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Research collaboration – “Narrating people”

We’re looking forward to a cold beer after work. But suddenly we are struck by a pain – a toothache! We all know the feeling. We’ve all had a toothache before. And yet each of us would tell the story differently.

Mita Banerjee and Amina Touzos are exploring how we experience pain or fear, and how each of us has a very different story to tell about it. They are collaborating on this with subprojects A11 and A13 of the SFB 1280. “The method we are using for this is called Narrative Medicine. It was developed at Columbia University in New York,” reports Mita Banerjee, professor of American literary studies at the University of Mainz. “As literary scholars, we still listen to stories in a very different way. For example, when you read a novel or a detective story, every word can be important, you can’t miss anything. Every little thing can be the crucial clue to the solution,” Banerjee describes. This is exactly the same for the way we can hear narratives about pain or fear. Capturing these stories more accurately can also help medical professionals and researchers better understand their patients’ experiences.

Find out more on the project page: >>