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Mind Reading: The Role of Narrative in Mental Health

18th-19th June 2018

University of Birmingham

Do clinicians and patients speak the same language? How might we bridge the evident gaps in communication? How can we use narrative to foster clinical relationships? Or to care for the carers?

KEYNOTE SPEAKERS: Dame Professor Sue Bailey, Professor Sally Shuttleworth (Oxford), Professor Femi Oyebode (Birmingham), Professor Brendan Drumm (UCD), and Professor Chris Fitzpatrick (UCD)

This two-day programme of talks and workshops is a collaboration between the University of Birmingham, UCD Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, and the Diseases of Modern Life and Constructing Scientific Communities Projects at St Anne’s College, Oxford. Together we seek to explore productive interactions between narrative and mental health both historically and in the present day.

Bringing together psychologists, psychiatrists, GPs, service users, and historians of literature and medicine, we will investigate the patient experience through the prism of literature and personal narrative to inform patient-centred care and practice, and focus on ways in which literature might be beneficial in cases of burnout and sympathy fatigue.

A draft programme and link to our online registration site is available here.

If you have any questions or comments, please get in touch with Dr Melissa Dickson at


Conference Review

Beyond Two Cultures, King’s College London, December 11th, 2009

This stimulating one-day conference at King’s marked the fiftieth anniversary of C. P. Snow’s Rede lecture on the ‘two cultures’ in 1959. Incorporating three panels with participants from a broad range of disciplines was both ambitious and commendable. The conference aimed to look ‘beyond’ the nature of Snow’s original distinction and explore manifestations of the current relationship between science and the arts in the twenty-first century.

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