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25 April 2024 - 25 April 2024

5:30PM - 7:00PM

IMH • Confluence Building • Online

  • FREE

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The launch of Narrating the Many Autisms: Identity, Agency, Mattering, with Anna Stenning in conversation with James McGrath and Sarah Lucas

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Book cover of Dr Anna Stenning's 'Narrating the Many Autisms: Identity, agency, mattering'

This event celebrates the launch of Narrating the Many Autisms: Identity, Agency, Mattering in January 2024 by Anna Stenning who, until recently, has been a Postdoctoral Research Associate in the Narrative Practices Lab. Anna will introduce her work on identity stories from writers, poets, film makers and academics in the UK and US who, in the light of their own diagnosis or disclosure of autism, reject the assumption that the condition can be comprehensively understood via existing biomedical frameworks. Drawing on critical approaches to storytelling in the medical humanities and neurodiversity theory, Stenning will demonstrate both the power of such writing to summon new shared understandings of autism and highlight the factors that render narrators subject to ‘arrogant perception’ (Lugones 1987). Through close attention to autistic ‘narrative practices’ and efforts at inclusive world-making, Stenning will argue for the need for expanded concepts of the narrative imagination and interpersonal connection.


Anna will be joined in conversation with James McGrath, who is a Senior Lecturer in English and Creative Writing at Leeds Beckett University, and Sarah Lucas, who is a Lecturer in Philosophy at the University of Exeter.


James McGrath is a poet and the author of who is a poet and author of Naming Adult Autism: Culture, Science, Identity, which considers autism depictions in cultural works including novels by Margaret Atwood, Douglas Coupland, and E. M. Forster, poetry by Les Murray and Joanne Limburg, television series such as The Big Bang Theory and The Office, and music including The Who’s Tommy and covers of Roland Orzabel’s ‘Mad World’.


Sarah Lucas is a political philosopher whose research focuses on feminist models of agency, identity formation, care ethics, communication and communicability, and interrogating the boundaries of the political.


Zoom details will be circulated in time closer to the event.

This workshop is brought to you by the Narrative Practices Lab in the Discovery Research Platform for Medical Humanities.