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Laura Salisbury

Medical Humanities Lecture: "On Not Being Able to Read: Waiting and Anxiety in Current Times"

Event Type
Humanities Research Insitute
wifi event
Mar 10, 2021   12:00 pm  
Laura Salisbury (Medicine & English Literature, University of Exeter)
Originating Calendar
Campus Humanities Calendar

The COVID-19 pandemic and current political upheavals have triggered a general state of anxious ‘doomscrolling’ of social media and 24-hour online news. Reading this experience alongside Don DeLillo’s The Silence (2020), Professor Salisbury’s talk takes as its starting point the insight of the phenomenological psychiatrist Eugene Minkowski (1933) that much mental distress can be understood as a distortion of the flow of lived time. Whereas in depressive experiences time might be felt to be repetitively stuck and the future cancelled, in anxiety time threatens to overwhelm the individual, as if an unwelcome future is already swamping a helpless, hopeless present. For registration information, please contact Professor Stephanie Hilger. Supported by the HRI Medical Humanities Research Cluster, the Presidential Initiative to Celebrate the Arts and Humanities and the Carle Illinois College of Medicine


About the Speaker

After studying for a BA in English and European Literature at Warwick University, Laura Salisbury completed an MA in the Theory and Practice of Modern Fiction at Exeter University in 1996. Following this, she studied for a PhD at Birkbeck College, University of London, which she completed in 2003. From 2003–07, Salisbury was a lecturer in Modern and Contemporary Literature at Birkbeck, and was then awarded an RCUK Fellowship in Science, Techology and Culture (2007–13). In 2013, she became Reader in Modern and Contemporary Literature.

During her time at Birkbeck, Salisbury became increasingly interested in Medical Humanities and worked with colleague Joanne Winning to set up a new MA in Medical Humanities, taught in association with the Kent, Sussex and Surrey NHS Deanery. In 2013, she was appointed as Senior Lecturer in Medicine and Literature at Exeter University and is now Professor of Modern Literature and Medical Humanities.

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