The seeing place: Talking theatre and medicine

Arts and Humanities in Higher Education 17 (1):166-181 (2018)
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A Professor of Medical Ethics and a theatre director, also mother and daughter, talk about health, illness, suffering, performance and practice. Using the lenses of ethical and performance theory, they explore what it means to be a patient, a spectator and a practitioner and cover many plays, texts and productions: Samuel Beckett’s Not I and All That Fall, Sarah Kane’s Crave, Tim Crouch’s An Oak Tree, Enda Walsh’s Ballyturk, Annie Ryan’s adaptation of Eimear McBride’s novel A Girl Is a Half-Formed Thing, Duncan MacMillan’s People, Place and Things and Henrik Ibsen’s Hedda Gabler. These were selected because first we have seen, studied or worked with each and they have continued to inspire us. Second, they offer rich and revealing insights into the ways in which meaning is/are both negotiated and contested in relation to health and illness. It is the iterative negotiation of meaning that, it is argued, is the essence of narrative practice, be it in medicine or in the theatre. The difference and divergence of perception, response and interpretation to dramatic performance can test relationships, be they professional, creative or familial. Yet, the capacity to understand, and embrace, disagreement and uncertainty is vital; fundamental to a flourishing life. For it is by recognising our part in creating narratives, broken and otherwise, that we can begin to recognise the necessary interactionism and humanity of both medicine and theatre.



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Epistemic Injustice and Illness.Ian James Kidd & Havi Carel - 2016 - Journal of Applied Philosophy 34 (2):172-190.
Epistemic Injustice in Healthcare: A Philosophical Analysis.Ian James Kidd & Havi Carel - 2014 - Medicine, Health Care and Philosophy 17 (4):529-540.

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