SSHRC-funded podcast explores pain’s impact on daily life

man wearing ear phones

A new York-led podcast funded by the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada (SSHRC) premieres on Oct. 17 and explores the topic of chronic pain.

World Pain Day, Oct. 17, invites us to think about the ways that chronic pain and disability show up in day-to-day life. How does pain impact our ability to work, play, and interact? What do we need to live in a society where people living with chronic pain are valued and feel valuable?

Emilia and her book
Emilia Nielsen

These are some questions that Faculty of Liberal Arts & Professional Studies (LA&PS) Assistant Professor Emilia Nielsen and her team ask in their new podcast titled “On Being Ill.”

“What stands out to me in all of our research around podcasting and chronic illness is the way that podcasts become a site for community for people who identify with chronic pain and disability,” explains podcast producer and York alumni, Emily Blyth. “As we think about the reality of living with chronic pain this World Pain Day, we really hope that On Being Ill will offer such a space for our friends and colleagues at York, and beyond”

On Being Ill is a SSHRC Insight Grant-funded podcast that brings together innovative thinkers working at the intersections of creativity and disability. Hosted by Nielsen, a poet, academic and author, listeners will hear conversations about illness, chronic pain, crip joy, and how we’re harnessing the capacity of our creative praxes to build worlds for disability.

Season 1 launches Oct. 17 and features guests Travis Chi Wing Lau (Kenyan College), Julie Devaney (health advocate) and Ela Przybylo (Illinois State University) in conversations that explore how creative writing can help to envision radically different futures for disabled and temporarily abled communities alike, why we can’t do it alone, and what happens when we fully embrace the generative capacity of illness.

When asked about her time working with the podcast, Nielsen described it as a “distinct joy to be in conversation with such evocative writers and creative people.”

Listen to the podcast here.