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Impact and Engagement

Beckett and Visual Culture, September 2007

In 2007 I ran a one-day symposium, Beckett and Visual Culture, which took place on Saturday, November 17th 2007 at Milburn House, University of Warwick. The event was sponsored by the CAPITAL Centre and the Humanities Research Centre at Warwick and attracted more than 60 participants from Britain, Europe and North America. The symposium accompanied an exhibition of Bill Prosser's art works based on Beckett's doodles in his manuscripts, displayed in the CAPITAL Centre foyer. It included a screening of Beckett's own Film and Andrew Kotting's recent film Klipperty-Klopp, and talks and performances by artists, scholars and theatre practitioners.

Details and a visual record of the event can be found at

Beckett, Language and the Mind, September 2009

In 2009 I ran a one-day symposium, Beckett, Language and the Mind, at Warwick with the participation of the Centre for the History of Medicine and the Warwick Medical School. Attendees included medics, psychologists, humanities scholars and students from across the university.

Beckett and Brain Science, 18th September, 2012

On September 18th 2012 I ran a workshop on Beckett and Brain Science, the culminating event of our AHRC project of the same name. The workshop included a performance by Fail Better Productions, a seminar, a practical performance workshop run by Jonathan Heron, Senior Teaching Fellow at the Institute of Advanced Teaching and Learning, University of Warwick, and academic and applied papers by philosophers, physicians, psychiatrists, neurologists and theatre and literature scholars. An account of the project, and of the workshop (with podcasts) can be found at:

NHS Workshops: 'Beckett on the Wards'

As an outcome of this project, Jonathan Heron (IATL) devised a workshop commissioned by the NHS Postgraduate Deanery for Kent, Surrey and Sussex to provide training in compassion and geriatric care for doctors and healthcare providers in hospitals.

Institute of Psychiatry: 'The Art of Psychiatry'

Our work in medical humanities has also led to my facilitating a series of talks/workshops for the 'Art of Psychiatry', a special interest group on psychiatry and the arts based at the Institute of Psychiatry, King's College London:

16th January 2013 Elizabeth Barry and Laura Salisbury, 'Samuel Beckett, Medicine and the Mind'

26th June 2013 Jonathan Heron and Graham Saunders, 'Sarah Kane'

14th January 2014 Jonathan Heron and Elizabeth Barry, 'Helpless Compassion’: From Samuel Beckett's Not I to the Francis Report' (participatory workshop)

Group and Family Therapy Conference session, Mount Sinai Hospital, New York

On 17th September 2015, colleagues and I gave a talk, 'Disorders of the Self: A Literary Example' to this group of psychiatrists, psychologists and social workers based at the Mount Sinai Hospital on the Upper East Side.

New York Psychoanalytic Society and Institute: Modernism, Psychoanalysis and the Embodied Mind

On 18th and 19th September 2015, colleagues and I organized and presented work in a two-day symposium in New York, exploring the relationship between modernist writing, psychoanalysis and disorders of self. This was funded by a second AHRC grant, awarded to establish a network investigating modernism, medicine and the embodied mind. A wide range of analysts, therapists and clinicians attended, in addition to humanities scholars and the general public. Parts of the event were accredited as Continuing Medical Education.

Empathy and Affect in Medical and Theatrical Practice

On 12th and 13th October 2017, colleages Dr Jan Parker (Cambridge), Dr Jane Montgomery Griffiths (Monash) and I organized a workshop at the University of Warwick exploring the concepts of empathy and affect in medical and theatrical practice, looking at the ways actors and audience relate to characters in physical or mental distress, and what questions this might open up in relation to medical ethics and practice. The event website is here: Empathy and Affect workshop

Living a Good Life in Older Age

On 5th and 6th July 2018, I ran an interdisciplinary symposium on ageing and living a good life at the University of Warwick. Keynote speakers were the founder of age studies, Dr Margaret Morganroth Gullette (Brandeis University), psychiatrist and philosopher Professor Julian C. Hughes (University of Bristol/NHS), and philosopher Professor Jan Baars (University of Humanistic Studies, Utrecht). The event will feature on a podcast in the MDTea series for healthcare professionals involved in older age care. The website is here: Living a Good Life in Older Age 

British Geriatric Society Autumn Meeting -- Arts Fringe Programme

In November 2019, I was invited by consultant geriatrician Dr Joanne Preston to run an arts fringe programme at a large biannual BGS medical conference, taking place in that year at the Curve Theatre, Leicester. I organized a programme of talks and arts activities for the attendees (doctors, nurses and health researchers working in older age care), including art and poetry workshops, film screenings, and a talk by me about Beckett, performance and Parkinson's Disease.