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Online Keynote open to all. Details and sign-up link below:

15 December 2022 // 5pm GMT on Zoom

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Reading with care (a bag of seeds)

Inspired by Ursula K. Le Guin’s essay ‘The Carrier Bag Theory of Fiction’ this talk gathers some notes/seeds on reading with care. I assemble insights and suggestions from a wide range of medical humanities work that has helped me to think about questions of ethics and care and I share examples from my own research on representations of health and illness. Hopefully workshop participants can fill up this carrier bag of seeds further!

The workshop is now full but there is a waiting list, so do feel free to still send enquiries to

Organised by Dr Veronika Schuchter (ILCS, School of Advanced Study)
and kindly supported by a Glasgow Medical Humanities Foundation Award

1.5-day online workshop: 15-16 December 2022

Working with testimonies, memoirs, autobiographical, and auto-fictional texts can be challenging from an ethical perspective. While the experiences in these published texts are shared deliberately and consensually, scholars’ engagements with them might still leave authors (especially those who are not white, heterosexual, cis gender, and able-bodied) vulnerable, particularly when they write about non-normative bodies from a marginalised subject position.

What are the ethical considerations to keep in mind when working with a text that depicts someone’s lived health experiences? How can researchers care for the subjects of the narratives they analyse? How can researchers hold themselves and each other accountable in the way they approach and write about textual representations of health and illness?

I struggle with many of these questions regularly in my own research writing about ageing and the menopause as a person who is not yet old and not yet menopausal. This workshop is aimed at scholars who face similar challenges. It also marks the foundation for the collective creation of resources on responsible and accountable conduct for scholars working with texts that depict othered health experiences that will be accessible to the wider medical humanities community. 

I see this workshop as collective practice to create a comfortable space for connection, support, and respect where we care for each other’s ideas and begin a conversation about ethical and accountable approaches to working with health narratives. It is not a space where participants should feel pressure to present already polished material – there will be opportunity to do so in a in a follow-up publication.

The workshop will consist of:

30-minute segments for each participant to present their project/ethical considerations in 10 minutes or less in a format of their choosing + input and support from the group

•guided group discussions
•smaller break-out groups to align with participants’ overlapping interests
keynote by Dr Stella Bolaki (University of Kent)

To enable as much discussion as possible, the workshop will initially be limited to 10 participants. Should demand be higher, I will reconsider and find a solution.

Please send questions and expressions of interest briefly outlining your contribution (up to 150 words) and a short bio-note to by 7 December 2022.