Thursdays, January 12–February 23, 2016 6–8 p.m. (no meeting February 9)
Death comes for all of us, and for those we love—often after long bouts of debilitating disease. What role can art and literature play in understanding and enduring these losses? In this seminar, we’ll consider how illness and the end of life are represented across genres, with explorations of Atul Gawande’s nonfiction study Being Mortal; Paul Kalanithi’s memoir When Breath Becomes Air; Scott McPherson’s award-winning play Marvin’s Room; Reviewing the Skull, a poetry collection by five-time ovarian cancer patient Judy Rowe Michaels; Lisa Genova’s novel Still Alice and its film adaptation; and numerous works of visual art in Portland Art Museum’s collections. How do these representations move, enlighten, engage, and assure us? How can they shape our own experience of sickness, death, and grief?
NOTE: Capacity for this seminar is 20 participants. In partnership with Portland Art Museum, a few registration spots have been reserved for Museum members. For our tracking, please indicate whether you are a PAM member in the “Order Notes” section of the checkout process.
Guide: A former faculty member at UCLA and Reed College, Lois Leveen is the author of the novels Juliet’s Nurse and The Secrets of Mary Bowser. She has written about literature, history, and culture for The Atlantic, The Chicago Tribune, The Daily Beast, The Huffington Post, The Los Angeles Review of Books, The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, and NPR.