interdisciplinarity

The Life of Breath: History, Texts, Contexts

10-12 July 2018, Durham Breathing is a basic physiological process, yet also has deep cultural, spiritual and personal meaning. However, although breath and breathing are such resonant and urgent subjects, they have never been the subject of systematic cultural or … Read more…

Sensations and Symptoms Conference Panel

5-7 July 2017, Portugal Life of Breath PhD student Fredrik Nyman and Durham anthropologist Christina Dobson are coordinating a panel at the EASA Medical Anthropology Biannual Conference Network Meeting: Bodies in Transition — Power, Knowledge and Medical Anthropology The panel, … Read more…

Breath Lab: Lost in Translation

24 May 2017, Durham Breath Lab is an experiment; a discussion forum which brings people together to think differently about breathing, breathlessness and respiratory health. Convened by the Life of Breath research team, our first workshop will explore the language … Read more…

Breathless in Bristol (3)

Magritte

Please note that audio files of all the talks given at this conference will be available shortly. Life of Breath PhD student Tina Williams writes: On the 16th and 17th March, The University of Bristol hosted a conference on phenomenology, anxiety … Read more…

Breath Control

Breath Control

23 March 2017, Cambridge Artist Caroline Wright has made a successful application to Arts Council England, in collaboration with Cambridge Junction and Life of Breath academic Prof. Gene Feder, a GP with a particular interest in lung conditions. Caroline describes her … Read more…

Inspiring change: humanities and social science insights into the experience and management of breathlessness

Durham team members Rebecca Oxley and Jane Macnaughton argue that, in order to treat breathlessness more effectively, we need a greater understanding of how it feels to be breathless and how this experience may be communicated. In particular they explore the differences between the way … Read more…

Breathing and Breathlessness in Clinic & Culture

Our PIs, Jane Macnaughton and Havi Carel have contributed a chapter on breathing and breathlessness to a new book, ‘The Edinburgh Companion to the Critical Medical Humanities’, in which expert contributors from around the world map out the field of the critical … Read more…

The First and Last Breath: reflections from palliative & neonatal care

Butterfly

Kate Binnie, yoga teacher and music therapist, writes:  In his brilliant book Being Mortal (2015) Atul Gawande calls for all healthcare professionals working with patients at the end of life to “help people to end their stories on their own … Read more…

Arthur’s ‘labouring of the lungs’ in Tennyson’s Idylls of the King

Elsa Hammond is a PhD candidate at the University of Bristol, working on breath and death in the poetry of Samuel Taylor Coleridge, Alfred Tennyson and Thomas Hardy. She writes: In accordance with Arthurian legend, Tennyson’s Arthur does not die absolutely … Read more…

Metaphysics and Heavy Breathing (or Tippett’s Fourth Symphony)

Breathless, Cornelia Parker

Composer Toby Young writes: Tippett’s Fourth Symphony is a vast and complex tone poem, concerned with life, death and the very essence of being: a pretty impressive list of topics for a composer to deal with, perhaps, but not unexpected … Read more…

Fully-funded Life of Breath/medical humanities PhD at Durham University – new deadline

Would you like to join the Durham Life of Breath project team? We are inviting medical humanities PhD proposals which address either of the following topics Stigma and/or stereotypes in relation to breathing, breathlessness and/or lung disease Engaging with Life … Read more…

Near-death experiences: mortality at Medicine Unboxed

Kate Binnie writes about the recent Medicine Unboxed conference (November 18th-20th, Cheltenham). Next year’s conference is on the theme of wonder and you can keep up-to-date via Twitter @medicineunboxed. The theme this year at Medicine Unboxed was mortality. This extraordinary conference is … Read more…

‘I need security to survive’

Kate Binnie, yoga teacher and music therapist, shares a memory of a hospice patient: Paula wakes early every day and spends time in bed, praying. “I’m a good Catholic girl” she wheezes up at me from her chair, grinning naughtily. … Read more…

Making the invisible visible (2)

Rebecca Oxley, post-doctoral research fellow on the Life of Breath project, writes about the recent project launch in Durham (see Making the invisible visible (1): Life of Breath officially launched its programme of work in Durham this week by offering a … Read more…

Way up high

Rainbow

Jess Farr-Cox (Project Manager, Bristol) writes: Our recent official launch of the project was in many ways a model of interdisciplinarity.[1] The team is diverse and large, which gives us a richness of perspective, but also creates difficulties in how … Read more…