Making Sense Of:

The Making Sense Of: Hub is a collection of interrelated innovative, cutting-edge inter-, multi- and trans-disciplinary research forums designed to bring multiple insights and perspectives to bear on the meaning of what it is to be persons.

The main aim of the projects within the Hub is to examine and explore the impact on our understandings of persons in light of significant experiences and conditions which arise in the course of living in the world. The projects will also seek to begin to assess the implications for our understandings of what it is to be human in relation to other persons, human community, and advances in all areas of technology.

Key among the experiences of life in the world are the continual grappling with health, illness and disease. Projects will examine the processes by which we attempt to create meaning in health, illness and disease, along with the models we use to understand our experiences of health and illness (looking particularly at perceptions of the body).

Madness is an ever present and recurring phenomenon within individual, social and even cultural life. Projects will explore the value of madness, the passion of madness, the boundaries of madness, the nature and role of asylum, power, politics and madness and the links between madness and creativity.

The notion of life-cycles is no less important. We age from the moment we are born. The changes we undergo are complex, multifaceted and, above all, inevitable. From a biological perspective, these changes follow a broad pattern that applies to everyone. However, human development does not happen in the body; it happens in life, in the bio-social sphere that is our natural habitat. Projects will explore “age” as a general concept that can be applied to any number of situations.

Projects will also focus on dying and death; these aim to create a forum for examining the links between living and dying, and some of the contradictions and paradoxes which arise that we appear to accept without question. Areas of interest will focus on different kinds of dying and death, the experience of carers and care workers, the changing role of medicine, palliative care, the work of the hospice movement, the work of the funeral industry, and the nature of grief and mourning. Interest will also focus on philosophical, ethical, and legal issues which surround the processes of dying and death, the role of religion, and the diverse range of historical, social, and cultural perspectives and practices.

Hub Leader

Maria Vaccarella has devoted her research to the socio-cultural construction of the epilepsy discourse in contemporary Europe. Having obtained her Ph.D from “Sapienza”, University of Rome, she also became  interested in the depiction of cancer in literature. Inter-Disciplinary.Net and particularly the project Making Sense Of: Health, Illness and Disease gave her the first opportunities to explore the literature-medicine interface, in terms of both literary investigations of health issues and the use of narrative in the medical context. Her new role as joint Hub Leader of the Making Sense Of: Hub testifies to her ongoing commitment to innovative research and interdisciplinary dialogue. Later this  year Maria will also be taking up the Marie Curie Research Fellowship at King’s College London in the United Kingdom.

Maria can be contacted via email by clicking here.

Get Involved

The Hub is a centre of activity for all the various projects which presently take place within it. We welcome your involvement and interaction; you may choose to become involved as little or as much as you like.

The Hub Leaders run a blog which discusses issues and themes arising from all the projects within the Evil hub. The blog will be available from 1st March 2009. You will be able to access the blog by clicking here.

During the course of 2009 a number of email discussion groups will come in to existence, one for each of the projects we run. These will be listed here as soon as they ready along eith details on how to subscribe.

From April 2009 there will be a series of eForums where people can share resources, access information and get involved in on-line discussions.

And from July 2009 we will be launching a Repository Wicki which will aim to become a comprehensive collection of materials and resources relating to the themes and issues covered by the hub and its projects.