Ewan Bowlby

Ewan is a researcher, writer and cancer care campaigner. He is completing a PhD at the Institute for Theology, Imagination and the Arts (ITIA) at the University of St Andrews, investigating new forms of emotional and spiritual care for cancer patients.

In collaboration with cancer care charities and support groups, Ewan is pilot-testing new spiritual care resources for cancer patients. Working with Maggie’s Cancer Care Centres, Ewan has designed the Maggie’s Fiction Library resource, which helps people affected by cancer to use fictional narratives to explore their experiences of cancer. Ewan has also collaborated with the Northumberland Cancer Support Group during the Covid pandemic, using his research to create new online communities that sustain a sense of connection and mutual support. Alongside this, he has carried out a series of guided group discussions with cancer support groups, gathering evidence of the value of using popular novels, films and television series to support and enrich conversations about living with cancer.

Ewan’s research has been inspired by his work with cancer patients and his personal experiences of cancer. When he was diagnosed with brain cancer aged 21, finding his thoughts and feelings about cancer reflected in novels, films and television series helped Ewan to understand and speak about the impact of this diagnosis. Now, he aims to use this experience to inform the development of new care resources for cancer patients struggling with the emotional, spiritual shock of cancer. Ewan volunteers as a Storyteller for Maggie’s, using his “cancer story” to raise awareness of the need for holistic cancer support.

As Associate Editor and Author for the Transpositions journal, Ewan is involved in writing and editing online articles that explore the intersections of art, spirituality and culture. He is also a member of the Transept Artists’ Collaboration, and was part of the TheoArtistry Student-Led Collaborations scheme.

Ewan can be contacted via email at eb252@st-andrews.ac.uk.