The Need for Narrative: Grappling & Reckoning with These Times
Join us for a new virtual basic workshop and online course! The Need for Narrative: Grappling and Reckoning with These Times invites you to join the narrative medicine international community in bringing our creative resources to the task of locating ourselves in these unprecedented times and exploring the power of narrative work to bring our experiences into focus.
Format: Online Asynchronously/On-Demand and Live via Zoom
Cost: $325 - $700; early bird rates are available until October 1
“We tell stories because in the last analysis human lives need and merit being narrated. This remark takes on its full force when we refer to the necessity to save the history of the defeated and the lost. The whole history of suffering . . . calls for narrative.”
– Paul Ricoeur
COVID-19 transformed the human experience on a global scale, forcing us into isolation yet uniting us in an immediate response to illness, mortality, and the harrowing task facing our healthcare systems and workers. The pandemic illuminated disparities in healthcare, race, and social justice, and the dramatic political polarization and still-present histories of discrimination that shaped those disparities and allows them to persist. The May 25, 2020 murder of George Floyd, among many other events, prompted thousands to risk health and safety for the sake of marching for justice and reform, demonstrating that responding to this pivotal moment in time involves far more than the monumental task of attempting to temper a virus on a global scale.
The seemingly overwhelming complexities and interconnectedness of our moment call for narrative reckoning. How do we begin to engage with the fear, uncertainty, and burnout of navigating any or all of them? How do we understand our own experiences of loss, illness, caretaking, injustice, or activism in relation to the experiences of others so that we can find perspective and understanding? How do we find ways to cope and move forward?
This workshop offers narrative and creative work as a means to engage with these questions through creative and scholarly presentations by the Narrative Medicine faculty on creativity, philosophy and ethics, and witnessing of self and others, as well as intimate group work with other participants engaging with literature, film, and art. We are also honored to welcome distinguished guest speaker Nigel Hatton, Associate Professor of Literature and affiliate faculty in Critical Race and Ethnic Studies at UC Merced, Adjunct instructor at Mount Tamalpais College at San Quentin Prison, Lecturer in Narrative Medicine, Contributing Editor to The James Baldwin Review, and Fellow at the University of California Humanities Research Institute, who will speak to us about narrative medicine’s potential as a tool for social justice.
While neither poetry, art, science, nor medicine (narrative or otherwise) can provide us with certainty on how to respond to this current moment in our history, all of these tools can help us to hold our questions and experiences and create spaces to grapple and reckon with them together. We hope you join us
Live Workshop Schedule*
*all times ET and all sessions held on Zoom
Friday, October 22nd
- 5:00–6:30 p.m.: Telling, Listening, and Living through Stories: Conjectures, Refutations, and Concordances within Narrative Medicine | Rita Charon, M.D., Ph.D.
- 7:00–8:00 p.m.: Small Group Seminars | Breakout Rooms
Saturday, October 23rd
- 9:30–11:00 a.m.: Small Group Seminars | Breakout Rooms
- 1:00–2:30 p.m.: GUEST LECTURE | Nigel Hatton, PhD
- 3:30–5:00 p.m.: Small Group Seminars | Breakout Rooms
- 5:30–6:00 p.m.: Faculty Q&A for Recorded Lectures | Nellie Hermann & Craig Irvine
Sunday, October 24th
- 9:30–11:00 a.m.: The Legacy of Untold Stories: The Look of Silence and Narrative Intervention | Maura Spiegel, PhD
- 12:00–1:30 p.m.: Small Group Seminars | Breakout Rooms
- 2:30–3:45 p.m.: Witnessing Self and Other | Deepthiman Gowda, MD, MPH, MS
- 4:00–5:30 p.m.: Small Group Seminars | Breakout Rooms
- 5:30–6:00 p.m.: Weekend Wrap-Up | Narrative Medicine Faculty