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Book as Body: The Meaning-Making of Artists' Books in the Health Humanities


Book as Body: The Meaning-Making of Artists' Books in the Health Humanities

Stahl, Darian Goldin ORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0002-8853-9902 (2021) Book as Body: The Meaning-Making of Artists' Books in the Health Humanities. PhD thesis, Concordia University.

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This research-creation dissertation investigates how artists’ books’ text, images, form, materiality, and other sensory engagements merge to communicate lived experiences of illness and disability. I ask how the meanings of these abstracted book-bodies adapt and change when they are re-interpreted by readers, and how this can be an effective strategy for forming relational understandings of what it is like to live with illness. Within the framework of a phenomenological practice, I show the generative potential for empathy and intercorporeal exchange that often occurs when engaging with another’s artist’s book. Next, I describe past practices of artists who have deployed artists’ books in negotiating the biomedicalization of their illness experience. I then reflect upon my own contribution to the intersection of artists’ books and healthcare, Field Notes: How to Be With. Finally, I analyze the outcomes of artist’s book workshops I developed and conducted with multiple communities, including biomedical personnel. These distinct, but inter-related research-creation practices indicate how patient communities can devise tacit and multi-sensory expressions of embodied phenomena that may otherwise be difficult to communicate through verbal means alone. From a health humanities perspective, the pedagogical potential of reading and making artists’ books may assist in resisting systemic pressures for clinical efficiency and unseat biases towards illness and disability. This research-creation dissertation thus serves as a philosophical, pedagogical, and pragmatic example of how to engage with artists’ books in health contexts. It examines how the formation of archival, hand-made book objects constitutes a legacy of lived experience that may be called upon, again and again, to share and understand life, death, illness, health, unease, and wellbeing.

Divisions:Concordia University > Faculty of Arts and Science > Humanities: Interdisciplinary Studies
Concordia University > Research Units > Centre for Interdisciplinary Studies in Society and Culture
Concordia University > Research Units > Hexagram - The Institute for Research/Creation in Media Arts and Technologies
Concordia University > Research Units > Milieux Institute for Arts, Culture and Technology
Item Type:Thesis (PhD)
Authors:Stahl, Darian Goldin
Institution:Concordia University
Degree Name:Ph. D.
Date:8 February 2021
Thesis Supervisor(s):Sawchuk, Kim
Keywords:research-creation, health humanities, artists' books, printmaking, phenomenology, pedagogy
ID Code:988230
Deposited By: Darian Goldin Stahl
Deposited On:29 Jun 2021 22:28
Last Modified:29 Jun 2021 22:28
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