What Poetry Can Tell Us about Pain, and What It Can’t – An Interdisciplinary Discussion

Speaking Pain_v2Pain is personal, yet it constantly speaks. Professor Willard Spiegelman, Hughes Distinguished Professor of English, will lecture on the ways that poets have articulated the inexpressible dimensions of pain, demonstrating the power of the poetic idiom to say what those in pain cannot. Professor Spiegelman will be joined by Thomas Mayo (Law), Robert Howell (Philosophy), and Rhonda Blair (Theater) who will place the poetic against the linguistic and performative demands of their own disciplines. How do actors, lawyers, and philosophers work with the inexpressible quality of pain? How does pain function in a court of law or on a stage?

Join us for an interdisciplinary discussion of the languages of pain.

Willard Spiegelman is the Hughes Professor of English at SMU, the longtime editor-in-chief of Southwest Review, the author or editor of ten books and hundreds of essays and reviews, and a contributor to the Leisure and Arts pages of The Wall Street Journal. He grew up in a medical family. His focus in this seminar will be on the way poets try to capture and communicate—through metaphor and indirection—the essential incommunicability of physical and mental pain.


Thursday, April 11, 2013 4:30 p.m. – 6:00 p.m. Fondren Science, Room 133

Organized by the Medicine & Humanities Fellows Seminar

For more information, visit www.smu.edu/Dedman.dcii


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