John Graham-Pole, MD, MRCP, ABHM, and Dorothy Lander, PhD

"End of life": before, during, after...
Wednesday, June 8, 2011, 7pm
HPNP Auditorium (Directions)

This talk will describe 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.” We will illustrate our talk 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

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 (AIM: 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.
John has written/edited six books, and a CD of original poetry, as well as about 250 peer-reviewed research articles, book chapters, and poems in refereed journals. More recently, he has become a short story writer, inspired primarily by his forty years as a doctor, and has recently finished his first novel. He is continuing to work in arts-based research, practice, and professional and popular education with his wife, Dorothy Lander, spanning the fields of arts and community health, palliative care, and holistic medicine. A consulting contract with Dorothy from the Canadian National Collaborating Centre for Determinants of Health ( resulted in the comprehensive research report, Art as a Determinant of Health (Lander & Graham-Pole, 2008).

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.

All events are free and open to the public. You do NOT have to be a UF student to attend.


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