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Deakin Philosophy Seminar – Regina Fabry: After Life: Grief and Narrative Scaffolding

Deakin Philosophy Seminar – Regina Fabry: After Life: Grief and Narrative Scaffolding

Event Venue:

Alfred Deakin Institute for Citizenship and Globalisation‚ Deakin University 221 Burwood HighwayBurwood, VIC, 3125, Australia ( Map )

Please join us for the next Deakin Philosophy Seminar on Tuesday 30 May “After Life: Grief and Narrative Scaffolding” with Regina Fabry (Macquarie University).



In recent years, philosophers of mind have advanced bold and sweeping claims about the important role of narrative for processes of grief. However, our understanding of this role, if any, has been hindered by at least three problems. First, given the notorious conceptual ambiguity of narrative, it remains largely unclear whether philosophical considerations on the grief-narrative nexus are targeted at the contentful products (stories), the material outcomes (discourses), or at acts of narration. Second, philosophical work tends to gloss over important differences between various kinds of narrative and modes of narration, which leads to unwarranted generalisations. Finally, while it has been suggested that narrative influences grief, it has not been shown how the realisation of this influence can be described. In this talk, I aim to start resolving these problems by considering the role of acts of narration for grieving with a focus on cases of self-referential textual narration. Drawing on recent research in philosophy of mind and cognition, I will suggest that the active crafting and revision of discourse and story configurations through writing can be aptly described in terms of mental scaffolding. This scaffolding perspective, I will show, can lead to a better understanding of the possible contributions of self-referential textual narration to two intertwined processes associated with grief: emotional experiences of irrevocable loss and the active autobiographical remembering of the deceased. To assess the possible role of textual narration for grief, I will consider empirical research on expressive writing as a test case.


Regina Fabry holds a position as an ARC Discovery Early Career Research Awardee in the Department of Philosophy at Macquarie University, Sydney. She specialises in philosophy of mind and cognition. In her current research, she explores the relationship between lived embodied experience and self-narrative, integrating work in philosophy, narratology, and the cognitive sciences.


Please join us in-person at Building C, Level 2, Room 5 or Zoom if you are unable to make it in-person:

 Meeting ID: 886 3208 5083

Please email for the password.


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