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Digital Illness. Representing and Negotiating Cancer in Social Media and Beyond

Konferensbidrag (offentliggjort, men ej förlagsutgivet)
Författare Christian Lenemark
Publicerad i Thinking Through the Digital. Representations+Poetics+Sites+Publications, an International Conference, Linköping, Sweden, 29 nov-1 dec 2017
Publiceringsår 2017
Publicerad vid Institutionen för litteratur, idéhistoria och religion
Språk en
Länkar blog.liu.se/reprecdigit/thinking-th...
Ämnesord illness narratives, cancer, illness blogs, Kristian Gidlund, Salvatore Iaconesi, That Dragon, Cancer
Ämneskategorier Kulturstudier, Litteraturvetenskap

Sammanfattning

During the last decades it has been a discernable upsurge of illness narratives, often told from an auto/biographical perspective. Internet and digital media has, as G. Thomas Couser points out, been a crucial driving force in this development. Above all, the medium of the digital blog has opened up new areas where the experiences of being ill can be narrated, distributed, and processed. In a Swedish context, journalist and musician Kristian Gidlund’s very popular blog about living with incurable stomach cancer, In My Body (I kroppen min), is one of many examples of how the digital media prepare new spaces for the patient’s voice in the medical discourse. The aim of the paper is to analyze how digital media is used in different ways to represent and to comprehend the experience of being diagnosed with cancer. Taking Gidlund’s blog as a departure, it discusses how cancer is represented and negotiated in different ways on the internet and beyond, on social media-platforms as Twitter and Facebook as well as in computer games as for example That Dragon, Cancer, which is an auto/biographical game centered on the child Joel who in an early age is diagnosed with terminal cancer. In the paper the main question to be answered is concerned with the affordances and limitations of the digital when it comes to representing illness in general and cancer specifically.

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