Talk Examines Medieval Suicide and Care

By Scott Craig   |   April 18, 2023
Dr. Rebecca McNamara (photo by Brad Elliott)

Rebecca McNamara, Westmont assistant professor of English, speaks about care and compassion for those struggling with suicide or affected by the trauma of suicide in late medieval England in a Westmont Downtown Lecture on Thursday, April 13, at 5:30 pm at the Community Arts Workshop (CAW), 631 Garden Street, in downtown Santa Barbara. “Care in Times of Crisis: Suicide and Emotions in Medieval England” is free and open to the public; no tickets or reservations are required. Ample free parking is available. For more information, please call (805) 565-6051.

“With Mental Health Awareness Month coming up in May, I’ll be using examples from medieval English historical and legal records as well as literary narratives about suicide to think about the cultures of care around them,” she says. “The talk will appeal to those interested in history and literature, but also those invested in mental health and healthcare more generally.”

McNamara, who has taught at Westmont since 2017, specializes in medieval literature, the history of emotions, death studies, law, and politics in Middle English literature, and sociolinguistic approaches to literature. She graduated from Baylor University before earning a master’s and doctorate from the University of Oxford. Prior to coming to Westmont, she taught at UCLA and Oxford, and previously held a postdoctoral fellowship with the Australian Research Council Center of Excellence for the History of Emotions at the University of Sydney.

Westmont Downtown: Conversations about Things that Matter is a free lecture series sponsored by the Westmont Foundation. The foundation also sponsors the annual Westmont President’s Breakfast in early March.


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