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Chronic Time, Afflicted Lives

This article is part of the following series:

“Mine is an illness of time.” […] “Time has no cure.”

— Catarina

(Joao Biehl, Vita: Life in a Zone of Social Abandonment, 2005: 107)


Chronic is a temporal loop: it recursively, discursively, iteratively reproduces human experience. In the domain of health and illness, this reproduction perpetuates passing time as extending suffering and stalling the very dynamic of living. …

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Lectures

Thinking through the ‘Biosocial’: Rhythmic Reflections in Pandemic Times

This article is part of the following series:

Much has been written of late on the ‘biosocial’ in the social sciences and humanities — see for example Ingold (2013), Meloni et al (2016), Lloyd and Muller (2018) — including postings in Somatosphere (Béhague 2020Meloni 2014). In part this stems from the limits of ‘representational’ approaches and a need to marry the biological and social …

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Pandemic Time

This article is part of the following series:

I was sitting at my computer when we got the call. My father in his chair, my mother on the sofa. Two days earlier we had found out that my father’s aunt was in the hospital in Rio with the coronavirus. She was my grandmother’s twin sister. My biological grandmother died in the early 1970s, two decades before I was …

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Changing Time

History and dementia are both concerned with time. Writing history is all about folding time, making sense of things that have become confused and confusing with the passage of time by bringing different points into contact. And dementia, as the reflections in this series show, suggest different ways of experiencing and enacting time. These variations in dealing with time …

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The fool with the watering can, or asynchronous time travelling

One of the most bewildering and fascinating things about spending time with people with dementia is that they can rapidly travel through time. This was most clear with Mrs B., a daydreaming woman of 86. Her skin was deeply wrinkled and in the nursing home she kept pretty much to herself. One day, I had a long, stretched out conversation …

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Six photos of my father at 91

I have chosen to tell a story based on six photographs I took of my father, Ivio Duranti (1918-2009) in the last year of his life. He was never diagnosed as having Alzheimer’s disease, but he definitely had some of the symptoms of dementia, including memory loss, disorientation, apathy, reduced speech production, and occasional hallucinations, even though he seemed able …

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