“Gender and Pathography from a Transnational Perspective" (GenPaTrans)
Funded by the Spanish Ministry of Science and Innovation (2021-2024).
The “Medical Humanities” is an interdisciplinary area of knowledge which explores human health and disease through the methods and materials of the creative arts and humanities. It responds to the imperative of understanding the experience of “being ill” through a wide spectrum of physical and mental maladies, as reflected in literature and other artistic expressions. The research group “Gender Studies in English-Speaking Countries” at UCM envisions to employ its consolidated expertise in the fields of gender, transnational and literary studies to explore stories of illness as (auto)pathographies, which complement a patient’s medical history, protest against injustices from the medical profession and global health systems and strengthen the healing purpose inherent in the act of writing, as “scriptotherapy”. To facilitate the investigation of (auto) pathographies in conjunction with gender and transnationality, this Research Project and its members are divided into four clusters: stories of bodily conditions, stories of psychic suffering, stories of sex- and sexuality-related occurrences, and stories of treatment and illness-related spaces.
This research group’s case studies include but are not limited to examining illness stories of restitution, chaos, quest and patients’ confrontation with death, as well as illness-related myths and metaphors, such as rebirth, battle, the amazon, or medical colonialization. This project’s overarching goal is to scrutinize key questions, themes and narrative strategies from the four axes of the already-mentioned clusters (the physical, the mental, the sexual and the spatial), in order to have diagnostic knowledge of several life episodes: being physically or mentally ill, interacting with healthcare professionals, being treated in hospitals and other health institutions, and being traditionally stigmatized for gendered pathologies.