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Telling It Like It Is: Diagnostic Narratives and Power

28th September 2017 @ 14:00-16:00

For the second seminar in our seminar series at the WHO Collaborative Centre on Culture and Health, we are delighted to have Professor Annemarie Jutel, Victoria University of Wellington in New Zealand, giving a presentation on ‘Telling It Like It Is:  Diagnostic Narratives and Power’.

Diagnosis is, in itself, a story.  It links together a set of phenomena, in a usually linear manner; it generates an explanation, a plot line, and a denouement, in which a knotted bundle of threads gets untangled.  It is a trope, or a motif, very prevalent in popular culture: the sombre newspaper report about a celebrity learning about an unexpected cancer, a book in which the protagonist must wrestle with the knowledge of his newly-announced disease, a film in which the main character watches her life wind down after learning she has an early-onset dementia.  The stories of diagnosis are told in a particular tone, with an expectation of a particular kind of outcome.  In this presentation, and via numerous media, Professor Jutel will reveal the stories triggered by diagnosis, and consider the way they shape our social, and individual, thinking about a moment diagnosis and its transformative potential.  She will expose the narrative nature of diagnosis and reveal how its discursive construction as “truth” instils it with various forms of power:  transformative, authoritative and clinical.

For those unable to travel, this seminar will be available via interactive webinar live streamig platform, please contact k.dungay@exeter.ac.uk for further details.

This event is relevant to health researchers, humanities and social science scholars, public health policy makers, healthcare practitioners and any member of the public interested in this subject area.

There will be light refreshments available from 2pm and the opportunity to network after the event.

For any further queries please contact Kerry Dungay, k.dungay@exeter.ac.uk


28th September 2017


University of Exeter
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University of Exeter, Reed Hall, Upper Lounge
Streatham Drive
Exeter, EX4 4QR
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