Life-writing at the limits: dementia in contemporary autobiographies and life-writing projects – Rebecca Bitenc (Seminar, Durham, 13 February 2013)


Centre for Medical Humanities Blog

Life-writing at the limits:
dementia in contemporary autobiographies and life-writing projects

Rebecca Bitenc
An Inventions of the Text seminar
Wednesday, 13th February 2013
5:30 – 7:00 pm
Department of English Studies, Hallgarth House Seminar Room, Durham University

New PictureDementia, due to world-wide increasing incidence rates, has come to the fore of public awareness. Its alleged loss of self raises a number of ethical and thus social and political issues. Etymologically denoting a person who is “out of mind”, dementia today designates a specific syndrome and, together with other mental disorders, has undergone a process of medicalization, which influences the way we understand it. At the same time, a growing number of cultural representations have flooded the literary market – from novels, dramas and films to autobiographies by care-givers and people with dementia.

This paper will look at a number of autobiographies by people with early-onset Alzheimer’s as well as the published…

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