from May 11, 2022 to May 13, 2022
Published on May 9, 2022 Updated on May 9, 2022

Literature ← writing → Care, Health carers/Patients: what sort of narrative practices?

Venue: May 11th: Chênes 1, Amphi Simone Veil, Cergy - May 12th and 13th : La maison Internationale de la Recherche, Neuville-sur-Oise

International conference, coordinated by Sylvie Brodziak and Anne-Marie Petitjean, CY HERITAGES


Literature and medicine are two disciplinary fields that gradually diverged during modern History, but that are now converging in some way, as some recent scientific events set it up: this was reflected by the international colloquium “The indiscipline of medical Humanities” at the university of Bordeaux, in November 2020, after the congress “Medical Humanities: fictions, representations, testimonies” at Sorbonne Paris Cité University in 2017, and the launch in 2019 of the IRN Medial Humanities, an international network supported by the CNRS. In contemporary Literature, the great tradition of writers-physicians, as well as the tradition of narrative representations of death and suffering, are tending to new sorts of storytelling experiments. It becomes “the place where our life forms and our empowerment are reflexively going to develop” (Gefen 2021).

According to a non-sectoral health-care ethics (Tronto 2009 ; Paperman & Laugier 2011, Brugère 2017), to “ambiance” as a philosophical concept (Tallagrand, Thibaud & Tixier 2021, Begout 2020) and mainly an approach of storytelling that extends the notion in an anthropologic way (Ricœur 1983-1985 ; Schaeffer 2020), new synergies between medical Humanities and “intervention literature” are taking place, firstly in professional practices and training courses (Charon 2015 ; Goupy & Le Jeunne 2017).

In such context, the current symposium is focusing on the way relationship between Literature and Care is written up. That is why the word “writing” is placed between both terms. The aim is to ask precisely how written narration is practiced, both by health-carers and by patients. How can the relationship issue with disease, care, physical or mental failure can be written on paper? What input for a written narrative? Which links between creative writing gestures and therapeutic gestures? Is Literature sometimes repairing? Is it firstly partnering?

The contributions for the conference can be proposed to the scientific committee before November,1, 2022, with a brief outline (about 150 words in French or in English), a title, a bio and bibliographic sketch. Propositions could follow one of these main lines:
1. Medical positions, literary positions
2. Care, imagination and interculturality
3. Sensitive atmosphere and storytelling


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