John Graham-Pole and Dorothy Lander

John Graham-Pole, MD, MRCP, ABHM

Professor Emeritus of Pediatrics, Oncology and Palliative Care, University of Florida; Adjunct Professor, School of, Education, St Francis Xavier University, Nova Scotia.

John’s career as a practitioner, teacher, and researcher has included faculty appointments at the Universities of Glasgow, London, and Case Western Reserve. He was co-founder/co-director of Shands Arts in Medicine since its founding in 1991, and also of the Center for the Arts in Healthcare, Research & Education, University of Florida, since its inception in 1999. John was also one of the original organizers of the UF Center for Spirituality and Health.

Actively engaged in treatment of young patients who suffer from various forms of cancer, he supports the Society for the Arts in Healthcare and with Mary Rockwood Lane co-chaired its 2002 annual conference. He is a founder of the Center for the Arts in Healthcare Research and Education and is prominently featured in a video report on its work titled Color My World.

Dorothy A. Lander, PhD

Adjunct Professor, Department of Adult Education, St. Francis Xavier University (StFX), Antigonish, Nova Scotia

Dorothy is an arts-based researcher and teacher, whose practice spans graduate adult education, arts and culture organizations, and women’s voluntary organizations. Retired from her faculty position at StFX, she continues her lifelong learning and teaching in community settings, co-facilitating art-for-health/resilience workshops and community-based research with John Graham-Pole. Dorothy has long had a fascination with the interweave of art, popular education, and healthy communities. Central to Dorothy’s nationally funded research into the women’s movement across three generations are formal and informal caregivers and artists as popular educators; multi-media postings on her Women Making Waves research blog——feature Canadian women artists as health activists.

Her recent research and teaching focus has shifted to participatory art as a determinant of community resilience. She has forged research partnerships on four continents, centered on participatory art practices that cultivate resilience in the face of defining traumatic events, e.g., mining disasters (Chile, Nova Scotia), hurricanes/tsunamis/earthquakes (New Orleans, Japan), genocide survivor communities (Rwanda), residential school survivors, HIV/AIDs communities, military communities from deployment to reunion, clergy sexual abuse of children (Antigonish, Yarmouth, Nunavut), and murdered and missing Aboriginal women.

John Graham-Pole and Dorothy Lander are the publishers and editors of HARP Publishing (Healing Arts, Reconciling People) – a multi-media publisher focusing on the healing arts and the arts for health equity. It is aimed at a popular readership of caregivers and care receivers, in both electronic and print media.

Title of UFCSH talk: “End of life”: before, during, after…
Wednesday, June 8, 2011

This talk describes five years of arts-based and narrative research, teaching and practice, during which John Graham-Pole and Dorothy Lander have explored experiences of loss and transition for “leavers and left.” Illustrated with video clips and stories.

  • Life and death are a continuum: we’re all living and we’re all dying
  • Though most of us won’t die alone, death is a “solo flight”
  • We  are “left” many times before we finally “leave”; and we experience many “metaphors of loss and transition” before our final loss
  • Despite medical science’s advance, the death rate is still one per person, and death is still more mystery than mastery
  • Death is an ideal subject for qualitative and arts-based research
  • Art as inquiry engages us in existential meaning-making and contemplative practice through creative self-expression