Silenced: Invisible Illness and Ambiguous Loss

Kesha Morant Williams's picture
Call for Publications
June 17, 2016
Pennsylvania, United States
Subject Fields: 
Communication, Health and Health Care


  • Deadline for chapter proposals (approx. 500 words excluding citations) June 15, 2016. Submissions should adhere to APA Style created in MSWord or RTF.
  • Include a cover page with all of the authors' contact information, key terms, and a short c.v. for each author.
  • Submit via email to with Invisible Illness Proposal in the subject line.
  • (If selected) your chapter submissions must be original works of 3000-4000 words, including references.

Living with or caring for someone who is living with an invisible illness can be a challenging experience. “In the absence of definitive medical tests for some invisible illnesses…patients fight to be taken at their word—to have doctors, friends, and family believe that they’re reliable narrators of their own experiences,” Hester, 2015, para 8. This means that in addition to managing the disease and illness experience, the ill person is at times asked to “prove” that he or she is in fact ill. In fear of being stigmatized or rejected some people are reluctant to share their health narrative even among those who are aware of their illness. The complexities of an invisible illness can leave the patient and their caregivers exhausted, stressed and misunderstood. Patients expressed frustration surrounding the delegitimization of their experiences which often leads to feelings of isolation; while caregivers expressed increased level of stress and a decrease in the quality of their own life and health.

The purpose of this edited volume is to provide a collection of stories based on the standpoint of the storyteller and is used to shift individual experiences into shared experiences. Stories can also be used as a means of coping with the changes presented throughout the illness experience.  “People tell stories in order to revise their self-understanding” (Frank, 2012, p.37) and as a means of expressing their illness narrative. In other words, it is empowering for a person to have the resources to tell their own illness story just for the sake of telling their story (Frank, 2012).   [1]Editor is seeking original submissions from those living with or offering social support (family/ caregivers) for someone living with an invisible illness. Your proposal/chapter should provide some definition of the chronic illness; however the main focus must offer a connection between the illness experience and ______________. 


Interpersonal Relationships (Parenting, Siblings, Friends, Romantic Partners)

Social Interactions



Cultural Beliefs/Behaviors


Body Image

Depression/Mental Health

Social Support

Caregiver Perspective




Artistic Expression/Healing Arts



Other valuable topics! 

[1] See Arthur Frank’s work on illness narratives, Carolyn Ellis & Arthur P. Bochner’s work on autoethnography, personal narrative, reflexivity.


Contact Info: 

Kesha Morant Williams

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