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Culture, Disease, and Well-Being: The Grey Zone of Health and Illness

ISSN 2042-177X | Online ISSN 2042-1788

Series Editor:
Alan Blum


The series, Culture, Disease, and Well-Being: The Grey Zone of Health and Illness, represents the work of a multidisciplinary project in Medical Humanities funded by the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR) and based in downtown Toronto at the Culture of Cities Centre which is supported by the Faculty of Arts, University of Waterloo. The Grey Zone project develops a framework for studying health and illness by isolating a range of case studies in which the tension between medicine's promise and its particular interpretations and incorporations become visible and dramatic under conditions of modern life. The idea of the Grey Zone identifies the ways in which indeterminacy, uncertainty, and ambiguity inhabit our interpretations and actions even when they are most resolute and appear most unassailable. The Grey Zone does not make reference to conspiracy or domination but to the natural working of language as a living social relationship between words and deeds where we must invariably speak and act under "imperfect" conditions. Though this zone of ambiguity might often appear terrifying in health care because of the import and urgency of problems involved, it operates whenever we strive to make sense of our situations. Works in the Grey Zone series use resources from classical theorizing, the humanities and social sciences that bear upon the interdisciplinary study of interpretive instabilities, their grounds and effects, in relation to the negotiation of problems of health, illness, and disease in everyday life. Forthcoming publications in the series include a monograph by Alan Blum, The Grey Zone of Health and Illness, and two collections of essays, Spectacular Death: Interdisciplinary Perspectives on Mortality and (Un)representability edited by Tristanne Connolly, and Of Indeterminate Birth: Studies in the Culture of Origins, Fertility and Creation, edited by Elke Grenzer and Jan Plecash.