CISSMI (Collaborative Interdisciplinary Study of Science, Medicine and the Imagination Research Group) is a research collaboration between the Universities of Glamorgan and Cardiff, founded in 2009 by members of the Glamorgan Research Centre for Literature, Arts and Science (RCLAS), Glamorgan’s History Divison, and Cardiff’s School of History and Archaeology.
In 2010-11 their major project is entitled Off Sick: Narratives of Illness Past and Present. Off Sick considers the role of narrative in understandings of illness, primarily family illness, both historically and in the present day. It will incorporate historical and literary research with narratives gathered from the communities of South Wales. In addition, the project will deliver a series of public seminars, an academic publication and a community-focused exhibition.
I was delighted to be invited to open the seminar series on October 6 with a talk entitled “Narrative Medicine and the ‘I’ of Illness Narrative,” and was very impressed by the size and disciplinary diversity of people interested in the intersections between narrative and medicine. One of the highlights for me was meeting Professor Paul Atkinson, whose work on illness narrative I think raises some exceptionally interesting and important points.