Is literature healthy?

5:30pm - 8:00pm / Wednesday 11th March 2020
Type: Lecture / Category: Department
  • Suitable for: All welcome
  • Admission: Free
  • Book now
  • Add this event to my calendar
    (?)

    When you click on "Add this event to my calendar" your browser will download an ics file.

    Microsoft Outlook: Download the file, then you may be able to click on "Save & Close" to save it to your calendar. If that doesn't work go into Outlook, click on the File tab, then on Open, then Import. Select "Import an iCalendar (.ic or vCalendar file (.vcs)" then click on Next. Find the .ics file and click on OK.

    Google Calendar: download the file, then go into your calendar. On the right where it says "Other calendars" click on the arrow icon and then click on Import calendar. Click on Browse and select the .ics file, then click on Import.

    Apple Calendar: download the file, then you can either drag it to Calendar or import the file by going to File > Import > Import and choosing the .ics file.

Might literature’s true power be to extend and deepen our experience of both joy and sorrow?

Interest in reading as a force for good, particularly in relation to health, has blossomed in recent years. There is a long tradition, stretching back to the Renaissance and antiquity, extolling the value of literary reading for health. Yet, in what ways is literature good for us? Can it be considered therapeutic? Is it, or should it be, ‘healthy’? Might literature’s true power be to extend and deepen our experience of both joy and sorrow?

Dr Josie Billington will consider these questions in relation to key writers and thinkers in the field and in the context of her recent studies of contemporary reading practices in mental health settings. She will discuss the value of reading for people living with specific mental health conditions (depression, dementia, pain) as well as how literature from across the ages can help broaden and enrich our understanding of human ‘wellbeing’.

Fourth of five FREE Public Lectures in the Arts promoted by the University of Liverpool on the theme 'Beauty, Utility, Time'