Wednesday 24 July 2024

EPIC Seminar Series

The Project EPIC team are pleased to announce our seminar series which takes place on the last Monday of each month at 14:00 (UK time). The talks are streamed online and are open to anybody who would like to engage with the project.

Our first talk back in March was by Professor Miranda Fricker, whose 2007 book Epistemic Injustice: Ethics and the Power of Knowing catalysed the field we now know as Epistemic Injustice.

Miranda Fricker

Fricker spoke to us about epistemic injustice through the lens of the memoir of mental ill-health written by the British actor David Harewood, Maybe I Don’t Belong Here: A Memoir of Race, Identity, Breakdown and Recovery (2021). His personal story explores how experiences of racism, growing up in Britain in the seventies and as a young man in the eighties, sowed the seeds of personal fracture and psychological disconnect that later expressed themselves in psychosis.

Fricker argued that many psychiatrists and therapists see their own work as including the amelioration of precisely these forms of epistemic injustice: aiming to create a therapeutic relationship in which credibility is not withheld, and shared intelligibility of experience is cultivated, with the result that the service-user may come to express themselves without needing to truncate or restyle what they want to say. 

You can watch the recording of Miranda's talk here.

Our April talk was by Professor Lauren Freeman, who spoke to us about microaggressions and epistemic harm in medicine. This talk, which you can watch here, drew on her recently published book which has been co-authored with Heather Stewart. Lauren and Heather recently wrote a project blog for us about the aims of their book which you can read here.

Lauren Freeman

In May, we were joined by Dr Maru Mormina. Maru spoke to us about epistemic injustice and epistemic responsibility in evidence-informed policymaking and used expert decision-making through the Covid-19 crisis as a case study to show that scientific expertise was selectively mobilised, leading to systemic ignorance which had significant consequences for the development of policy. 

Watch Maru's talk here

Maru Mormina

Our final talk for the semester was given by Dr Naomi Kloosterboer on the topic of how to take people with extreme beliefs seriously. Naomi advocated for a kind of epistemic openness which allows us to acknowledge and confront how our own position distorts our understanding of others in various ways. This epistemic openness, she argued, can be useful when thinking about how clinicians should approach apparent extreme beliefs in mental health service users. 

Watch Naomi's talk here

Naomi Kloosterboer

Our seminar series will resume online in September, and the details of all of the upcoming talks will be published on our project website under 'events' > 'seminar series'. We are thrilled to first be welcoming Professor Richard Pettigrew, who is based in Bristol.