ADLab Webinar: My memory returned to me. Writing about dementia from a queer-feminist perspective (Teri Szűcs, Researcher and Writer, Hungary)

Teri Szűcs will give a talk on her autobiographical series titled 'My Memory Returned to Me'. Time and place: June 16, 2023 10:00 AM - 11:00 AM CET, Zoom


In my talk, I plan to involve the notions of co-authoring, co-creation and translation in the context of dementia care, and to describe the caring relationship as an interaction through which personhood and the narratives of the self can be rehabilitated and rebuilt. This applies to the position of the caregiver just as much as to that of the care receiver. Being both a caregiver and a literary worker, I am interested in mobilizing the potentials of literature to enhance co-creativity on the one hand, and, on the other hand, to reflect on the dynamics within the caring relationship. I would like to relate this to my multilingual autobiographical writing project titled My Memory Returned to Me, and to share how, in the time of the “illness of forgetting”, family memories can be co-authored. I am convinced that in the case of dementia, the claim of the transactional model of selfhood gains new relevance: that personhood is performative, continuously evolving and shaped through the interpersonal exchange. I am interested in understanding the role of literature – text, narrative creation, language – in this wide plane of the performative.


Teri Szűcs is a researcher and writer from Hungary. Szűcs originally specialized in the fields of Holocaust Studies and Hungarian Romani literature. Over the past half-decade she has been involved in dementia home care. She has started writing her autobiographical series titled My Memory Returned to Me to collect and recount the experiences and adventures of caring for her mother. “My Memory Returned to Me” is a multilingual writing project that aims to describe the caring relationship as a joint endeavour to remember, to learn and to change. It involves diasporic positions and identites – also as a manifestation of how the caring relationship rearranges fixed positionalities. Szűcs has also started her theoretical inquiry into the multiple functions of art in the context of dementia care. She is interested in the queering aspect of the intimacy of care, that is, in its potential to deconstruct normative relations and redefine affinities. Szűcs's inquiry also encompasses the political aspects of care and gives an account of its crisis from an Eastern European queer feminist point of view.


The lecture will be followed by a panel discussion with:

Ann Therese Lotherington, Professor in sociology at the Centre for Women's and Gender Research at UiT. In her work, she explores ways we can live together despite differences in age, gender, ability, nationality, ethnicity, and / or other differentiating mechanisms. Questions about how we can promote interaction and integration in society without standardizing ways of living are central. These are issues are particularly urgent for individuals and groups of people who do not have or will not be able to live up to a given standard. 

In her current research, Ann Therese focuses on people who have developed brain failure in adulthood, often in the form of a dementia disease, and asks how everyday life can be organized to ensure that their potential contributions to societal development are actualized and their citizenship maintained. She does this by investigating inter-action and intra-action through creative processes and artistic activity. The methodological approach is qualitative art-based research, while she theoretically applies sociological perspectives such as Science and Technology Studies (STS), material feminist theory and citizenship theory. 

Stine W. Adrian, Associate Professor in Techno-Anthropology at Aalborg University, Denmark. She is trained as a sociologist and holds a PhD in feminist STS and cultural analysis from the Department of Gender Studies, Linköping University, Sweden. Adrian’s work has always been interdisciplinary joining ethnography of medical technologies and feminist theory with cultural analysis, ethics and law. Her research interests lie in questions concerning reproductive technologies of life and death, gender, intersectionality, the entanglement of technologies, ethics and ethnographic methods. Theoretically she is particularly interested in feminist materialisms.

Lilli Mittner, Senior Researcher at the Centre for Women’s and Gender Research at UiT The Arctic University of Norway, Artful Dementia Research Lab, advancing aesthetic & feminist perspectives in dementia research. Starting out from the performative research paradigm and on the basis of situated art interventions inside and outside residential care homes, Lilli searches for novel ways to understand what it means to live with dementia and how to become part of each other’s lives. In her role as a research artist she explores novel research designs and arts-based research methods to co-create art and research together with people living with dementia. Her primary contribution in dementia studies lies in the advancement of concepts such as resonating moments, aesthetic analysis, artists-cum-researchers, and connectivity through feminist posthumanist theories.



Please contact Lilli Mittner if you have any questions. 


Artful Dementia Research Lab  


Når: 16.06.23 kl 10.00–11.00
Hvor: Zoom
Sted: Digitalt
Målgruppe: Ansatte, Studenter, Gjester / eksterne
Ansvarlig: Lilli Mittner
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