April 2019
Welcome to the April edition of the Hearing the Voice (HtV) newsletter!

The HtV newsletter is a quarterly publication which contains information about the progress of our research, forthcoming workshops and conferences, and other project-related activities.  If you would like to hear from us on a more regular basis, you can
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We welcome information about relevant activities or events in your area for inclusion in this newsletter.  Please forward your suggestions to the Communications, Engagement and Impact Assistant, Rebecca Doggwiler.


Writing on Air

Hearing the Voice is delighted to have inspired Writing on Air 2019, a four-day broadcast festival of writing and literature from the Chapel FM Arts Centre (21-24 March 2019).

Featuring over 60 shows and around 200 writers, poets, performers and community members, the festival explored the theme of voice and voice-hearing through readings, dramas, documentaries and panel discussions. There were also interviews with members of the HtV team, covering many different aspects of our research. Researchers discussed the latest insights into the link between hearing voices and literary creativity and the role of voice-hearing in people’s experience of reading, as well as new ways of supporting people who are distressed by their voices and voice-hearing in people who have no need for psychiatric care.

You can listen to the entire programme here.

Hearing the Voice (part 1)

Listen to David Napthine, John Foxwell and Guido Furci explore the intersection of literary and cognitive studies, and learn more about our research into writers' inner voices.

Listen here.

Hearing the Voice (part 2)

Ben Alderson-Day and Jade Peters discuss talking to yourself, personification, the 'anorexic voice', and how the project draws on interdisciplinary perspectives and lived experience to develop our understanding of this experience. Chris Cook, Corinne Saunders and Hilary Powell consider the literary, historical and religious context of voice-hearing.

Listen here.

Hearing the Voice (part 3)

Featuring Mary Robson, Angela Woods, Charles Fernyhough, Pete Moseley, Ben Alderson-Day and Sam Wilkinson, the final instalment provides an interdisciplinary feast, exploring how the field of medical humanities has changed our approach to voice-hearing, and what might be happening in the brain when someone hears voices.

Listen here.

Understanding Voices:

A new website for voice-hearers and those who support them

Over the past few weeks, we have been running consultation workshops in Durham and London (alongside an online survey) to collect feedback on our prototype for Understanding Voices, a new website that will make it easier for people to find information about voice-hearing. We are very grateful to the voice-hearers, family members and mental health professional who gave freely of their time and expertise, and are excited to begin the next phase of development!
Making sense of voices
On 22 March, HtV team members Angela Woods, Ben Alderson-Day and Pete Moseley were pleased to contribute to 'Making sense of voices', a one-day conference hosted by the University of York. In their talk, they presented the interim results of our voices in psychosis study, with a particular focus on different varieties of personified voices.


Creative Voices: A workshop for writers

May 11 | Newcastle Arts Centre | 10AM-4PM

Many writers are familiar with hearing and/or seeing their characters, of finding the phrase or action that seems somehow ‘right’ for them as if they were being discovered rather than created. It’s an experience described by a wide range of writers in all sorts of genres, from Enid Blyton, J. K. Rowling, Philip Pullman, Charles Dickens, Quentin Tarantino, and Sue Grafton, to George Eliot, Samuel Beckett, Henry James, and Hilary Mantel. But how does it happen? And is it the same for all writers?

With creative exercises, provocations, and plenty of tea and coffee, this one-day workshop for writers will explore the various ways in which you can create and engage with your characters.

The techniques and ideas we’ll be providing are based on cutting-edge research conducted with writers at the Edinburgh International Book Festival by Durham University’s ‘Hearing the Voice’.

To reserve a place on the workshop, please visit Eventbrite. Attendance is free, but places are limited and will be allocated on a first come, first served basis.

For further questions, please contact John via email or on 0191 334 8147.

Download the flyer here.

Phenomenology Four Ways: An International Workshop

28 May 2019 | 9AM-5.30PM | Priors Hall | Durham Cathedral | Durham

Scholars at all career stages are warmly invited to attend 'Phenomenology Four Ways', a free workshop featuring Russ Hurlburt (University of Nevada, USA), Mariana Ortega (Penn State University, USA), Claire Petitmengin (l'Institut Mines-Télécom, France), Louis Sass (Rutgers University, USA), Borut Skodlar (University of Ljubljana, Slovenia), Camila Valenzuela Moguillansky (Laboratorio de Fenomenología Corporal, Chile).

The event will be an opportunity for robust facilitated discussion about the use of phenomenology, what it affords, achieves, does and perhaps does not or cannot do.

To learn more, or to register, visit the Eventbrite page here.

Voices in Psychosis

30 April 2019 | 4-6PM | Centre for the History of Medicine | Warwick University | Warwick

On 30 April, Angela Woods (HtV Co-Director) will be speaking about our Voices in Psychosis study at the Centre for the History of Medicine (Warwick University). All are welcome to attend the talk, which will be followed by discussion and refreshments.

Read the abstract here.


Save the date

11-13 November will be the 11th Congress of the World Hearing Voices Network (Intervoice) in Montréal, Canada. The deadline for proposals is 13 April. More information can be found here.
Voice Club

Over the last term, Voice Club (our fortnightly meetings for the research team) has explored a variety of different topics, ranging from ways we can transform early intervention in psychosis services, comedy and mental health, bereavement and hallucinations, and late medieval models of the mind. Many thanks to all our invited speakers - Nev Jones, Mary Carruthers, Matt Hargrave, Edith Steffen, Pablo Sabucedo and John Munns - for sharing their research, ideas and perspectives so generously.
- A Warm Welcome to HtV -

We are delighted to welcome Jade Peters to the HtV team as a Research Assistant in Psychology. Jade will be working on the development of content for Understanding Voices. We're also excited to welcome back Dr Felicity Deamer, who will be re-joining us as a Postdoctoral Research Fellow with Department of English.

Recent Publications

Selected highlights from our recent research publications are available to read freely at the links below:
Alderson-Day, B., Smailes, D., Moffatt, J., Mitrenga, K., and Fernyhough, C. (2019) Intentional inhibition but not source memory is related to hallucination-proneness and intrusive thoughts in a university sample. Cortex, Volume 113, p. 267-278.

Woods, A., Hart, A., and Spandler, H. (2019) The Recover Narrative: Politics and Possibilities of a Genre. Culture, Medicine, and Psychiatry, p. 1-27.

Waters, F. and Fernyhough, C. (2019). Auditory Hallucinations: Does a Continuum of Severity Entail Continuity in Mechanism?. Schizophrenia Bulletin, sbz002.

Want to read more about Hearing the Voice?

In addition to our project website, the following online resources may be of interest:
Our mailing address is:

Hearing the Voice
School of Education
Durham University
County Durham
United Kingdom

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