‘The troubled breath of so many’: On Sam Guglani’s “Histories”

Life of Breath Principle Investigator Prof Havi Carel explores themes of breath and illness in Sam Guglani‘s novel Histories (Riverrun, 2017)… Histories begins with a consultant, Dev Bhatia, walking into the hospital. It ends, six days later, with the same man … Read more…

Dear Breath: using story structure to understand the value of letter writing for those living with breathlessness (Penny & Malpass, 2019)

Can using letters help create a personal narrative and public story, generating new ways of relating to breathlessness?  A new paper by Life of Breath researcher Alice Malpass and collaborator Elspeth Penny explores the value of using theories of story … Read more…

Much we can do and even more to learn about COPD

For World COPD Day 2018 and the publication of Life of Breath’s new Policy Report, consultant respiratory physician and honorary senior lecturer at the the Academic Respiratory Unit (University of Bristol) Dr James Dodd writes… What is COPD? Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary … Read more…

“Letter to my Breath” at Fun Palaces, Bristol

Fun Palaces 2018 credit: Dean Ayotte/Elizabeth Blackwell Institute.

Life of Breath collaborator Elspeth Penny writes about her experience facilitating a “Letter to my Breath” workshop at Barton Hill Settlement in Bristol as part of Fun Palaces 2018…  It’s like a present when I’m invited to run a workshop, … Read more…

Breathing through oxygen technology in Uruguay and South Africa (Wainwright, 2018)

Life of Breath collaborator Dr. Megan Wainwright introduces her new paper “Exploring ambivalent human-oxygen technology-world relations through the lens of Postphenomenlogy” published in the Journal of Material Culture as part of a special issue on Ambivalent Objects in Global Health (Eds. … Read more…

Phenomenology’s contribution to health and illness

A new book on phenomenology and illness entitled Existential Medicine: Essays on Health and Illness is now out, with a chapter by Life of Breath Principle Investigator Havi Carel and PhD student Tina Williams. The book’s editor, Professor Kevin Aho, is the author of Existentialism: An Introduction, Heidegger’s … Read more…

Graphic Medicine: Breathing new insights into illness narratives with comics

Brian Callender is an internal medicine physician from the University of Chicago interested in the health humanities, with a focus on the theory and practice of “graphic medicine” to understand and improve our understanding of health, illness and the delivery of … Read more…

Invisible Suffering: The Experience of Breathlessness (Carel, 2018)

"LUNGTREE VI" - Cover photo by Maja Bjelica

In this book chapter in the volume Atmospheres of Breathing, Prof Carel considers breathlessness from a phenomenological perspective, reframing it as an existential, social, personal, cultural and psychological phenomenon, rather than a medical symptom. (Read more about the book on … Read more…

Responsibility without blame

Breathlessness is far broader than a physical symptom. It affects people’s mood, self-esteem and social links and often involves feelings of guilt and shame. Breathlessness can also be a symptom of a range of mental disorders, such as panic and anxiety disorders. There … Read more…

Chronic breathlessness: re-thinking the symptom (Macnaughton et al, 2018)

The Life of Breath team, like our colleagues at Breathe Oxford, recently responded to the proposal that defining chronic breathlessness as a syndrome might raise awareness of its impact on people’s lives. We stress that more consultation with ‘experts-by-experience’ (patients who experience … Read more…

Smog in a Time of Tobacco Control (Russell, 2017)

While in Delhi for a recent UN convention on tobacco control, anthropologist Andrew Russell reports on widespread ‘astroturfing’ – large multinationals subsidising apparently independent interest groups to secretly (or not so secretly) push corporate interests. Interference, intimidation, emotional blackmail and … Read more…

Chronic breathlessness: re-thinking the symptom (Faull et al, 2018)

Recently it was proposed that defining chronic breathlessness as a syndrome might raise awareness of its impact on people’s lives . Our collaborators at Breath Oxford responded. Their research explores the neuroscience of breathlessness, particularly the networks that generate perceptions. They … Read more…