Samantha Gamble, “The Preservation of the Self in the Schizophrenic Person”

Schizophrenia is categorized as a self-disorder in which the afflicted person’s self becomes severely fragmented. In this paper, utilizing Mead and McAdams’ theories of self as a reflexive, social construct, Gamble argues that although the self is disrupted the schizophrenic person can possess insight during periods of psychosis. This insightfulness will then become more apparent during recovery periods. Gamble also argues that because schizophrenic persons have difficulty in adhering to social norms, they face social rejection. This rejection impedes the development of a social identity, which is necessary in the creation of a unified self. Gamble examines the Paul Lysaker and Hubert J.M. Hermans case study and Eric Coates’ memoir to demonstrate how first-hand accounts of the self afflicted by schizophrenia reveal aspects of self that remain despite the fragmentation caused by the symptoms.

Alessandro Mitrotti – “This Boy’s Life Story”

In this paper Mitrotti links theories of emotion and autobiographical memories and then examines autobiographical or self-defining memories in Tobias Wolff’s memoir This Boy’s Life. Drawing from the fields of neuroscience, cognitive and personality psychology, the author traces a genealogy of autobiographical memories: i.e. emotions beget memories, memories beget the self, and the self begets memoirs, and suggests that memoirs are a literary manifestation of an innate cognitive process in the
service of identity.

Sabrina Smith, “The Visual Agnostic

The ability to perceive and recognize ourselves in relation to the environment around us is a determining factor in understanding the self and identifying selfhood. In this paper, Smith presents the impairment known as visual agnosia, with an emphasis on prosopagnosia or “face-blindness,” which hinder one’s ability to perceive crucial elements of the social environment, particularly the identities of other people. Based on neurological case studies and anecdotal accounts of agnosia, Smith demonstrates fundamental ways in which identity is affected and to show that visual agnostics are able to create adaptive selves through means of living day-by-day with the condition.