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Leslie Jamison: Examining Empathy


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Award-winning essayist and novelist Leslie Jamison joins us via live-cross to discuss her artistic devotion to exploring feeling, connection and the gap between the two where mental health falls.


Leslie Jamison is the award-winning author of essay collections The Empathy Exams and Make it Scream, Make it Burn as well as the memoir The Recovering, which challenged the glorification of addiction within the creative process. Whatever her subject matter, Jamison is known for emphasising feeling in her writing, searching for the connections that will better facilitate a shared understanding of empathy.

At this event, Jamison joins host Rebecca Harkins-Cross via live-cross to unpack the themes of her work within the broader context of mental health. She’ll explore the uncertainty of connection, the link between physical and mental health, the challenges of living with addiction and the journey towards recovery.

At this not-to-be missed conversation, the preeminent contemporary writer on empathy will discuss her approach to writing about creativity and mental health.

Presented in partnership with RMIT Culture and UNSW as part of The Big Anxiety



Please notify us of all access requirements when booking online so we can assist you with your visit. If you require further information, please contact reception on 03 9094 7800 or

The Big Anxiety

The Big Anxiety festival is the largest mental health and arts festival in the world, and promotes mental health and wellbeing through exciting arts projects that combine science and creativity. The 2022 festival will be held in October in Melbourne. 


The Big Anxiety


Leslie Jamison

Leslie Jamison is an extraordinarily gifted writer whose work explores the strengths and limits of our shared humanity. Her writing has been called at once “profound” and “intellectual” and then “poetic” and “philosophical.” She’s often compared to Joan Didion and Susan Sontag, the... Read more

Rebecca Harkins-Cross

Rebecca Harkins-Cross is a writer and cultural critic from Naarm/Melbourne. Her work has been published widely in journals and periodicals across Australia and the world. Rebecca is currently a Fulbright Scholar at Columbia University’s Writing Program in New York City and finalising her PhD i... Read more


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