Going on at SSHM on Tuesday July 8th: John MacArtney on ‘The liminal and the parallax: Living and dying at the end of life’

We are delighted to invite you to our final Work in Progress Seminar for this academic year.

 When: 4-5 pm, Tuesday July 8th  

Where: Room E2, East Wing, King’s College Strand Campus 

Dr John MacArtney

Dr John MacArtney

John MacArtney, Postdoctoral Research Fellow in the School of Social Science, University of Queensland, Australia, will present his current work on ‘The liminal and the parallax: Living and dying at the end of life


A significant proportion of people living with life-limiting illnesses, such as cancer, will receive specialist palliative care (SPC) through outpatient clinics. Palliative care brings with it a shift in philosophy, from a focus on life-prolonging to life-enhancing care. Experiences of this precarious point of care – somewhere between living and dying – have been described as ‘liminal’ in character. Drawing on semi-structured interviews with 30 people attending an outpatient SPC clinic in Australia, we argue that this point in care is instead experienced as life-prolonging and life-enhancing care. Conceptualising this as a ‘parallax’ experience allows us to highlight the importance of concomitant understandings of living and dying in participants’ lived experiences of the end of life. These findings have significant implications for the ways in which palliative care is understood and how the self and subjectivity are conceptualised at the end of life.

Representative publications

MacArtney, J.I. and Wahlberg, Ayo (2014) The problem of complementary and alternative medicine use today: eyes half closed?, Qualitative Health Research24 1: 114-123.

MacArtney, J.I. (In press) ‘At the Will of Our Stories.’ In Determining Form: Creative Non-Fiction Journeys. L.A. Tansley & M. Maftei (eds). Gylphi: Canterbury.

MacArtney, J.I. (2013) ‘Book review: S. E. Bell’s ‘DES Daughters: Embodied Knowledge and the Transformation of Women’s Health Politics’. Medical Sociology Online. February 2013.

Cox, W.M., Rosenberg, H., Hodgins, H., MacArtney, J.I., & Maurer, K.A. (2004) ‘United Kingdom and United States Healthcare Providers’ Recommendations of Abstinence Verses Controlled Drinking’, Alcohol & Alcoholism, Vol 39, 2, 130-134.

Please email the convenor of the WiP seminar series Dr Silvia Camporesi if you’d like to attend this seminar to receive the draft of the paper: silvia.camporesiATkcl.ac.uk

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