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Friday, July 08, 2011

Garner, Walker, MacKellar, Beveridge on NARRATIVE AND HEALING

About the Symposium
Commenting on the therapeutic dimensions of autobiographical writing, Marilyn Chandler notes: ‘All crises in some way or another involve a struggle with language, and to be healed we need to seem to find a way to tell our stories’. The recent proliferation of illness narratives and memoirs on bereavement attest to the truth of Chandler’s observation. Yet, illness sometimes has the power to silence voice. Bereavement can often render the experience of loss unspeakable. How then do the seriously ill, or the bereaved, find a way to tell their stories? What kind of stories do they tell? How does the act of telling stories shape experience? And how should we listen to those stories? How do we engage ethically with them? And what constitutes healing?

These are just some of the questions to be addressed at a one-day Symposium in which Australian writers and medical practitioners come together to explore the rich, complex relationship between narrative and healing. Writers Helen Garner, Brenda Walker, Maggie MacKellar and Judith Beveridge and specialist clinicians working in palliative care and bereavement counselling discuss, from a range of perspectives, how storytelling, particularly in times of crisis, enacts healing.

Time: 8.45am for 9.00am - 5.00pm
Date: Saturday 3 September 2011
Venue: Foyer, New Law Building, University of Sydney
Cost: $60.00

The cost of registration is $60.00. All meals and drinks provided.

To register download, print and complete the Registration Payment Form, and return to:

Bernadette Brennan
Department of English
John Woolley Building, A20
University of Sydney
NSW 2006

Confirmed speakers include writers: Helen Garner, (Joe Cinque's Consolation, The Spare Room), Maggie Mackellar (When It Rains: a Memoir), Brenda Walker (Reading by Moonlight: How Books Saved a Life), and Judith Beveridge.

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