'On Being Ill': Stories from a Century of Medical Transformation

Event occurred on:

April 23, 2014 (All Day)
Location:  Eynon Ballroom, Chamberlain Student Center

Join us in welcoming Dr. Ann Jurecic, guest lecturer as part of the CHSS Speaker Series. In the 21st century, stories of personal illness are everywhere: in books,
magazines, and films, in vast quantities online, and even compressed into
Tweets. Our willingness to disclose information about sickness would
have been unthinkable a century ago. American literature, for example, is
virtually silent about the 1918 flu. But seventy years later, an outpouring
of memoirs about AIDS established the illness narrative as a popular and
literary genre that has, in turn, inspired new memoirs about disability and
genetic risk. In this talk, Professor Jurecic will discuss the emergence of
narratives about illness during the twentieth century and the cultural work
performed by these narratives. She will also examine contemporary memoirs
about genetics and genomics and ask how the stories we tell about health,
illness, risk, and the self are evolving as our understanding of humanity is
transformed by personal DNA testing.
Ann Jurecic is an Associate Professor of English at Rutgers University. Her
publications include her recent book Illness as Narrative (2012) and articles
such as 'Life Narratives in the Genomic Age' (The Lancet, March 2014) and
?Empathy and the Critic? (College English, 2011). A new book about writing,
Habits of the Creative Mind, is forthcoming in 2014.