An interdisciplinary collaboration between the Faculties of Arts and Medicine & Health at the University of Leeds
Arthur W. Frank will give the CL Oakley Memorial Lecture in Medicine and the Arts
Tuesday 20 May (17.00-18.30)
Being a Good Story: Living with Serious Illness
University of Leeds
We are delighted that Professor Arthur Frank (Professor Emeritus of Sociology, University of Calgary) will present his lecture, Being a Good Story: Living with Serious Illness, on 20May at the University of Leeds. The lecture will take place between 17.00 and 18.30 in the Dental Lecture Theatre in the Worsley Building (6.142). The lecture will be followed by a reception at which drinks will be served. Frank has a global reputation for shaping the field of narrative inquiry in medical sociology and medical humanities. His ground-breaking contributions include The Wounded Storyteller, one of the most cited works on illness experience and narrative ethics, while Frank’s much acclaimed At the Will of the Body: Reflections on Illness introduced the now familiar concept of ‘the remission society’.
Being ill requires telling stories, from medical histories to news updates for friends and family. For more than two decades I have taken these stories seriously, first during my own illnesses and later observing others. Our sense of who we are and what we are experiencing is intimately tied to the stories we tell ourselves and others. The lecture explores differences between the stories we can readily fall into and stories we might craft with reflection. My question is what makes a story good not for simply coping with illness, but for making illness a meaningful part of one’s life.