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Chronic Illness Is Topic of Free Talk at Susquehanna University

Published on October 19, 2011

Chronic illness and the challenges it presents to both patients and the medical community will be the focus of a free public talk Oct. 28 at 11:30 a.m. at Susquehanna University. Nicole Defenbaugh, assistant professor of communication studies at Bloomsburg University and a chronic illness sufferer, will discuss “The Body’s Tale: Understanding Chronic Illness Through Performance and Personal Narrative,” in Meeting Rooms 4 and 5 of the Charles B. Degenstein Campus Center.

Defenbaugh will draw on her own experience with inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) to explore how illness is labeled, how patients learn and use medical jargon, how insight comes from sharing stories with others who also are ill, and how we can understand and perceive our bodies differently if we pause long enough to listen.

The event is sponsored by the Susquehanna University Medical Humanities Initiative. The goal of medical humanities is to explore how humanities disciplines illuminate the nature and practice of medicine; it includes art and medicine, bioethics, the history of medicine, literature and medicine, music and medicine, medicine in the performing arts, philosophy, psychology, theology, and medical anthropology and sociology.

Karen M. Jones


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