november, 2021

02nov12:0013:00J Wood et al: Total Pain12:00 - 13:00 Studio 6Event type:Panel / conversationTopic:End-of-life

Time

(Tuesday) 12:00 - 13:00

Location

Studio 6

Event Details

Panel session with Joe Wood, Marian Krawczyk,  David Borthwick , Miranda Cichy Total Pain: Witnessing the End of Life During an Age of Mass Extinction

The idea of total pain, where terminal pain is not just physical but also emotional, social, and spiritual, is a key concept in end-of-life care. In this session, we explore how total pain may enable a deeper understanding of our embodied experiences of witnessing during an age of mass extinction. Timeline Our timeline has three aspects. Two presenters will open the session through creative engagement with the ‘anchoring nodes’ of our conversation: witnessing, pain, and the ends of life; the other two presenters will interpret these creative pieces through the idea of total pain. We will then employ audio and visual prompts to create an immersive ‘painscape’ leading to audience discussion about the ways in which total pain renders visible the experiences of bearing witness to an age of mass extinction.

What you’re hoping to achieve through the conversation The idea of total pain was initially generated through bearing witness to dying patients and a desire to validate their pain as an all-encompassing affective state. Together with the audience we will consider how the idea of total pain in the 21st century might encompass the ways in which we engage with species extinction, climate crises, and bone-deep yearnings for a hospitable planet. We wish to engage in a conversation that considers how the idea of total pain can be extended beyond the human, as an experience mutually constituted within webs of relations between individual humans, more-than-humans, habitats, and ecosystems. We are curious to see if total pain can be extended from a descriptor of human experience to a form of recognition that humans – and their embodied experiences of pain – are fundamentally a multi-species endeavour. At the same time, we wish to consider how the idea may acknowledge the emotional cost of not turning away from the ends of life, but instead engaging in the shared pain of bearing witness to these times. It may also give a name to the collective feelings expressed in private reflections, public memorialisations, and other forms of ritual or counter-monument (such as life cairns) sparked by what we are witnessing. 

Through this conversation, total pain may provide a new way of understanding how our experiences of witnessing and pain need not be wholly negative through offering a form of multispecies solidarity.

Speakers for this event

  • Dr David Borthwisk

    Dr David Borthwisk

    Dr David Borthwick is part of a group of poets, writers, and researchers within the School of Interdisciplinary Studies at the University of Glasgow, including the End-of-Life Studies Group and Critical Environmental Studies. Our methods of inquiry borrow from anthropology, social theory, literary ecocriticism, history and philosophy. David is a tramper of fields and stander in the rain who leads the Environment, Culture and Communication postgraduate programme at the University of Glasgow’s School of Interdisciplinary Studies in Dumfries. His research interests are in contemporary ecopoetry and the future of place. He also writes poetry and non-fiction.

  • Dr Marian Krawczyk

    Dr Marian Krawczyk

    Dr Krawczyk is part of a group of poets, writers, and researchers within the School of Interdisciplinary Studies at the University of Glasgow, including the End-of-Life Studies Group and Critical Environmental Studies. Our methods of inquiry borrow from anthropology, social theory, literary ecocriticism, history and philosophy. Marian is a medical anthropologist, ethnographer, and Program Convenor for the End of Life Studies MSc Program at the University of Glasgow. Currently she is researching death doulas, how the microbiome shapes experiences of suffering at the end of life, and the history of palliative care

  • Joe Wood

    Joe Wood

    Joe Wood is part of a group of poets, writers, and researchers within the School of Interdisciplinary Studies at the University of Glasgow, including the End-of-Life Studies Group and Critical Environmental Studies. Our methods of inquiry borrow from anthropology, social theory, literary ecocriticism, history and philosophy. Joe is a PhD researcher interested in the way that people express their experiences of pain, death, dying and grief. His project focuses on the legacy of the idea of 'total pain' as used by the hospice pioneer Cicely Saunders and its relation to – among other things – holism, time, narrative, touch, and silence.

  • Miranda Cichy

    Miranda Cichy

    Miranda Cichy is part of a group of poets, writers, and researchers within the School of Interdisciplinary Studies at the University of Glasgow, including the End-of-Life Studies Group and Critical Environmental Studies. Our methods of inquiry borrow from anthropology, social theory, literary ecocriticism, history and philosophy. Dr Marian Krawczyk is a medical anthropologist, ethnographer, and Program Convenor for the End of Life Studies MSc Program at the University of Glasgow. Currently she is researching death doulas, how the microbiome shapes experiences of suffering at the end of life, and the history of palliative care. Miranda is a poet and PhD researcher at the University of Glasgow. Her research explores ways of storying the sixth mass extinction, with a focus on how taxidermy specimens generate encounters with anthropogenic bird extinction. Her poems have most recently been published in the weird folds: everyday poems from the anthropocene (Dostoyevsky Wannabe, 2020).

Schedule

    • Day 1
    • 31/10/2021
    • 16.00 Opening day events16.00 - 21.00Opening day events including keynotesSpeakers: Bayo Akomolafe, Beatrice Allegranti

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