Marina Tsaplina is an interdisciplinary performing artist working in the field of the Medical/Health Humanities. Upon invitation by Deborah Jenson and Neil Prose, she had the great pleasure to perform and present at the Breath Body Voice: Health Humanities and Social Justice conference in 2017, which is when an ongoing collaboration began with Raymond Barfield on the role of artistic practice in changing the culture and practice of medicine/healthcare. She became an Associate of the Trent Center for Bioethics, Humanities and History of Medicine in 2018 and served as co-director of the pilot of Reimagining Medicine, collaborating with Chair of Theater Studies Torry Bend and fellow Kienle Scholar in the Medical Humanities Jules Odendahl-James on Puppetry and Embodied Imagination. As founder of THE BETES® Organization, she devised and performed theatrical shows and workshops that engage patient communities and interprofessional health education on the lived experience of chronic illness. Her artistic and scholarly research focuses on how chronic illness creates fractured embodiment, the creation of the medical object of disease, and how the art form of puppetry is uniquely positioned to investigate the literal and poetic body in illness and healing. She has two forthcoming chapters in The Routledge Companion to the Health Humanities to be published in 2019, co-authored with Raymond Barfield and Cariad Astles, President of UNIMA (Union Internationale de la Marionnette) Research Commission. She has lived with type 1 diabetes since she was two years old.
Marina is part of the Illness Revelations: The Bodies of Medicine/History project at the Health Humanities Lab.