The Centre is pleased to offer ‘Illness as many Narratives: Arts, Medicine and Culture‘ by Stella Bolaki (Edinburgh, 2016) for review. We are specifically looking for an academic in the medical humanities to review this book, which will sit alongside a review from a medical professional.
Illness narratives have become a cultural phenomenon in the Western world but their analysis continues to be framed by the context of biomedicine, the doctor–patient encounter and the demands of medical training. This reductive and instrumental attitude prevents the inclusion of more formally experimental genres, different themes and interdisciplinary methods within the field. It also perpetuates the view of the medical humanities as a narrow area of study largely serving the needs of medicine.
Approaching illness and its treatments as a multiplicity and situating them in relation to aesthetics, theory, radical pedagogy, politics and contemporary cultural concerns, Bolaki offers close readings of autobiographical and collaborative works across a wide range of arts and media. Through case studies on photography, artists’ books, performance art, film, theatre, animation and online narratives, Illness as Many Narratives demonstrates how bringing in diverse materials and engaging with multiple perspectives can help the arts, cultural studies and the medical humanities to establish critical conversations and amplify the goals and scope of their respective work.
If you would like to review ‘Illness as Many Narratives’ (no more than 1,000 words in length), then please consult our reviewer’s guidelines and email our reviews editor with a short explanation of why you are well placed to review the book.