Illness – Stories and Experience: Arthur Frank and Havi Carel in dialogue
Part of Goldsmiths’ Centre of the Body programme of events – ‘Exploring the Body: Interdisciplinarity in Practice’ supported by the Wellcome Trust
Arthur Frank has been writing about illness and the body since the late 1980s, when he wrote his first book At the Will of the Body, a memoir of critical illness, while also writing an omnibus review article “Bringing Bodies Back In” published in Theory, Culture, & Society and subsequently expanded in Featherstone, Hepworth, and Turner’s seminal collection, The Body. Those lines of inquiry converged in Frank’s 1995 book, The Wounded Storyteller, the second edition of which is being published this month.
Frank regularly reviews memoirs by both ill people and physicians in both Literature & Medicine and the Journal of Medical Humanities. He recently wrote the Afterword to the Routledge Handbook of Body Studies, edited by Bryan Turner. His most recent book, Letting Stories Breathe, inquires further into what’s meant by “telling one’s story”. His current writing asks the Foucault question of how stories turn people into the subjects whom they become, and the Bourdieu question of what stories people take seriously, because these stories function as a kind of capital in particular fields.
Arthur Frank is Professor of Sociology at the University of Calgary, Canada.
Havi Carel is Senior Lecturer in Philosophy at the University of Bristol and also teaches at Bristol Medical School. She is currently a British Academy Fellow, writing on a monograph for Oxford University Press, provisionally entitled Phenomenology of Illness. Her research examines the experience of illness and of receiving healthcare. She has written on the embodied experience of illness, wellbeing within illness and patient-physician communication in the Lancet, BMJ, Journal of Medicine and Philosophy, Theoretical Medicine and Bioethics, Philosophia and in edited collections. She is the author of Illness (Acumen 2008), shortlisted for the Wellcome Trust Book Prize, and of Life and Death in Freud and Heidegger (Rodopi 2006). She is the co-editor of Health, Illness and Disease (Acumen 2012) and of What Philosophy Is (Continuum 2004). She also uses film in teaching and has co-edited a volume entitled New Takes in Film-Philosophy (Palgrave 2010). She recently co-edited a special issue of Philosophy on ‘Human Experience and Nature’ (Cambridge University Press 2013). In 2009-11 Havi led an AHRC-funded project on the concepts of health, illness and disease and in 2011-12 she was awarded a Leverhulme Fellowship for a project entitled ‘The Lived Experience of Illness’.