CFP: ‘Discourses of Care: Care in Media, Medicine and Society’ (Sept. 2016; Glasgow, UK)

Event: Discourses of Care: Care in Media, Medicine and Society Conference

Location: Gilmorehill Halls, 9 University Avenue, University of Glasgow, G12 8QQ

Date: Monday 5th – Wednesday 7th September 2016

Deadline for proposals: Friday 3rd June 2016

Keynote speakers:

Summary: This Wellcome-funded interdisciplinary conference aims to support and foster collaborative work in relation to media and questions of care and well-being, focusing on care and care giving as critical concepts. Bringing together scholars from film and television studies, medical humanities, disability studies, and philosophy, we will debate how understandings of medical and social care are (and might be) positioned in relation to media and cultural studies. This would be a significant first step toward building inter-disciplinary alliances and driving forward work within the as yet under-determined field of ‘visual medical humanities’. The specific focus of the conference and anticipated publication/s is to explore the ways in which media do more than simply represent care and caring (although representation, of course, remains an important issue). Taking a new approach, the conference will explore how media forms and media practices (the creation, exhibition and reception of media) may act as a mode of care. Thus we wish to explore how different kinds of media programming, media technologies and media practices present opportunities in which care is manifest as both an ‘attitude’ and a ‘disposition’ (Feder Kittay).The event will underpin at least one multi-authored publication. Through this conference we will explore the politics and ethics of care-relationships and contest binary understandings of autonomy and dependency amongst individuals with cognitive and physical disabilities, carers and medical professionals. We are particularly interested in the nexus of youth (the ‘child’), age (the ‘aged’) and disability as a way of opening up alliances and challenges to popular cultural notions and representations of care and dependency. We are now looking for academics, care providers, and creative practitioners of all levels, periods, and fields to submit proposals for 20 minute conference papers.

We invite papers on topics that include (but are not limited to):

  • Relationships between care and media
  • Definitions of care in the twentieth and twenty-first centuries
  • Autobiographical representations of and reactions to care
  • Disability studies approaches to care and dependency
  • Media practices and outputs as modes of care
  • Care and the visual medical humanities
  • Adaptive technologies and care
  • Spectatorship, care, and media
  • Care, media, and children
  • Care, media, and ageing
  • Use of media in health education and rehabilitation
  • Consumer ‘choice’ and ‘autonomy’ in popular culture
  • Screen cultures in our ‘institutions of care’ (e.g. the NHS and the BBC).

Please email an abstract of up to 300 words and a short bio (100-200 words) to the conference organisers (discoursesofcare@gmail.com) by Friday 3rd June 2016. The conference team will respond to proposals by Friday 10th June 2016.

There are a limited number of travel bursaries available for postgraduate and/or early career presenters; the recipients of these grants will be asked to write a short reflection on the conference, which will be published on the Glasgow Medical Humanities Research Centre blog, and the conference website.

If you wish to be considered for one of the travel bursaries, please email us for an application form and submit it with your abstract and bio. We will contact all respondents on the outcome of their proposal by the end of June 2016. Thanks to funding from the Wellcome Trust, this conference will be free to attend.

The conference venue, the Gilmorehill Building, is fully accessible, and the conference will include accommodations such as pre-circulated papers and discussion topics, ending with an interactive roundtable discussion. For more information on access, transport, and the venue please visit our website. If you have any questions, please email the conference team at discoursesofcare@gmail.com, or contact us via @CareDiscourses.

Conference team: Prof. Karen Lury (Film and TV), Dr Amy Holdsworth (Film and TV), and Dr Hannah Tweed (English Literature).


CFP: ‘Dissecting the Page: Medical Paratexts, Medieval to Modern’ edited collection

From Christina Lee and Freya Harrison’s discovery of the MRSA-combatting properties of an Anglo-Saxon recipe, to the increasing popularity of Ian Williams’ Graphic Medicine as a teaching tool for medical students, current research into the intersections between medicine, text, and image is producing dynamic and unexpected results (Thorpe: 2015; Lee and Harrison: 2015; Taavitsainen: 2010; Couser: 2009; Cioffi: 2009; Díaz-Vera: 2009). Recent years have seen conferences on paratextual research, and a range of events orientated around literature and medicine. The purpose of this edited collection is to open up wider scholarship into medical paratexts, spanning pragmatics, literary studies, and the medical humanities.

We propose that the breadth of research into medical book history in the medieval and early-modern period will prompt productive and innovative overlaps with work on modern medical paratexts. We understand paratext as the apparatus of graphic communication: title pages, prefaces, illustrations, marginalia, and publishing details which act as mediators between text and reader. Discussing the development of medical paratexts across scribal, print and digital media, from the medieval period to the twenty-first century, the collection will be provisionally structured in three chronological sections: Anglo-Saxon and Medieval, Early Modern, and Modern periods.

We are now looking for academics, artists, and medical professionals to submit abstracts on topics pertaining to medical paratexts. We invite proposals on topics that include (but are not limited to):

• the role of the medical preface
• graphic medicine in popular culture
• medicine, illness, and/or disability and graphic novels
• the development and role of medical (and medicalised) illustrations
• the advertising and placement of texts depicting medicine/illness/disability
• the development of paratext in medical texts from script to print
• the use and readers of medical texts
• auto/biography and medicine
• online medical writing, publishing, and paratexts

We have received initial interest from Palgrave Macmillan about the proposal, and intend to submit a full proposal for a Palgrave Pivot edited collection of approximately 40,000 words. Key benefits of the Pivot model include publication within three months of acceptance of final manuscripts, flexible length, peer review, and availability in e-book and hardback formats.

• The provisional timeline for the collection is as follows:
• January: deadline for abstracts (500-700 words)
• May: first drafts of articles submitted to editors (4000-4500 word chapters)
• June: article drafts returned with comments
• August: final proofs submitted to Palgrave
• December: publication of edited collection.

Please email an abstract of 500-700 words and a short bio to the conference organisers (Dr Hannah Tweed and Dr Diane Scott) at medicalparatexts@gmail.com by Sunday 10th January 2016. We will respond with decisions on chapters by the end of January 2016.


CFP: ‘This is my Body’ Conference: Nov, 2013 – Cambridge, UK


Conference Title:  This is my Body

Dates: Monday, 18 November 2013 – Tuesday, 19 November 2013
Location: William Harvey Lecture Theatre, Addenbrooke’s Clinical School, University of Cambridge, UK

Conveners: Dr Olivia Will (Department of Surgery, Addenbrooke’s Hospital, UK) and Dr Lucy Razzall (Faculty of English, University of Cambridge, UK)

Summary: The relationship between the mind and the body raises innumerable challenging questions across the arts, humanities, and social science disciplines. For those who come into professional contact with the human body every day in the National Health Service, the mind and the body are usually considered distinct from each other. This is even reflected in the organisational structure of the NHS, where mental health trusts are separate from other healthcare services. Any medical interpretation of the human body, even while it is grounded in empirical evidence, is also inevitably shaped by the intricacies of cultural context, but this is often overlooked in contemporary medicine.

Keynote speaker:Ludmilla Jordanova (King’s College London, UK)

Call for Papers: This two-day conference aims to return human experience to the centre of medical discussion by bringing scholars of the body from across the arts, humanities, and social sciences together with medical and surgical practitioners from the National Health Service. In engaging with the human body from a wide range of perspectives, this conference will explore the ways in which understandings, experiences, and representations of the body beyond the traditional medical sphere might inform healing and healthcare. This interdisciplinary conference will be the first of its kind ever held at Addenbrooke’s Hospital, and will establish an important new interface between the academy and the National Health Service.

We invite proposals (250 words) for 20-minute papers from graduate students and senior scholars in the arts, humanities, and social sciences, and from medical students and medical/surgical professionals, which will offer disciplinary perspectives on the human body and experiences of embodiment. Papers could address, but are not restricted to, any aspect of the following:

  • physical and mental illness: treatment and recovery
  • roles, identities, and relationships of patients, carers, and doctors
  • injury, wounds, and healing
  • trauma and disfigurement
  • pain and suffering
  • gender and sexuality
  • life-cycles: birth, childhood, puberty, reproduction, ageing, frailty, death 

Please email your proposal to conferences@crassh.cam.ac.uk. Any informal enquiries may be addressed to the conveners, Olivia Will and Lucy Razzall.

The deadline for submission is 31 July 2013.

DRF News

CFP One Day Interdisciplinary Symposium on Non-Reproduction: Politics, Ethics, Aesthetics (London, UK: Feb 2013)

Event: Non-Reproduction: Politics, Ethics, Aesthetics: One Day Interdisciplinary Symposium

Date: Friday, 1st February 2013 ~ Venue: Birkbeck College, University of London
Cultural anxieties concerning biological reproduction often pivot around the notion of the non-reproductive body, in which intersecting fears about class, race, sexuality, gender and disability are encoded. Media discussions of abortion rates, teenage use of contraception, and gay marriage all register the perceived threat of sex without procreation. In a broader sense, the imperative to safeguard the future by ‘thinking of the children’ is powerful ideological currency, animating activists on both the left and the right.
A number of writers have responded to this tendency by considering the aesthetics and ethics of the non-reproductive. Recent work in cultural studies has emphasised the radical potential of the subject that refuses reproduction. In Unmarked: The Politics of Performance (1993), Peggy Phelan locates the radicalism of feminist performance art in its status as ‘representation without reproduction’. More recently, Lee Edelman’s No Future: Queer Theory and the Death Drive (2004) argues that resisting heternormativity entails refusing to participate in ‘the cult of the child’. According to Judith Halberstam (2008), Edelman’s work is part of an ‘anti-social turn’ in queer studies which ‘always lines up against women, domesticity and reproduction’.
Inspired by Halberstam’s intervention, this one-day interdisciplinary humanities symposium invites critical perspectives on the idea of non-reproduction. How is the assumption that the non-reproductive necessarily resists the dominant order undermined by right-wing strategies that seek to limit reproduction, such as forced sterilisation, ‘population bomb’ rhetoric, discriminatory welfare policies or the stigmatisation of single parents? Is it helpful to draw a conceptual opposition between the reproductive and the non-reproductive? Are there alternatives to this framework? What are the implications of ‘non-reproduction’ and anti-futurity for approaches to the archive and the preservation of cultural and social documents?
Contributions are welcome from graduate students and early career researchers across the arts and humanities, as well as thinkers, activists, writers and artists working outside academia.
Topics could include, but are not limited to:
• pro-choice politics versus reproductive justice
• global warming and population discourse
• Refusing parenthood in art and literature
• Infertility and IVF
• Contraception and abortion politics
• Queer theory and the family
• Gay marriage in the media
• Feminism and maternity
• Museums and heritage
• Textual repetition and reproduction
• Discourses about the child (e.g. the child as commodity)
• The disabled child and controversial sterilization procedures (eg. The Ashley  Treatment)
• The politics of non-reproduction in an age of accumulation
• Copyright law
• Gustav Metzger and destruction in art
• Derrida on the archive
• Performance theory
Abstracts of 250-300 words for 20-minute papers should be sent to non.reproduction@gmail.com by Monday 1 October 2012.
Organizing Committee:
Fran Bigman, PhD Researcher , Faculty of English, University of Cambridge
Harriet Cooper, PhD Researcher, Department of English and Humanities, Birkbeck College, University of London
Sophie Jones, PhD Researcher, Department of English and Humanities, Birkbeck College, University of London