Applications Open: Workshop on ‘Non-Epileptic Attack Disorder: Metaphysics, Epistemology and Ontology’, Sheffield, Friday 18 October 2019.

Time/ Date: TBC (circa 9.30am-2.30pm), Friday 18 October 2019

Location: Humanities Research Institute, Sheffield

Non-Epileptic Attack Disorder: Metaphysics, Epistemology and Ontology
Date : Friday 18 October 2019
Time : TBC (circa 9.30am-2.30pm)
Venue : Humanities Research Institute, Sheffield
Contact : Dr Jon M Dickson (

Background and Aims
There is no satisfactory medical explanation for non-epileptic attack disorder (NEAD). People who are affected lose consciousness, collapse and convulse. The condition is often mistaken for epilepsy, but it is not associated with abnormal electrical activity in the brain, EEGs and brain scans are normal. The condition was recently the subject of a feature film called Dis-sociated which is available on YouTube: In this workshop, funded by the Northern Network for Medical Humanities Research (NNMHR) an international group of experts (philosophers, doctors, sociologists, psychotherapists) will ask if radically different ways of thinking about NEAD may help doctors, therapists and patients as they try to make sense of this troubling illness. We aim to take a philosophical perspective on NEAD, and to interrogate the metaphysical, epistemological and ontological frameworks that currently shape thinking in this domain, and how they might be different.

What will happen?
During the workshop you will hear presentations from multiple experts with different perspectives on NEAD, and you will participate in discussions on the metaphysics, epistemology and ontology of this condition. Ultimately the Research Team aims to formulate a philosophically informed research project about NEAD. During the afternoon, there will be an opportunity to work on potential project ideas.
And who is invited? Delegates and Observers.

Delegates will attend the workshop, listen to the presentations, ask questions and chat with the Research Team. At the end of the presentations, delegates will be invited to discuss what they have heard, formulate their views, and to present their preliminary thoughts to the workshop. After the event, Delegates will be invited to submit a 500 word monograph inspired by the day. These monographs will be included in the proceedings of the workshop which will be published by White Rose online and they will be scored by the Research Team. The workshop will identify funding streams for the proposed research project and we would envisage that the grant would pay the salary of an Early Career Researcher (ECR) in philosophy or a philosophically informed discipline amongst the medical humanities to work on the project. We will use the monograph scores in the selection process for the ECR when the research project begins. ECRs are eligible to apply for a £50 travel bursary for the workshop (we may have more than £50 available, to be confirmed).

We also welcome people who would like to attend the workshop as an Observer. Observers will have the chance to attend the workshop, listen to the presentations, to ask questions and to chat with the Research Team. But they will not be expected to give any presentations or to submit a monograph afterwards. Observer status is ideal for people who are interested in the subjects being presented and discussed, but who do not wish to make an active contribution to the workshop and who would not be in a position to work on the future research project.

How do I apply to attend?
Click this link:
(there are x6 £50 travel bursaries for ECRs who apply to attend as Delegates)

Registration and coffee
Introduction and welcome – Jon M Dickson 10 mins
Epilepsy and the biomedical paradigm – Richard Grünewald 15 mins
What is NEAD? Explanations that work for me – Richard Grünewald 15 mins (+10 for Qs)
The Integrative Cognitive Model of NEAD – Markus Reuber 20 mins (+10 for Qs)
Psychotherapy for NEAD – Cordelia Gray 20 mins (+10 for Qs)
Sociological understandings on NEAD – MP/PBi 20 mins (+10 for Qs)
Metaphysics, epistemology and ontology – Annamaria Carusi 30 mins (+10 for Qs)
Trauma, meaning and philosophy – Patrick Bracken 40 mins (+20 for Qs)
Discussions 60 mins
Round-up 30 mins
TOTAL TIME e.g. 9.30-3.30pm or 8am-2pm 6 hours

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