Gilbrea Seminar Series – The Contribution of Literary Scholarship to Gerontology

Main Campus | L.R. Wilson Hall | Room 1003

14/09/2018, 1:00 pm - TO 14/09/2018 - 2:00 pm

Organizer: Gilbrea Centre for Studies in Aging

My Calendar

In Marlene Goldman’s ‘The Contribution of Literary Scholarship to Gerontology” she argues that novelists, poets, and dramatists play a profound role in any period’s understandings of illness and disease. In the case of late-onset dementia and Alzheimer’s disease, language —specifically, clusters of familiar metaphors and literary genres such as tragedy and the Gothic — constitute the central medium for the ongoing interplay between biology and culture. The idea that fiction, more than medicine, is responsible for shaping our concepts of disease is central to her book, Forgotten: Age-Related Dementia and Alzheimer’s Disease in Canada and to her film Piano Lessons, an adaptation of Alice Munro’s story In Sight of the Lake from her recent collection Dear Life (2012). Professor Goldman’s training in literary studies enables her to step back from authoritative and popular narratives about aging and age-related diseases, to consider how they are narratively constructed, whose interests they serve, and, on occasion to challenge their Gothic and apocalyptic pronouncements.

This is a FREE event and open to all. Questions? Please email or visit:

The Gilbrea Centre is an interdisciplinary research hub that is dedicated to addressing issues of aging through collaborative and policy relevant research.