8007 Illness as Fiction: Textual Afflictions in Print and Online - BA Small Grant

Project Details


Amidst the rise of fake news and Internet hoaxes, bogus illness accounts are particularly troubling. This project will analyse the construction of these fake patient identities in print and online with the instruments of illness narrative scholarship. Drawing on research in literary criticism, psychiatry, and psychology, it will illuminate how fake illness autobiographies are created, whether in the form of published books or in the realm of online peer-support communities (e.g. cases of Munchausen by Internet). Three workshops at the University of Bristol will produce interdisciplinary knowledge of these purely textual afflictions. With no pathologizing, moralising or criminalising intent, this project will shed light on contemporary societal understanding of the illness experience beyond the clinical environment. A special issue of an interdisciplinary academic journal will contribute to current debates in narratology, social psychology, and publishing studies, while a research project blog will reach out to interested online communities.
Effective start/end date1/05/1831/08/21


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