Drawing on my ground-breaking literary critical uncovering of the leftover interpretative potential and traces of trauma in representations of food and eating, this project harnesses the power of narrative and of creative, critical attention to personal stories. It brings together different communities of practice and experience to give voice to the untold heterogenous experiences of the most prevalent, equally serious but least known eating disorder, OSFED (Other Specified Feeding and Eating Disorders), accounting for c.47% UK diagnoses v. 9% Anorexia and 18% Bulimia. The absence of OSFED narratives (when not silenced, typically defined in terms of divergence from classifications of less frequent, better known eating disorders), means charities, medical professionals, the media and policy makers fail to engage fully with a vast range of lived experiences. People with OSFED are endemically undiagnosed, and, often unable to name as well as to have named their diverse experiences. Consequently, budgets for support and care are not leveraged, despite OSFED’s fatal and life-limiting potential. My project aims to redress this lack of knowledge and resources by developing in co-production a set of non-triggering narratives of diverse lived experiences of OSFED to raise awareness and recognition across of the range of people experiencing OSFED and those involved in caring for, representing and legislating for them. My literary and food cultures expertise and my attention to the risks and potential of narrative inclusion and exclusion offer new ways of collaborating with expertise in psychology, medicine and digital/immersive technology. Harnessing the experiences of eating disorder and mental health charities and those with lived experience, this project counters the striking absence of stories of this enormous hidden mind-body health challenge. It creates awareness and resources through co-produced vocabularies; immersive experiences; educational toolkits; media guidelines and examples of cultural representations. Revealing the diversity of lived experience across the population, the project aims to provide advocacy for awareness and funding for support and treatment, and seeks to leverage proportionate coverage and care.
|Effective start/end date
|1/06/22 → 31/03/23