Illness, narrated

Online journal On_Culture has a special issue out entitled “Illness, Narrated.” It was guest-edited by HHH member Maaike Hommes and three of her colleagues at the International Graduate Centre for the Study of Culture (GCSC) of the Justus-Liebig-Universität Gießen, Germany. The special issue takes into account new approaches and critical perspectives to the intricate relationship between narrative and illness. 

Narrative forms influence the way illness is subjectively and collectively experienced; yet this relation can also be seen to work the other way around, where illness affects the narrative form used to portray these experiences. The relation therefore is a complex one, with illness and narrative continuously interacting to produce different relationships between bodily experience and cultural and narrative forms. This issue discusses this complex interplay, bringing together various disciplines, like history, film and media studies and critical cultural analysis.

_Article contributions explore the diversification of illness narratives in online spaces (Shannon Sandford, Astrid Joutseno), documentaries (Janin Tscheschel) or pandemic fiction (Birgit Däwes), and deal with the place of marginalized or minority groups within narratives of illness (Dagmar Wernitznig, Emma McKenna).

The issue’s _Essays feature insights into illness narratives and narrative medicine (Monica Greco & Paul Stenner) and illness as a product of social meaning and knowledge-making processes (Jon Arrizabalaga).

The difficulty of putting illness experiences into words is reflected on in the _Perspective by Ann Wallace, who shares her journey with long-COVID, and Kamila Iżykowicz explores how to render visible disability through art and design.

On_Culture: The Open Journal for the Study of Culture is a biannual, peer-reviewed academic eJournal created and edited by doctoral researchers, postdocs and professors working at the GCSC. It provides a platform and forum for pursuing and reflecting on the study of culture. It investigates, problematizes and develops key concepts and methods in the field. More often than not, developing such new approaches and emerging topics is a collaborative and collective process. On_Culture is dedicated to fostering such collective processes and the cultural dynamics at work in thinking about and reflecting on culture.

Read the whole issue here.