Centre at: k.dungay@exeter.ac.uk


7th December 2017


University of Exeter, Innovation Centre
Rennes Drive
Exeter, EX4 4RN
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