Illness in Context

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This book is a contribution to humanistic studies of illness. Medical humanities are by nature cross-disciplinary, and in recent years studies in this field have been recognized as a platform for dialogue between the “two cultures” of the natural sciences and the humanities. Illness in Context is a result of an encounter of several disciplines, including medicine, history and literature. The main stress is on the literary perspectives of the interdisciplinary collaboration. The reading practices highlighting the clinical, phenomenological and archeological approaches to illness take as their point of departure the living text, that is, the literary experience mediated and created by the text. Literature is seen not solely as a medium for the representation of experiences of illness, but also as a historical praxis involved in the forging of our common understanding of illness. In contrast to traditional literary analysis – primarily oriented toward the interpretation of the literary work’s meaning – the project will emphasize description and understanding of how literature itself performs as a means of interpretation of reality. The target group for this book comprises professionals in the various disciplines, and students of health and culture. The ambition is to contribute to teaching in humanistic illness research, and function as a topical resource book that formulates controversial problems in the crucial meeting of medicine and the humanities.
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Table of contents

Knut Stene-Johansen and Frederik Tygstrup: Introduction: Illness in Context
Clinic
Deborah Kirklin: The Search for Meaning in Modern Medicine
Jan C. Frich: Dialogue and Creativity: Narrative in the Clinical Encounter
Drude von der Fehr: Clinical Tales and the Artlike Creativity of the Body
Vincent Colapietro: Signs of Illness
Phenomenology
Hélène Cixous: From The Day I Wasn’t There
Frederik Tygstrup: The Blue Chair. A Literary Report on Dementia in America
Gérard Danou: Henri Michaux in Search of his Tempo, or Great Health
Knut Stene-Johansen: Tolstoy and the Making of the Inhuman
Archeology
Anne Kveim Lie: Treatment Politics: The Rise of Radesyge Hospitals in Norway
Eric Hamraouï: Metaphors, Figures and Description in Sénac’s Traité de la structure du coeur, de son action et de ses maladies (1749)
Hilde Bondevik: Who’s Afraid of Amalie Skram? Hysteria and Rebellion in Amalie Skram’s Novels of Mental Hospitals
Mette Kia Krabbe Meyer: Like a high black wave. Jørgen Stein and the Spanish Flu
Johan Redin: Pathogenesis: Life, Literature and Animality. Medical Theory and Biological Nihilism in Eighteenth-Century Thought
Notes on Contributors

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