GRUP DEDAL-LIT (UNIVERSITAT DE LLEIDA)
Grup Dedal-Lit is a consolidated research group of the University of Lleida, one of the public universities in Catalonia, north-eastern Spain. The main field of research of the group is Cultural Gerontology. In particular, members of the group study the ways in which literature and other artistic forms such as cinema, theatre, and the performance arts in general throw light on the diversity and intricacies of the aging process as experienced and represented today.
Grup Dedal-Lit has ten members at present:
- Susan Ballyn (Emeritus professor, University of Barcelona)
- Núria Casado-Gual (Senior Lecturer, UdL)
- Emma Domínguez-Rué (Lecturer, UdL)
- Maria del Carmen Farré-Vidal (Associate Lecturer, UdL)
- Billy Gray (Associate Professor, Högskolan Dalarna, Falun, Sweden)
- Marta Miquel-Baldellou (PhD candidate, UdL)
- Maricel Oró-Piqueras (Lecturer, UdL)
- Maria Vidal-Grau (Senior Lecturer, UdL- retired)
- Brian Worsfold (Emeritus Professor, UdL)
- Carmen Zamorano-Llena (Associate Professor, Högskolan Dalarna, Falun, Sweden).
Grup Dedal-Lit was constituted in 1996, when it received institutional support from the University of Lleida. The research group’s subsequent experience in the field of Cultural Gerontology dates from the year 2000 when it won its first competitive project on aging studies, funded by the Spanish Ministry of Science and Technology and entitled “Perceptions of Ageing in Contemporary English Literature.” From that time onwards, the group has continued to conduct research into aging, ageism and related topics through the specific perspective offered by literature studies. Group Dedal-Lit is currently working on another research project financed by the Spanish Ministry of Economy and Competitiveness entitled “Aging and Gender in Contemporary Literary Creation in English.”
Grup Dedal-Lit is a founding member of the European Network of Aging Studies (ENAS) and is currently participating in the project “Live to Be a Hundred”: Cultural Narratives of Longevity, funded by an agency of the Government of The Netherlands. Through the group’s research projects, the members of Dedal-Lit have gained wide experience in the organization of conferences on Cultural Gerontology. In the year 2002, the research group organised and hosted the conference “The Art of Ageing: An International, Interdisciplinary Conference on Textualising the Phases of Life” (6-8 November); in the year 2008, the “6th International Symposium on Cultural Gerontology: Extending Time, Emerging Realities, Imagining Response” (16-18 October); and in 2013, the “ENAS Experts’ Meeting – ‘Live to Be a Hundred’: Cultural Narratives of Longevity” (8-9 April). Grup Dedal-Lit is also a founder partner of the Institute for Research into Identity and Society (IRIS), a research centre of the University of Lleida.
The members of the Grup Dedal-Lit have disseminated the results of their research through conference papers, journal articles, lectures, seminars, and books. These are the main publications that have been edited and produced by the group in the Dedal-Lit series: The Aesthetics of Ageing: Critical Approaches to Literary Representations of the Ageing Process (Eds. Maria O'Neill, and Carmen Zamorano-Llena, 2002); The Polemics of Ageing as Reflected in Literatures in English (Eds. Maria Vidal-Grau, and Núria Casado-Gual, 2004); Women Ageing Through Literature and Experience (Ed. Brian J. Worsfold, 2005); The Art of Ageing: Textualising the Phases of Life (Ed. Brian J. Worsfold, 2005); Anthology of Cultural Ageing: Testimonies from Catalonia and England (Eds. Maricel Oró-Piqueras, and Marta Miquel-Baldellou, 2007); and Acculturating Age: Approaches to Cultural Gerontology (Ed. Brian J. Worsfold, 2011).
What are our roles in the project?
Grup Dedal-Lit’s main contribution to the SIforAGE project will be reflected in several Work Packages, and it will mainly entail tasks of dissemination and support. These include our involvement in the creation of a network of stakeholders, and the organization of the project’s final conference.
What are our objectives in the project?
The current, long-term objectives of Grup Dedal-Lit as a partner in the SIforAGE project are to achieve:
- greater awareness amongst administrators, architects, designers, professional artisans and carers of the significance and importance of the personalised context in which the aging process is lived out, by all residents of the European Union;
- an increase in personalised attention on behalf of administrative institutions in their support for the creation of a self-constructed space in which an individual, irrespective of nationality, culture, ethnicity and creed, can live out her or his late life course, which will necessitate the deconstruction of perceived stereotypes;
- an effective transfer of knowledge and findings so that stakeholders put them to good use and bring about an augmented sensitivity in attitudes, behaviour, and perceptions of administrators and the service industries, and the enhancement of all manufactured products designed specifically with the physical and perceptive limitations of the elderly in mind.
- an enhanced visibility of the humanities in a programme of social improvement and recognition of the positive role that literature and the arts in general can play, through pro-active creativity, in the enrichment of the lives of individuals at any stage in the life course which leads to the achievement of a more fulfilling and happier late life for the elderly person.
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