Dr Maryam Farahani PhD, MA (Literature), BA (Literature & Linguistics), MSc (Psychology), MA (Education Leadership & Management)

Research Associate English

Research

The Narrative-Cognitive Spectrum

My literary research interests are varied and interrelated. I work on textual analysis upon the meeting of mind/body narratives, spanning literature of the long nineteenth century (mainly focused on Great Britain, Germany, Russia, Iran, Turkey), philosophy of mind, philosophy of science (particularly the cognitive domain), and continental philosophy in relation to historical multimodalities, in addition to twentieth-century verse narratives and contemporary narratology.

A major focus of my literary research is pain, its literary history, theories, and wider impact on other fields. I am currently developing ideas at the interface between communicative subjectivities and analytical objectivities, reading aesthetics of pain in relation to cognitive science. As such, my literary work is unique in the sense that it falls neither within the corpus followed by traditionalist literary critics nor that endorsed by contemporary radicals.

Auto/Biographical Narratology of Otherness

Looking for structural examples in auto/biographical narratives is my primary focus in the study of otherness, self-, and other-construction. To understand how cases of implicit bias, for instance, inform the structural content and/or transform textual dynamics of content in any work of art is among my major multidisciplinary research interests. To decipher meanings (altered by or reconstructed by way of implicit/explicit bias cues) requires certain methodological reading of narratives for which I relay literary analysis to neurobiological mechanisms surrounding learning, motivation, meaning-making, language, and decision-making.

In this direction, I am currently responsible for narrative analysis, compiling and co-editing 2 volumes (forthcoming 2019-20): one in collaboration with medical professionals from across the UK and the other with mental health colleagues. In both works, I draw upon a comprehensive historical reading of policies, perceptions, and theories while investigating the relevant narrative spectrum.

Research Collaborations

Professor Josie Billington

Project: Dementia-friendly book groups at the Care Home: Can quality of life be improved?
Internal

We want to help people living with Alzheimer’s disease or other types of dementia to enjoy reading and sharing books. And we want to provide a meaningful social activity – a dementia-friendly book group - to help improve quality of life and sense of well-being at the care home.

Community Dance Groups

Project: Oriental Dance & Variations (2019-2021)
External

In 2019, I have started a new project on the significance of movement terminology and body-mind narratives. This project involves professional dance teachers, psychologists, and community dancers who are practically engaged in the exercise of movement terminology. The project will see a collaborative narratology-based publication in due course.

School of Psychology & Pain Research Institute

Project: Pain, a Psycho-Aesthetic Discourse from Renaissance Minds to Contemporary Narratives (2013-2018)
Internal

I have worked closely with colleagues from the School of Psychology, mainly on topics surrounding pain for this project (2015-18). I continue to collaborate on various relevant projects with our internal psychology and medicine colleagues.

Primary and Secondary Care Professionals, NHS, Healthcare Management Bodies

Project: Primary Care Narratives (2016-2019)
External

I am currently involved in a multi-speciality project, addressing primary care topics on patient and community care. I am collaborating with a diverse group of healthcare professionals, NHS professionals, Mental Health colleagues, secondary care consultants, and managerial as well as accounting experts. This project will be published as a co-edited volume in addition to several journal papers in due course (2019-20).