Prof. Dr. Corina Caduff [BFH Bern University of the Arts]
Speech and language are omnipresent in settings of dying. There is a new boom of autobiographical reports about dying, from blogs in the Internet to last books written by writers at their personal end of life. These prove the current relevance of speaking about impending death, and they encourage a new exploration of narratives about dying. Reports about dying negotiate between fears and desires, and between the known and unknown. They shift amongst medical data and hope, numerical statistics and possible deviations, and amongst ideas of death and the will to live.
In narratological inquiry of published texts and everyday ways of speaking, recurring narrative patterns are examined to determine how they shape the understanding and experience of dying. How do narratives about dying reflect nursing, design and religious practices in the settings of dying? How do such narratives in turn influence these practices? The sources of reference include autobiographical reports about dying in various media: literature, text and video blogs on the Internet, reality shows on television, documentaries, as well as studies based on interviews with dying people.