Friday was Christmas Sparkle my storytelling event for Warwick postgrads with Colin King.
As we sat there will mulled wine and mince pies Colin amused us with amusing, spooky and local stories. Originally from Ireland Colin went from teacher to storyteller. He also works with schools to make subjects interesting for their students.
“The storyteller was very good and I really liked the ancient folktales about Warwickshire and Ireland. Thanks for organising the event!”
Also took part in a seminar via a webcam between Warwick University and Monash University in Australia. This was organised by Celia Bennett Bernstein and Josette (from Warwick), Carlos and Nicholas (from Monash).
Celia is doing work on dystonia (uncontrollable and sometimes painful muscle spasms caused by incorrect signals from the brain). Please see TheDystonia Society for more information.
Discussions were around Foucault’s ideas of power and sense of self. Specifically how medicine companies have the power to set social expectations about what is normal about our sense of self, emotions and states of mind. Thereby fitting people into categories which impact on mental health.
Some of the points I found interesting were about the way illness acts as a biographical interuption, it’s not seen as normal. Yet what is normal anyway? This is a generalisation determined by society, and the dominant powers in that society such as health care and drug companies. Organisations like the NHS produce materials such as leaflets, posters, and TV advertisements and therefore have great influence on how health is percieved. Are drug companies acting in an oppressive way in order to make money? Regardless, the way knowledge is created and then shared is important in understanding how we can change public perceptions to empower people. So what changes do we want to see?