Narrative and Metaphor
UC Berkeley, October 2010
‘Binocular Vision: Narrative and Metaphor in Medicine,’ was a one-day symposium, which I coordinated, hosted by the Program for the Medical Humanities, held at the University of California at Berkeley in October 2010. It brought together medical practitioners and scholars from disciplines as diverse as anthropology, law, linguistics, literary studies, medical humanities, philosophy, and psychology, and from Canada, the UK and the US. Topics discussed included: narrative and metaphor in patients’ experience of illness and in their communications with medical professionals; the narrative medicine programs which have been developed in medical schools and the value of adding a metaphor dimension to these; narrative and metaphor as therapeutic devices; the changing narratives and metaphors employed by medical professionals in their own conceptions of sickness and medical treatment, over time, and across cultures; narrative and metaphor in the development of healthcare policy and public medical education.