The Future is Fragile
Medical sociologist Arthur Frank argues in his foundational The Wounded Storyteller that an ideal illness narrative accepts contingency and acknowledges that “the human body, for all its resilience, is fragile” (49). About her own illness experience, Audre Lorde famously argues that our greatest strength stems - paradoxically, perhaps - from our greatest vulnerability (Cancer Journals 14). Both of these perspectives suggest that resilience is finite, and that recognizing as much can be itself empowering. This panel therefore wonders: what potential does fragility have in a world rife with environmental disasters, personal and structural traumas and other catastrophes that all seem to demand resilience?