Text and Context: The Patient as Text - Revisited
As a tribute to the Norwegian literary scholar Petter Aaslestad’s The Patient as Text. The Role of the Narrator in Psychiatric Notes, 1890-1990, the research group Health, Art and Society (HAS) at UiT The Arctic University of Norway organised the symposium The Patient as Text - Revisited in autumn 2018. Aaslestad explores in his book from 1997 around 150 patient files from a Norwegian psychiatric hospital written between 1890 and 1990. Applying narratological categories, he analyses who is speaking in these reports, which perspectives are used, and in which ways those perspectives are reproduced. In this way, he unravels how patients diagnosed with schizophrenia are narratively present or absent in their own medical files and how the mental health professionals, as constructors of these narratives, are surrounded and affected by ideological and medical changes.