Thursday, November 01
Death may seem an unlikely partner for humor, but death humor is all around us. Laughing at the universal fear of death lets us distance ourselves from it or even feel superior to it, while still satisfying our irresistible and inevitable need to engage with it. Humor makes death part of our common experience, acknowledging it as part of our culture rather than a failure of medicine or a taboo to be feared.
This workshop will be a participatory immersion in the Narrative Medicine approach to understanding, with a specific focus on humorous narratives of death and dying. Together we will examine video clips, cartoons and prose. As with the study of any narrative, close examination of death humor across genres can reveal attitudes about death and dying in our society and in ourselves – attitudes that are so pervasive as to be invisible. Using the tools of narrative competency, we will also tease out humor’s complexity within a larger story and its role in connecting us to each other as patients and professionals.