Keynote Address: Arthur W. Frank, Professor Emeritus, University of Calgary

In 1989 I began writing a memoir describing three years of critical illness. What began as a work of self-expression later turned into a form of research, as I studied others’ recollections of illness. Drawing examples from almost three decades, this lecture discusses why illness needs expressive arts, why expressions of illness need researchers, and how health research needs to change in order to recognize the full range of what symbolic recollections of illness express.

Arthur Frank is the author of several books, beginning with his illness memoir At the Will of the Body (1991; Mariner Books edition, 2002). The Wounded Storyteller (University of Chicago, 2nd edition 2013) is one of the most widely cited works on illness experience. Letting Stories Breathe (Chicago, 2010) asks how stories affect our lives and what the particular capacities of stories are. The book developed through a decade of teaching workshops on narrative analysis on five continents. Frank has lectured internationally and been a visiting professor at universities including University of Toronto, Sydney University, and Keio University in Tokyo. He is professor emeritus at the University of Calgary and currently professor at VID Specialized University in Norway. His academic honors include election to the Royal Society of Canada and the RSC’s medal for bioethics (2008).

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