Projekt

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Life (Beyond) Writing: Illness Narratives

Titel Englisch Life (Beyond) Writing: Illness Narratives
Gesuchsteller/in Locher Miriam
Nummer 144541
Förderungsinstrument Interdisziplinäre Projekte
Forschungseinrichtung Department of English Basel University
Hochschule Universität Basel - BS
Hauptdisziplin Schwerpunkt Germanistik und Anglistik
Beginn/Ende 01.10.2012 - 30.09.2013
Bewilligter Betrag 83'931.00
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Keywords (11)

medical humanities, illness, gender, narrative, identity, autobiography, expert-lay person interaction, communication, metaphor research, medical education, doctor-patient interaction

Lay Summary (Englisch)

Lead
Lay summary
The research project explores the social and cultural meanings of illness narratives and analyses their role and function in the literary, linguistic, and medical field. Thus, illness narratives will be approached from the three different disciplines, literary studies, linguistics, and medicine. Life writing (autobiographical) texts are omnipresent in our lives and play a crucial role in doctor-patient communication, in literature, and in everyday linguistic situations. The importance of narrative in the medical field has become acknowledged, but most doctors are not trained to be susceptible to specific linguistic and literary uses in their patients' stories. Thus, it is necessary to integrate literary and linguistic issues into the curriculum at medical schools to approach illness more holistically. In addition, numerous recent illness narratives by patients/writers provide new insights that go beyond the biomedical dimension of an illness, and with their aesthetic impact express additional aspects of human experience such as illness. A linguistic analysis of narratives by Swiss medical students on a case history and comparative corpora from English students will offer crucial information on the ways in which future doctors interpret a patient's narrative and reflect their own situation. The results of both the linguistic and literary analyses will be used to improve current and develop future training for communicative skills for both medical students and practicing doctors and thus has a direct applied impact for the medical humanities. Furthermore, the students will improve their narrative competence and learn to pay heed to otherwise hidden, yet crucial information on a more encompassing context of illness. The interrelation between the three disciplines will thus be manifold in that both fields of linguistics and literature will work on data derived from the field of medicine and will let their results flow back into the field of medicine. In the final phase of the project we will work on the transfer of the literary and linguistic results to teaching and complete the project with a conference on “Narrative Matters in Literature, Linguistics, and Medical Humanities”.
Direktlink auf Lay Summary Letzte Aktualisierung: 21.02.2013

Verantw. Gesuchsteller/in und weitere Gesuchstellende

Mitarbeitende

Publikationen

Publikation
Theoretically Ill: Autobiographer, Patient, Theorist
Gygax Franziska (2013), Theoretically Ill: Autobiographer, Patient, Theorist, in Lembert-Heidenreich Alexandra, Mildorf Jarmila (ed.), The Writing Cure: Literature and Medicine in Co, Lit, Münster, 173-190.
On Being Ill (in Britain and the US)
Gygax Franziska (2013), On Being Ill (in Britain and the US), in European Journal of Life Writing, 1, 1-17.
“After all, the last thing I wanted to be was rude”: Raising of pragmatic awareness through reflective writing
Locher Miriam A. (2015), “After all, the last thing I wanted to be was rude”: Raising of pragmatic awareness through reflective writing, in Pizziconi Barbara, Locher Miriam A. (ed.), Teaching and Learning (Im)politeness, de Gruyter Mouton, Berlin and Boston, 185-209.
Narrative Matters in Medical Contexts across Disciplines
Gygax Franziska, Locher Miriam A. (ed.) (2015), Narrative Matters in Medical Contexts across Disciplines, John Benjamins, Amsterdam.
'Woundable about the bounds' Life (beyond) writing and terminal illness
Gygax Franziska (2015), 'Woundable about the bounds' Life (beyond) writing and terminal illness, in Gygax Franziska, Locher Miriam A. (ed.), Narrative Matters in Medical Contexts across Disciplines, John Benjamins, Amsterdam, 34-45.
A genre analysis of reflective writing texts by medical students: What role does narrative play?
Locher Miriam A., Koenig Regula, Meier Janine (2015), A genre analysis of reflective writing texts by medical students: What role does narrative play?, in Gygax Franziska, Locher Miriam A. (ed.), Narrative Matters in Medical Contexts across Disciplines, John Benjamins, Amsterdam, 141-164.
Introduction to narrative matters in medical contexts across disciplines
Gygax Franziska, Locher Miriam A. (2015), Introduction to narrative matters in medical contexts across disciplines, in Gygax Franziska, Locher Miriam A. (ed.), Narrative Matters in Medical Contexts across Disciplines, John Benjamins, Amsterdam, 1-14.
Medical Humanities in der Ausbildung
Kiss A, Steiner C. Honold A., Grossman P., Gygax F., Heuss L., Langewitz Schuster S., Kiessl (2015), Medical Humanities in der Ausbildung, in SCHWEIZERISCHE ÄRZTEZEITUNG – BULLETIN DES MÉDECINS SUISSES – BOLLETTINO DEI MEDICI SVIZZERI, 96(14-15), 534-536.
Interdisziplinäres Forschungsprojekt: "Life (Beyond) Writing: Illness Narratives"
Gygax Franziska, Locher Miriam A., Koenig Regula, Tischler Victoria (2013), Interdisziplinäres Forschungsprojekt: "Life (Beyond) Writing: Illness Narratives".
“All I could do was hand her another tissue” – Handling emotions as a challenge in reflective writing texts by medical students
Locher Miriam A., Koenig Regula (2014), “All I could do was hand her another tissue” – Handling emotions as a challenge in reflective writing texts by medical students, in Langlotz Andreas, Soltysik Monnet Agnieszka (ed.), Emotion, Affect, Sentiment: The Language and Aesthetics of Feeling, Narr, Tübingen, 215-236.
Moving across disciplines and genres: Reading identity in illness narratives and reflective writing texts
Gygax Franziska, Koenig Regula, Locher Miriam A. (accepted), Moving across disciplines and genres: Reading identity in illness narratives and reflective writing texts, in Ahmed Rukhsana, Bates Benjamin (ed.), Medical Communication in Clinical Contexts: Research and Applications, Kendall/Hunt, Dubuque, 17-35.
Sitwell Edith Sitwell: Stein and Sitwell in Echo
Gygax Franziska (accepted), Sitwell Edith Sitwell: Stein and Sitwell in Echo, in Posman Sarah, Schultz Laura Luise (ed.), Gertrude Stein and Europe: Talking and Listening, Penn State University Press, University Park.

Zusammenarbeit

Gruppe / Person Land
Felder der Zusammenarbeit
Dr. Victoria Tischler Grossbritannien und Nordirland (Europa)
- vertiefter/weiterführender Austausch von Ansätzen, Methoden oder Resultaten
- Publikation

Wissenschaftliche Veranstaltungen

Aktiver Beitrag

Titel Art des Beitrags Titel des Artikels oder Beitrages Datum Ort Beteiligte Personen
IABA Europe 2013 conference: Beyond the Subject. New Developments in Life Writing Vortrag im Rahmen einer Tagung Illness Autographics of the 21st Century 31.08.2013 Vieanna, Oesterreich Gygax Franziska
Symposium of Politeness Vortrag im Rahmen einer Tagung Teaching communication skills at a medical school: From keeping eye contact to creating rapport. 09.07.2013 SOAS, London, Grossbritannien und Nordirland Locher Miriam
SAUTE Conference 2013: Emotion, Affect, Sentiment: The Language and Aesthetics of Feeling Vortrag im Rahmen einer Tagung “All I could do was hand her another tissue” – Handling emotions as a challenge in reflective writing texts by medical students 20.04.2013 Lausanne, Schweiz Koenig Regula; Locher Miriam
i-mean conference Vortrag im Rahmen einer Tagung “It made me realise that as doctors we can only do the best that we can […]” (N141) - ‘Expert’ identity in medical students’ reflective writing texts 18.04.2013 Bristol, Grossbritannien und Nordirland Koenig Regula
Narrative Matters in Literature, Linguistics, Psychology and Medicine Vortrag im Rahmen einer Tagung Reflective writing texts by medical students: A genre analysis 15.04.2013 Basel, Schweiz Locher Miriam; Koenig Regula
Narrative Matters in Literature, Linguistics, Psychology and Medicine Vortrag im Rahmen einer Tagung “Woundable, around the bounds”: Life (beyond) writing and terminal illness 15.04.2013 Basel, Schweiz Gygax Franziska
Narrative Matters in Literature, Linguistics, Psychology and Medicine Vortrag im Rahmen einer Tagung Medical Humanities in Basel: General aspects and medical student narratives – When empathy is lacking 15.04.2013 Basel, Schweiz Kiss Alexander


Selber organisiert

Titel Datum Ort
Symposium 15.04.2013 Basel, Schweiz

Verbundene Projekte

Nummer Titel Start Förderungsinstrument
126959 Life (Beyond) Writing: Illness Narratives 01.10.2009 Interdisziplinäre Projekte

Abstract

This interdisciplinary research project comprising the fields of literature, linguistics, and medicine has been funded since 2009 and is in its final stages of completion. The current proposal is an extension of the original application and explains why we are applying for more funding. Our project “Life (Beyond) Writing: Illness Narratives” is situated within the broader field of medical humanities and narrative medicine, which not only includes courses on literary topics in connection with illness, but also on philosophical themes, on the arts, and even courses on writing about their own experience for medical students. The project is divided into three sub-projects. Sub-project A (Literature): The literary approach provides insights into the complex representations of illness in literary narratives and deals with the cultural and social constructions of illness. Apart from analyzing the cultural and social contexts of such narratives, medical issues and in particular the ways in which the patient/autobiographer is writing about them are being investigated and results can be used to bridge the gap between the patient’s personal experience of illness and its (bio)medical dimension. Furthermore, literary narratives with their powerful aesthetic impact do more than just mirror the experience of a patient/autobiographer; such narratives always contain imaginary realms which hint at a potential of humankind that often can only be expressed through art. The aesthetics of literary texts can express matters that are otherwise hidden from us, but nevertheless reveal insights into human experience such as illness. Using this insight in medical communication makes a more holistic approach to illness possible and improves the relationship between patient and doctor. Sub-project B (Linguistics): The linguistic analysis of narratives by fourth-year medical students of the University of Basel on a case history (which they all have to write after an intensive communication skills training) and the study of comparative corpora of such texts from English students (contact: Victoria Tischler, University of Nottingham) offers crucial information on the specific ways in which future doctors respond to and interpret a patient’s narrative and reflect on their own situation and response. This corpus is completed by a number of texts of professional practitioners, who reflect on their working experience in the journal columns ‘A Piece of My Mind’ (JAMA – The Journal of the American Medical Association) and ‘On Being a Doctor’ (AIM – Annals of Internal Medicine). Just as in the case of the analysis of literary narratives, the corpora thus consist of written texts that have been carefully composed and reflected on by their creators. In a framework that considers identities as being created discursively, the linguistic strategies that allow the students and practitioners to reflect on their identities as (novice) experts versus patients and the construction of illness in their narratives are investigated. Sub-project C (Medicine): The results of both linguistic and literary analyses are discussed with Alexander Kiss (University of Basel) who is in charge of the Medical Humanities and involved in the communication skills training of medical students at the medical faculty. The results are also used to improve current and develop future training for communicative skills for both medical students and practicing doctors and thus have a direct applied impact for the medical humanities. Furthermore, the students improve their narrative competence and are open and alert for illness narratives of patients that do not present a straightforward and clearly recognizable narrative line of a case history; instead, those medical students pay heed to otherwise hidden, yet crucial information on a more encompassing context of illness. The interrelation between the three disciplines is thus manifold in that both fields of linguistics and literature work on data derived from the field of medicine and let their results flow back into the field of medicine. The three sub-projects are in different stages of completion. The literary part is almost complete but needs more time to work on the most recent primary publications and to work on the transfer (publications and teaching material). The linguistic study of the reflective writing texts is delayed by several months due to problems of data collection during the first year of the project. Due to this, the PhD student involved would need another year of funding for completing the analysis and the writing of her dissertation. The medical study has been completed and results are being prepared for publication. In order to ensure an optimal transfer of the literary and linguistic results to the medical humanities, i.e. to teaching in the medical faculty, we suggest working closely together with the psychologist Dr. Victoria Tischler (University of Nottingham), who is teaching humanities courses and communication skills training to medical students at the University of Nottingham. This exchange will also enable us to revisit crucial theoretical concepts and to intensify our interdisciplinary work by integrating them into our respective disciplinary analysis. Collaborating with Tischler provides a great opportunity for us to discuss issues from the field of medical humanities with a British expert who has been teaching in this field for quite some time.