Office: Arts 175.2
Andersen, Devon, “Epilepsy and self: Metaphor in chronic illness” (CIHR-RPP Doctoral Fellowship, Department of Psychology). 2008-
Carr, Tracey, “Exploring how surgical patients wait: Implications for quality of life” (CIHR Doctoral Fellowship, Health Sciences Program, School of Medicine). 2008-
Hammond, Chad, “Towards existentialist cancer care: What are the meanings of “experience” and “meaning” (Dean's Doctoral Fellowship, Department of Psychology). 2008-
McHenry, Stacey (Dean's Doctoral Fellowship, Department of Psychology). Jan 2012 -
Bergin, April. The experience of Irish immigrant women in Canada. Dept. of Psychology, 2007-2008.
Fauchoux, Laurissa. Forms of Energy: How clients and practitioners make sense of Reiki. Dept. of Psychology, 2009-2010.
Hammond, Chad. Cancer and existential concerns. Dept. of Psychology, 2007-2008.
McHenry, Stacey. Children’s Developing Self-Knowledge: What is Different about Thinking and Dreaming? Dept. of Psychology, 2006-2007.
Reese, Miriam. The trickster: Myths of ambiguity in the autobiographies of cancer patients. Dept. of Psychology, 2011-2012.
Reimer, Jessica. Perception of time in young and aging adult cancer patients' autobiographies. Dept. of Psychology, 2009-2010.
Yonan, Jesay. Using alternative methods in the treatment of clinical depression. Dept. of Psychology, 2006-2007.
"Narrative Medicine": Seminars at the College of Medicine, 2010 -
PSY 803.3 Culture and Human Development
PSY 498.3 Mixed Methods in Cross-Cultural Health Psychology
PSY 316.3 Social and Emotional Development
PSY 214.3 Adolescence
PSY 110.6 Introduction to Psychology
SPST 898.3 Narrative Psychology: Poetics of Illness Narratives
SPST 898.3 Advanced Culture and Human Development
Book Review Editor: BJP British Journal of Psychology
Public Service: Board Member, Hope Cancer Help Centre, Saskatoon, Saskatchewan
Honours, Awards & Distinctions (Most Recent)
- Associate Professor, awarded by University of Nottingham Malaysia Campus (United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland), March 1, 2012
I first trained as a pediatric nurse and worked in a children’s cancer ward in Hamburg, Germany. Working in India for two years, I explored Eastern philosophies and spiritualities with regard to self, health, and death and dying. After immigrating to Canada, I studied Comparative Literature and Psychology at the University of British Columbia in Vancouver. In my interdisciplinary and cross-cultural doctoral dissertation, entitled “Writing the Unspeakable: Metaphor in Cancer Narratives,” I examined the use of metaphor in cancer discourse (sponsored by SSHRC). In my postdoctoral studies I examined constructions of identity in the narratives of Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal adolescents, with a focus on adolescent suicide (sponsored by CIHR and MSFHR), as well as children’s developing conceptions of self-knowledge (sponsored by ESRC).
Research Interests: In most general terms my research engages with Culture, Human Development, and Public Health.
Short Summary of Research Interests
In the beginning there was chaos; then, word and form ordered the world and brought humans alive with story – or so it is said in one of our central origin narratives. But how do we tell story when we find our very lives in chaos? This is the central question in my triple research interests in the interrelated fields of Culture, Health, and Human Development. More specifically, how do Indigenous peoples tell their stories, having been bereft of their language, culture, health, and land? How do people with serious illness give word and form to their stories when the beginnings, middles, and endings of illness – and the body and self in illness - may be uncertain (e.g., cancer, dementia, epilepsy)? How do children make sense of themselves as the timelessness of childhood gives way to the past, present, and future of life and story? These research questions challenge the traditional boundaries of disciplines, often requiring a mix of qualitative and quantitative methodologies as we interpret finding our findings.
1) Protecting Indigenous Knowledge and Food Security: This year (2011) I have begun research on "Crops for the Future: Documenting Malaysian Indigenous Peoples' Knowledge and Use of Plants," supported by a Malaysian grant for the Crops for the Future Research Centre at the University of Nottingham, Malaysia Campus. While the world population has been growing, and plant diversity and plant knowledge has been dramatically diminishing, most national responses have focused on improving the growing condition of the ten major existing crops. By contrast, the Malaysian research project wants to trace, document, and study plants that may be used by small landholders and that have not been recognized as major crops. With my research in Malaysia this year I hope to document Indigenous peoples' knowledge and use of plants in Malaysia. The knowledge that I document includes the cultural knowledge and practices in a wide sense and seeks to preserve this knowledge for Indigenous peoples and our future.
2) Communicating Health and Illness: This part of my research traces how we make sense of life-threatening illnesses and trauma from childhood to old age, how these changes affect our sense of self and time, and how we struggle to give voice, metaphor, and narrative form to these experiences. With regard to my research on illness narratives I have developed an innovative interdisciplinary triple methodology, a “Therapeutic Psychopoetics”, as it were, using data-analytic mixed methods including both quantitative, statistical analyses (Psychology) and qualitative, literary hermeneutics of narrative (Comparative Literature), validated by my experience in oncology (Nursing). I have been applying this methodology in my
- PhD thesis and postdoctoral work with cancer patients of all ages, in Germany and Canada (supported by grants from SSHRC, CIHR, MSFHR)
- Saskatchewan Cancer & Aging Study (SHRF Saskatchewan Health Research Foundation, 2007-2010)
- Canadian Cancer & Young Adulthood Study (SSHRC Social Sciences Humanities Research Council, 2009-2013)
In addition, I have been co-teaching, together with Marcel D'Eon (Health Sciences) the "Narrative Medicine" (now: "Patient Stories") seminars in the College of Medicine.
3) Children's Stories of Self: As part of my postdoctoral work with Dr. Michael Chandler (University of British Columbia, I helped analyze the narratives of Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal adolescents in BC, to better understand the problems of adolescent suicide (supported by grants from CIHR, MSFHR). My international studies with British, Japanese, and Saskatchewan Cree children, together with my colleagues Dr. Peter Mitchell (University of Nottingham) and Dr. Haruo Kikuno (Osaka Shoin University), explore what children in middle childhood know about themselves and what they think adults know about them. In the past (Rosenberg 1979), it was thought that children had little self-knowledge, deferring all authority about self-knowledge to their parents. Our research has shown that this perception is not true. Our cultural studies provide us with insights into the beautiful ways how children think about dreaming, thinking, the self, etc., that is, how children make sense of the world.
Research Method: “Que sçais-je?” or the Uncertainty of Knowledge and of all Human Endeavours
In his Essais (1587), the writer Michel Montaigne invites us into a human-centered conception of knowledge that lays no claim to absolute certainty but to a form of knowing that is grounded not in Descartes’ divisions but instead in proximity, that is, in the context of human relations, in meeting people, in the negotiation of trust: “if trust is restored, agreement, tolerance, and hence truth will follow” (Frampton 2011, p.9). Montaigne’s skepticism is summarized in one of his favourite sayings, “Que sçais-je?”
Indeed, the great physicist Jacob Bronowski shows us the terrible things that humans are capable of when they aspire to absolute certainty. He embodies this dramatically as he slowly and deliberately walks into a pond at Auschwitz into which the ashes of four mio people were flushed, and pleads with us: to think it possible that we are mistaken, that we must close the distance between the pushbutton order and the human act, and that we must touch people – at which Bronowski brings up a handful of fertile earth from below the water's surface . . . (Ascent of Man, 1973, Pt 6 of 6).
Both Montaigne and Bronowski urge us to consider that every judgment in science stands on the edge of error and is personal, and that science is a tribute to what we can know although we are fallible (Bronowski). Acknowledging our human interpretations of the world, they promote what could be called a Psychology of Research and Life, an appreciation of the experience of living itself, and of touching human lives.
Interdisciplinary Methodologies: Matters of health, illness, and identity invariably cut across academic disciplines and involve the communities. Such interdisciplinarity can present methodological problems. In my work I pursue instrumental interdisciplinarity and the differential application of mixed methods (quantitative and qualitative) according to each research problem. My fields of interdisciplinary interest range from the humanities and fine arts to the social and health sciences. In general, I follow an interpretative approach, informed by poststructuralism, hermeneutics, and the cultural history of ideas in literature, philosophy, and psychology. With my colleague Carolyn Brooks, from the Department of Sociology, I am co-directing the Qualitative Research Centre (QRC) in the College of Arts and Sciences, with its focus on research in health (in particular, cancer) and identity. In addition, I was a member of the Quality at End of Life Research Group (QEOL) and am a member of the "CP4PC Creative Practices for People with Cancer" research group. I am associated with the College of Medicine and the School of Public Health at the University of Saskatchewan.
I believe that language is crucial in understanding different cultural constructions of health, illness, and identity. My Musqueam teacher was Elder Larry Grant (Musqueam Indian Band); my Cree teachers have been Joe Naytowhow (Sturgeon Lake), Julie Roy, and Darwin Chief (Onion Lake). I am currently learning Malay.
Self-Knowledge Research Lab Cacer Research Lab, www.canceraging.usask.ca
Current Members: Devon Andersen, Bradley Campbell, Tracey Carr, Chad Hammond, Stacey McHenry, Miriam Reese, Ulrich Teucher
Self-Knowledge Research Lab
Members: Stacey McHenry, Jessica Reimer, Ulrich Teucher (Psychology), Dr. Peter Mitchell (University of Nottingham), Dr. Haruo Kikuno (Osaka Shoin University)
Articles in Refereed Journals
- Hammond, C., Teucher, U., Duggleby, W., & Thomas-MacLean, R. (accepted). An ‘unholy alliance’ of existential proportions: Negotiating discourses with men’s experiences of cancer and aging. Journal of Aging Studies.
- Cresswell, J., & Teucher, U. (2011). The body and language: M. M. Bakhtin: On ontogenetic development. New Ideas in Psychology. [Impact Factor: 1.424 (2009)]
- Mitchell, P., Teucher, U., & Kikuno, H. (2010). Cultural Variations in developing a sense of knowing your own mind: A comparison between British and Japanese children. IJBD International Journal of Behavior and Development, 34:3. 248-258. [Impact Factor: 1.416 (2009)]
- Mitchell, P., Bennett, M., & Teucher, U. (2010). Do Children start out thinking they don't know their own Mind? An odyssey in overthrowing the mother of all knowledge”. EJDP European Journal of Developmental Psychology, 7:1. 67-84. [Impact Factor: 1,081 (2009)].
- Carr, T., Teucher, U., Mann, J., & Casson, A. G. (2009). Waiting for surgery from the patient perspective: A review of the literature. Psychology Research and Behaviour Manage-ment, 2. 107-119.
- Mitchell, P., Teucher, U., Ziegler, F., Bennett, M, & Wyton, R. (2009). Do children start out thinking they don’t know their own minds? Mind and Language, 24:3, 328-346 (19). [Impact Factor: 2.091 (2009)]
- Teucher, U., & Kemple, T. (Trans.; 2007). Simmel on the Metaphysics and Aesthetics of Life. Theory, Culture, & Society, 24:7-8. 30-90. [Impact Factor; 1.015 (2009)]
- Teucher, U. (2004). Humanities and Social Sciences in Health Research. In P. Magee (Ed.), A Canadian snapshot of fields of study and innovative approaches to understanding and addressing health issues. Ottawa: Canadian Institutes for Health Research/Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council.
- Teucher, U. (2003). The Therapeutic Psychopoetics of Cancer Metaphors: Challenges in Interdisciplinarity (pp. 1-15). In T. Seiler & B. Janz (Eds.), Free Space: Reconsidering Interdisciplinary Theory and Practice. History of Intellectual Culture, 3 (1).
Chapters in Books
- Teucher, U. (2010). Aboriginal Health Research and Epidemiology: Difference between Indigenous and Western Knowledge. In T. McIntosh, B. Jeffery, & N. Muhajarine (Eds.), Redistributing health: New directions in population health research in Canada. Regina: CPRC Press.
- Mitchell, P., Bennett, M., & Teucher, U. (2010). Do Children start out thinking they don't know their own Mind? In Theory of Mind: Specialized Capacity or Emergent Property? Perspectives from Non-human and Human Development. New York: Psychology Press.
- Teucher, U. (2007). Aestheticizing Cancer: Metaphors and Narratives of Revaluation. In S. Sielke (Ed.). Body as Interface. Heidelberg: Winter.
- Teucher, U. (2007). The Incomprehensible Density of Being: Aestheticizing Cancer. In V. Raoul (Ed.), Refitting the Frame: Narratives of disease, disability and trauma. Waterloo: Wilfrid Laurier Press.
- Teucher, U. (2006). Renegade Cells: Patricia Blondal’s last Poem (pp. 305-310). In B. Sproxton (Ed.). The Winnipeg Connection: Writing Lives at Mid-Century. University of Winnipeg: Prairie Fire Press.
- Grant, L. (Writer), & Teucher, U. (Co-writer/Producer/Director). (2006, June 14). Musqueam Elder Larry Grant, Canada [Video]. Series Indigenous Health. The Lancet.com. Retrieved June 14, 2006, from http://www.thelancet.com/online/focus/indigenous_health/canada
- Grant, L., Blake, S., & Teucher, U. (2004). Cultural identity and the Capilano tradition: Musqueam ancestral names (pp. 45-66). In J. C. Brown & Tyler Petersen (Eds.) UBCWPL Working Papers in Linguistics. Vancouver, BC: University of British Columbia.
- Chandler, M., Lalonde, C., & Teucher, U. (2003). Culture, continuity, and the limits of narrativity: A comparison of the self-narratives of Native and Non-Native youth (pp. 245-265). In C. Lightfoot & C. Daiuth (Eds.), Narrative analysis: Studying the development of individuals in society. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Publications.
- Teucher, U. (2001). Writing in the Face of Death: Norbert Elias and Autobiographies of Cancer (pp. 159-174). In T. Salumets (Ed.),Norbert Elias and human interdependencies. Montreal: McGill-Queen’s University Press.
Book Reviews (selected)
- U. Teucher (accepted 25 May 2011). Review of “M. Freeman, Hindsight”, Walnut Creek, CA: Left Coast Press, 259 pages, 2008. British Journal of Psychology, 102:3.
- U. Teucher (2011). Review of “S. Thorne, Interpretive Description”, Walnut Creek, CA: Left Coast Press, 259 pages, 2008. British Journal of Psychology, 102:1.
- Reimer, J., & Teucher, U. (2009). Hunger [Review of the book Hunger, by Raymond Tallis]. BJP British Journal of Psychology, 100(2) 448-449.Teucher, U. (2009). Not an easy death [Review of the Book Swimming in a sea of death: A son’s memoir, by David Rieff]. BJP British Journal of Psychology, 100(2) 452-453.
- Grant, L. and Teucher, U. (2005). Vancouver: A novel misconception [Review of the book Vancouver: A Novel, by David Cruise and Alison Griffiths]. BC Studies, 145, 114-116.
- Teucher, U. (2003). Poetics of Science. [Review of the book The Hedgehog. The Fox, and the Magister’s Pox, by Stephen J. Gould],Science and Public Policy, 30:6, 465-466.
- Teucher, U. (2003). Reading Genes, Heavens, and Computers: Metaphor in Science. [Review of the book Experimenting in Tongues: Studies in Science and Language, by M. Doerries (Ed.)], Science and Public Policy, 30:4, 297-298.
- Teucher, U. (2003). Prosthetics of Order. [Review of the books Making the Body Beautiful, Narrative Prosthesis, and Bodily and Narrative Forms]. Canadian Literature, 178, 132-1333.
Recent Talks (selected; last 12 months only)
- Teucher, U. (2011, Nov 24). In the beginning there was word and form: Speaking about cancer. Invited Talk presented at Hope Cancer Help Centre AGM, 24 Nov 2011. Saskatoon, Community Village.
- Teucher, U. (2011, Nov. 8). Power, knowledge, and Indigenous Peoples: The perils of Western ways of knowing. Invited Paper presented at Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences Open Lecture. Kuala Lumpur, MY: University of Nottingham Malaysia Campus.
- Teucher, U. (2011, May). Hindsight. Invited presentation at ICQI Intenational Conference for Qualitative Inquiry, 21 May 2011. Urbana, Ill: University of Illinois.
- Teucher, U. (2011, Jan). Lots of Living to do, death at any moment”: Time in Narratives of Cancer and Aging. Invited presentation at Philosophy in the Community Talks. Saskatoon.
- Teucher, U., and D’Eon, M. (2011, May). Teaching the Art of Taking Patients’ Perspectives: Interprofessional Health Seminars. Poster presented at STLHE Society for Teaching and Learning in Higher Education. Saskatoon, University of Saskatchewan.
- Teucher, U., Hammond, C., Anderson, D., & Carr, T. (2011, May). The Uncertain Certain: Generative Aging with Cancer. Paper presented at ICQI Intenational Conference for Qualitative Inquiry, 21 May 2011. Urbana, Ill: University of Illinois. 21 May 2011.
- Hammond, C. & Teucher, U., (2011, May). Death, identity, and ambiguity among cancer patients: The dominance and problems of two discourses. Paper presented at ICQI Intenational Conference for Qualitative Inquiry, 20 May 2011. Urbana, Ill: University of Illinois.
- Teucher, U., & D’Eon, M. (2011, May). Creative Spaces. Poster presented at Conference for Creating Space for Arts and humanities in the Education of Health Professionals. Toronto: University of Toronto, 7th May
- Teucher, U., McHenry, S., Reimer, J., & Mitchell, P. (2011, Apr). Knowing through the heart’s eye: Aboriginal children’s beliefs about self-knowledge. Poster accepted for SRCD Society for Research in Child Development. Montreal, QC.
- Andersen, D. & Teucher, U. (2010, Dec). Making Meaning of Life with Epilepsy: The use of metaphor in understanding individual experiences. Poster presented at AES American Epilepsy Society Conference, 8. December 2010.
- Holtslander, L., Duggleby, W., & Teucher, U. (2010). "Finding Balance": Developing a psychosocial intervention for older adults who are bereaved after caregiving for an advanced cancer patient. Poster presented at the 10th Annual Cancer Research Day, December 1, 2010, Saskatoon, SK.