SPEAKERS SERIES INVITATION:
Embodiment, memory, and the self in dementia: Moving beyond a paradigm of loss.
Presented by Pia Kontos, PhD (UHN / U of T)
Memory (Loss) Research Group / Speakers Series
“Explicit in much of the literature on Alzheimer’s disease is the assumption that with
dementia there is a steady erosion of selfhood with advancing cognitive impairment.
This presumed existential loss can be traced to the positivistic philosophy of Descartes
and the associated dominance of cognition. In contrast I articulate a perspective on
embodiment that disentangles selfhood from the cognitive categories upon which it is
presumed to depend, and that underscores the ways in which selfhood is produced and
reproduced non-discursively through the body. I will take as my focus select artistic,
literary, and empirical accounts of the experience of Alzheimer’s disease. Implications
of embodied selfhood for improving dementia care practices will also be explored.”