Photo of Dr Naya Tsentourou

Dr Naya Tsentourou

Public engagement

'A World of Sighs', Edinburgh International Book Festival, August 2017

The Wellcome Trust Event

Description: From Poetry to Prayer

Seen historically as a way of maintaining a healthy body and mind through the expelling of melancholy, sighing is now fertile ground for psychologists to assess a person’s emotional state. For a history of the sigh, from poetry to prayer and health to ecstasy, join Pakistan-born poet Imtiaz Dharker, Dr Naya Tsentourou, who has studied the relationship between emotion and breath in the Renaissance, and Professor Corinne Saunders from the University of Durham.

Part of the 'Taking the Air' series, organised by the Life of Breath project

How does storytelling and reading impact on our psychological, physiological and social wellbeing? Taking the Air, supported by The Wellcome Trust, investigates ideas around breath. 1 in 5 people in the UK have a long-term lung-related illness and 115,000 die from lung disease each year. Together with our partners at Durham University’s Life of Breath project, we present a series of truly fascinating events looking at sighing, singing, poetry, air quality and taking our last breath. Events feature a range of authors including Sam Kean, Imtiaz Dharker, Michael Symmons Roberts and Havi Carel.



Contributor and speaker in BBC Radio 4, 'The Sigh', December 2016

Description from the BBC website: Award-winning poet Imtiaz Dharker explores the history, cultural significance, physiology and psychology of sighing. She considers its role in literature, music, religion and life. Contributors - social and cultural historian Hannah Newton of the University of Reading, English Literature scholar Naya Tsentourou (who's an expert on sighing and groaning in religious texts), classical pianist Peter Hill, and cognitive neuro-scientist Lynne Barker from Sheffield Hallam University.