Hearing voices is an important aspect of many people’s lives. It is an experience that can be distressing and upsetting, but also positive and meaningful.
We seek to provide a better understanding of this experience by examining it from different academic perspectives and working with voice-hearers, clinicians and mental health professionals.
Hearing the Voice is a large interdisciplinary study of voice-hearing, based at Durham University and funded by the Wellcome Trust.
Our international research team includes academics from anthropology, cognitive neuroscience, history, linguistics, literary studies, medical humanities, philosophy, psychology and theology. We also work closely with clinicians, voice-hearers and other experts by experience.
In addition to shedding light on the relations between hearing voices and everyday processes of sensory perception, memory, language and creativity, we are exploring why it is that some voices (and not others) are experienced as distressing, how they can change across the life course, and the ways in which voices can act as important social, cultural and political forces.
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Highlights from the Blog
We’re looking for a group of young people (aged 16–25) with first-hand experience of hearing voices who would like to work with us to build a pilot version of our Living with Voices app. Later this month we will be running a series of three online workshops in which we’ll co-design the app and develop its features together. Workshops will take place on Monday 21 March, 28 March and 4 April (6–7.30pm).
We are delighted to announce that a rehearsed reading of Dialogues from Babel will take place in Edinburgh and Newcastle upon Tyne next month. Drawn from interviews with voice-hearers and novelists, the play weaves together conversations that unfold to illuminate the experience of hearing a voice that no one else can hear.
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If you would like to keep up to date with the progress of Hearing the Voice research and receive information about forthcoming events and activities, sign up for our bi-monthly e-bulletin.