CFP: ‘Attentive Writers’: Healthcare, Authorship and Authority

Medical Humanities Research Centre, University of Glasgow, 23rd – 25th August 2013

From nurses, physicians and surgeons to administrators, caregivers, physiotherapists, technicians, veterinarians and voluntary sector workers, this conference adopts the term ‘attentive writers’ as evocative of the multitude of both non-professional and professional caregivers – clinical and non-clinical healthcare workers – whose attention to illness might take narrative form. The study of physician-writers was one of the earliest developments in the related fields of Literature and Medicine and the Medical Humanities, with canonical figures such as Conan Doyle, Goldsmith, Keats, Smollett, and William Carlos Williams, receiving much-deserved critical attention. Echoing Rita Charon’s concept of ‘attentiveness’, this conference brings this established field of enquiry regarding ‘the physician as writer’ into dialogue with recent calls for a more inclusive approach to the Medical Humanities (i.e. ‘Health Humanities’) and questions the authoritative place of the Western – traditionally male – physician in our explorations of the humanities/health interface.

The relationship between healthcare, authorship and authority will be addressed through three inter-related strands of thematic enquiry: (1) an historical and literary examination of ‘attentive writers’; (2) a more devolved interrogation of the field of Narrative Medicine; and (3) an examination of ‘attentive writing’ as creative practice.

Current confirmed Plenary Speakers: Professor Rita Charon; Professor Paul Crawford; Further TBA

Papers might address, but are not limited to, the following topics:

  • Nurse-writers, physician-writers, surgeon-writers, veterinarian-writers, etc. of any culture, historical period or literary epoch, and/or nurses, physicians, surgeons, and vets as literary subjects
  • Non-clinical healthcare workers (administrators, janitors, receptionists, technicians, etc.) as writers and/or literary subjects
  • The literature of caregiving
  • Gender and medical authority
  • Historical development of medical and literary professionalism
  • The afterlife of Foucault’s ‘medical gaze’
  • Hybrid discourses and genres (the case history, illness narratives, etc.)
  • Narrative Medicine (and particularly does it challenge or reinforce the notion of the physician as sole author/authority) and related developments  in professionalism and education
  • The philosophy or attentiveness in healthcare and creative writing
  • ‘Attentive writing’ as creative practice; including ‘process oriented’ writing practices and those primarily concerned with the creation of aesthetically valuable outcomes.

Proposals of up to 500 words for 20-minute papers should be submitted, along with a short biography (no more than 250 words) to by 1st February 2013. Proposals from academics, clinicians, creative writers, non-clinical healthcare workers, caregivers, and interested laypersons are all most welcome. Further information for creative writers wishing to make a submission will be announced shortly.

Senior Research Assistant in C18th Literature and Fashionable Diseases

University of Northumbria, Arts, Design and Social Sciences

Ref: ADS12/05

Salary: £25,449 – £30,929

We have been awarded a prestigious three-year Project Grant from the Leverhulme Trust for ‘Fashionable Diseases: Medicine, Literature and Culture, ca. 1660-1832’ with Newcastle University, and are seeking to appoint a Senior Research Assistant to work on the subject of English literature and fashionable diseases for a fixed term of three years, to begin early 2013. The successful candidate will work principally with Dr Clark Lawlor and the project team at Northumbria (Professor Allan Ingram and Dr Leigh Wetherall Dickson) and to liaise with the Senior Research Assistant at Newcastle University (who will be directed by Dr Jonathan Andrews).

You will be expected to research and publish on the subject of fashionable diseases, and to take responsibility for aspects of the organisation of workshops, public engagement activities and an international conference. You will also be expected to use a range of web and social media skills, including blogging, to lead in the dissemination of the project activities. It is expected that the successful candidate will have credibility as a researcher in the field of ‘long’ eighteenth-century studies.

You must have an excellent understanding of the concepts and methodologies employed in research in eighteenth-century English Literature, the ability to produce high quality papers and to engage collaboratively with the project team and external bodies such as the Literary and Philosophical Society.

For an informal discussion about the post, please contact Clark Lawlor on 0191 227 4993 or Closing date: 17 December 2012

If you would like to apply, please send your completed Application Form to quoting the reference number.

Northumbria University is an equal opportunities employer and welcomes applications from all sectors of the community.

Dr Clark Lawlor
Reader in English Literature
Director of ‘Fashionable Diseases: Medicine, Literature and Culture, ca. 1660-1832’
Department of Humanities
University of Northumbria
Room 410, Lipman Building
University of Northumbria
United Kingdom

Tel: 0191 227 4993

Conference: Cognitive Enhancement and Other Technologies of the Mind

Cognitive Enhancement and Other Technologies of the Mind – Fundamental and Ethical Questions (Conference, Bristol, 9-10 January 2013)

The Anthropotech and Philosophy Project (UWE Philosophy + CEM University of Bristol) is pleased to invite you to its first conference: Anphicon 1: Cognitive Enhancement and Other Technologies of the Mind – Fundamental and Ethical Questions

9 + 10 January 2013
Watershed Bristol + Centre for Ethics in Medicine University of Bristol
Registration (£35 Waged / £20 Students and Unwaged)

The conference will explore the fundamental philosophical and ethical issues that are at stake in the debates surrounding ‘cognitive enhancement and other technologies of the mind’. The goal is to take a critical perspective towards both the concepts of enhancement and cognition, asking questions such as:

  • Is cognition too narrow a frame to think the technological alteration of the mind?
  • How value loaded is the term enhancement?
  • What are we talking about enhancing when we talk about ‘cognitive enhancement’, and for what purposes?
  • What methodology serves to best investigate technological intervention into the body that results in alteration of conscious experience?
  • What are the relations between cognition, emotion, memory and will? And how do these relations impact on the debate over ‘cognitive enhancement’?

The conference also aims to address questions concerning:

  • Justice and fairness in the technological alteration of intellectual and affective capacities,
  • The importance of neurodiversity and whether it is threatened by ‘cognitive enhancement’,
  • The concept of neuro-ecology or ecology of the mind.

Speakers include: Jean-Michel Besnier (Paris), Jérôme Goffette (Lyon), Michael Hauskeller (Exeter), Robin Mackenzie (Canterbury), David Roden (Open University), Pierre Cassou-Noguès (Paris), Sylvie Allouche (Bristol/Paris), Heather Bradshaw (Bristol), Alex McKeown (Bristol).

The conference will take place in the Watershed on the 9th of January, and in the Center for Ethics in Medicine on the 10th.

YOU CAN NOW REGISTER (£35 Waged / £20 Students and Unwaged) – Registration includes lunch and coffees). For further information, please consult our website or contact Sylvie Allouche.

Journal of Literary and Cultural Disability Studies – Special Issue CFP

Call for Papers: Disability and Visual Culture


Guest Editors: Dr Alice Hall (University of York) and Professor Tobin Siebers (University of Michigan)


In the last two decades, there has been an unprecedented explosion in visual culture. If we live in the ‘age of the image’, what does this mean for disability studies? From the Venus de Milo to Marc Quinn’sAlison Lapper Pregnant (2005), or Diane Arbus’s photographs to the media representations of the London 2012 Paralympians, visual representations of disability call into question notions of normalcy, aesthetic value and beauty.

This special issue aims to bring together writing from an international base of scholars working on the intersection between disability studies and visual culture. The issue will consider whether the representation of disability changes the presuppositions underlying theories of visual culture. How is disability made a part of visual culture? When is it visible, invisible? Is it confined to one aesthetic register, the ugly, for example? Does disability need to be representational to enter visual culture? Are there codes for the visual recognition of disability? The issue will also consider the exchange between different kinds of visual and verbal ‘texts’ in relation to the representation of disability. What does it mean to ‘read’ a visual representation of disability and, conversely, how does the language and theory of visual studies shift our understanding of literary writing about disability? We define ‘visual culture’ broadly to encompass film, theatre, sculpture, photography, painting, advertisements and digital media. Contributions that consider the relationship between literary writing and visual culture are also welcomed.


Possible topics include (but are not limited to):

  • Disability aesthetics
  • Discourses of ‘enfreakment’
  • Representations of visible and invisible disabilities
  • Embodied forms of visual perception
  • Staring, the gaze and dialectical relationships of looking
  • Disability and aesthetic judgement: beauty, the sublime or the ugly
  • The skin as a signifying surface
  • Notions of the invisibility / hyper-visibility of disabled bodies
  • Spectacle, performance and disability
  • (Medical) portraiture
  • The role of assistive technologies in reconfiguring approaches to sensory perception


A one page proposal should be emailed to by the end of July 2013. Contributors will be selected and notified by 1st October 2013. (Full drafts of the selected articles will be due on 1stMarch 2014). Questions about prospective submissions should also be directed to Dr. Alice Hall.

Dr. David Bolt

Director, Centre for Culture & Disability Studies


The Madwoman and the Blindman: Jane Eyre, Discourse, Disability

Edited by David Bolt, Julia Miele Rodas, and Elizabeth J. Donaldson. Ohio State University Press, 2012.


Drawing on the work of disability theorists, as well as scholarship in women’s studies, deconstruction, autism studies, masculinity studies, caregiving, theology, psychoanalysis, and film studies, the contributors to this new Anglo-American book suggest that disability may have a more pervasive, subtle, and textured place in Charlotte Brontë’s Jane Eyrethan has previously been acknowledged, guiding us to an enriched understanding of the novel and of the meanings and functions of disability. With previously unpublished contributions from Lennard J. Davis, Margaret Rose Torrell, D. Christopher Gabbard, Essaka Joshua, Susannah Mintz, and Martha Stoddard Holmes, this is the first book to apply disability studies to a single literary work.

The book is now available and shall be the subject of a panel at the forthcoming MLA conference in Boston.

For further information, please contact:

Dr. David Bolt

Director, Centre for Culture & Disability Studies

Call for Papers: Performance and Disability: Routes and Roots

Performance & Disability: Routes & Roots
FIRT/IFTR 2013 in Barcelona, Spain  22 – 26 July 2013

The Performance and Disability Working Group of the International Federation of Theatre Research is soliciting paper proposals for our Working Group from any area of performance studies that intersects with disability studies. This year we will be following the guidance of the conference theme ( and are interested in papers that deal with ‘re-routing performance’. We are particularly interested in views on performance and disability that may ‘re-route’ from dominant discourses or ‘re-route’ performance & disability studies to uncharted or unfamiliar territories.

We welcome perspectives from practice, history or theory in any field or discipline. The goal of this group is to have an international dialogue regarding disability and performance and to share scholarly work and best practices from around the world, traditions, conventions and demonstrations of how diverse physical, sensorial, developmental and psychological abilities manifest in all areas of performance. We are also interested in the impact of performance on policy practice in relation to disability.  We are open to any definition of disability or performance.

Some of the questions we would like to consider in Barcelona include:

  • How does disability re-route performance (on stage or in daily life)?
  • The routes of disability culture (disability and interculturalism)
  • The roots and (re)consideration of abilities in performance
  • The roots & routes of disability (or other identities) and how their intersections manifest in performance practice
  • Physical, sensorial, developmental or psychologically roots in performance practice, theory and history
  • The state of disability theatre, dance, and performance practice in uninvestigated territories
  • Enabling audiences and practitioners
  • Disabling practice and theory
  • The intersections of disability and performance studies

If you would like to submit a paper, please submit your abstract through the FIRT/IFTR website (see details below) and make a note that you are interested in the Performance and Disability Working Group.

The deadline for abstract submission is January 31st 2013, although we encourage interested contributors to submit early.  Please note that you can only submit a paper for EITHER this Working Group, the general panels or as a new scholar. The benefit of submitting to the Working Group is that you will be presenting your work in front of a specialist audience and there is generally more time for discussion and interaction than in the other forums.

If you have any questions about the Working Group, please contact the conveners:
Mark Swetz (English and Spanish):
Yvonne Schmidt (English, French and German):

Abstract submission and IFTR membership must be completed through the CJO website that you need to be a current IFTR/FIRT member in order to send an abstract). Abstract submission and IFTR/FIRT membership renewal are already open.  More information about the conference and themes can be found on

We would also strongly encourage anyone who is qualified to submit work for the New Scholars’ or Helsinki Prizes.  Please note that the application deadline for both the New Scholars’ Prize and the Helsinki Prize is fast approaching on 1 December 2012.  Full details are available on the Prizes webpage:

The deadline to apply for conference bursaries is also 1 December 2012:

Join the mailing list of the IFTR-FIRT Working Group:


CFP: Paris, Boston, Washington D.C.

CFP: Medical Humanities, Health and Disease in Culture, Washington DC

Popular Culture and American Culture Associations, National Conference

Washington DC, 27th-30th March 2013

Deadline: 30th November 2012

The “Medical Humanities: Health and Disease in Culture” area for the 2013 Popular Culture Association/American Culture Association meeting in Washington, DC invites presentation proposals related to the portrayal of health, illness and health care in the discourses of popular and American culture.  Proposals representing perspectives in the humanities and the arts (e.g., film, history, literature, visual arts), social sciences (e.g., anthropology, cultural studies, sociology) and mass media (e.g., print or electronic journalism) in historical or contemporary contexts are welcome.

Individual and full panel proposals are considered. For full panel proposals (generally four persons) please include titles and abstracts for all participants.

Subject areas might include but are not limited to:

  • stories of illness from patient and health practitioner perspectives in novels, short stories, poetry, memoirs, graphic comics, etc., discussed in sociocultural, historical or political contexts
  • historical and contemporary narratives of chronic illness as represented in films, television, advertising, news media, and social media
  • historical and contemporary representations of illness (including stigmatization) in popular culture genres, the education of health professionals, and health care practice literature
  • disability narratives in literature, history, and popular culture
  • representations of health institutions or health practitioners in historical and contemporary perspectives
  • health care reform discourse  (e.g.,  public debate over national health insurance in electoral politics, disability rights,  “patient-centered” health care, medical homes, health care access, health disparities, electronic medical records)
  • pharmaceuticals and the pharmaceutical industry  (e.g., drug/prescription/OTC use and misuse; popular perceptions; promotion and marketing; drug development or regulation; clinical trials)
  • historical and contemporary perspectives on public health “threats,” e.g.,   obesity, smoking, addictions, antibiotic resistance, radiation
  • historical and contemporary representations of health promotion through diet, exercise, personal or domestic hygiene, positive psychology
  • historical and contemporary narratives of epidemics, pandemics, emerging and re-emerging diseases (e.g., cholera, polio, malaria, tuberculosis, HIV/AIDs, flu) in literature, television, and film
  • global public health infrastructure issues (e.g., access to water and safety; famine and food safety; vaccine access; control of environmental factors that contribute to illness; civil unrest)
  • representations of the globalization of disease (e.g.,  medical and dental tourism; national/international governmental public health organizations or non-governmental organizations (NGOs); global disease surveillance; public health “preparedness” efforts; “natural” or “man-made” disasters)
  • panels on medical humanities teaching strategies or the reading/performance of creative works

Proposals of 200-250 words must be submitted online at the PCAACA website:

Area Co-Chairs:

David E. Tanner, david.tanner(@)

Carol-Ann Farkas carol-ann.farkas(@)



CFP: Health, Mental Health, and Literature, Boston College

Boston College, Boston, MA, 9th March 2013

Deadline: 15th January 2013.

The Boston College English Graduate Conference seeks abstracts for papers that consider the intersection between health, mental health, and literature.

Considering recent interdisciplinary developments in the field of Medical Humanities, we are interested in exploring the ways in which literature and other creative arts have attempted to represent or otherwise understand health, which is so often analyzed from a clinical or scientific perspective. We seek papers that work to synthesize clinical approaches and literary approaches to the mind and body. What can be gained by merging literary and scientific analyses?

Possible topics might include, but are certainly not limited to:

  • Representations of mental illness in literature, pop culture, or historical texts
  • The role of rhetoric, language, and creativity in medical writing
  • Representations of the healthy or sick body in literature
  • The ethics of “diagnosing” literary or historical figures
  • Literature’s role in normalizing, otherizing, or popularizing mental or physical ailments
  • Literary analyses of psychological writing or scientific writing

Joshua Wolf Shenk, author of the critically acclaimed book Lincoln’s Melancholy, will deliver our keynote address.

Our conference will be held on Saturday 9th March 2013 at Boston College. Boston College is located in Chestnut Hill, Massachusetts and is easily accessible to downtown Boston. See for additional campus information.

For questions and submissions, please contact Katie Daily-Bruckner at dailym(@) Abstracts are due by 15th January 2013.



Psychiatric patients and treatments on screen: militantism, care and processes of subjectivation

Paris, 5th-6th Dec 2012 

Psychiatric patients and treatments on screen is an International conference organized by Nausica Zaballos (EHESS Paris), Jean-François Coffin (Paris V Descartes, Centre Alexandre Koyré), Alessandro Manna (IRIS).

The aim of the conference is to provide the opportunity for scholars from different fields of research to study how the cinematic representation of psychiatric patients and treatments evolved over the last half of the twentieth century. A special emphasis will be put on tracing back the emergence of new types of subjectivity and intimate narratives that advocate for the defence of specific therapeutic practices and that illustrate the appropriation of cinematographic tools by militant groups and activists.

The full programme is available here.

CFP: articles and papers

‘The Monstrous, the Marginalized, and Transgressive Forms of “Humanity”’, Graduate Conference, 5-6 April 2013. Deadline: 15 Jan 2013.


Monsters, angels, demons, vampires and cyborgs challenge conventional notions of humanity. The lived experience of many humans also pushes against these norms. Through the investigation of trangressive being(s), this conference will explore what it means to be “human.”

We welcome panel and individual paper proposals on topics relating to the boundaries of humanness including, but not limited to discussions of Avatars, Angels, Demons, Cyborgs, Superheroes, Vampires, and Post-human Bodies. We also welcome papers which address Abilities/disabilities, Madness, Genius and Mental Illness, Animality, Hybridity, Race, Gender, Religion and Sexuality.

Please submit paper proposals of 350 words or less to Wendy DeBoer wdeboer[@] by January 15th 2013. Please also include name, institutional affiliation and program of study with your proposal. Acceptances will be communicated by February 15th 2013.

Wendy DeBoer, Syracuse University. Contact:


‘Disabilities in Literature’ (12/31/02; collection of essays)


Note: This announcement replaces the call for papers for the volume originally entitled Intellectual Disabilities in Literature: Critical Essays (posted July 2012).

Previously unpublished critical essays are being sought for a new volume tentatively entitled Disabilities in Literature: Critical Essays. The federal definition for disabilities includes the following: emotional, speech and language (communication), physical, visual, deaf, autism, learning disabilities, traumatic brain injury. There is another category called “Otherwise Health Impaired” that includes chronic or acute health problems such as asthma, diabetes, epilepsy, leukemia, and sickle cell anemia.

The volume will consist of 15-20 critical essays which are divided into 3-5 thematic categories such as “Literary Representations of Disability in Literature,” The Function of Characters with Disability,”“Portrayal of Normality versus Disability in Literary Texts,” and “Issues of Gender, Race, and Class in Impairments in Literature.” (The section titles may change based on the types of papers we receive from our contributors.)We welcome submissions from both literary scholars and nonliterary academics who have some background in literature and the humanities. Interested scholars should submit a 500-word abstract and a professional vita, as e-mail attachments, to John J. Han ( by December 31, 2012. Deadline for completed essays of 15-20 pages is June 1, 2013. We plan to finish editing accepted submissions by November 1, 2013.

John J. Han & Carol Austin, Missouri Baptish University. Contact:,

CFP: Communication Medicine and Ethics


Call for Papers for the 11th international interdisciplinary conference on Communication, Medicine and Ethics (COMET), to be held at the University of Melbourne, Australia, 11-13 July 2013.

Confirmed plenary speakers: Professor Arthur Frank, Department of Sociology, University of Calgary, Canada, and Professor Annette Braunack-Mayer, School of Population Health, University of Adelaide, Australia.

The Conference will bring together researchers, practitioners and administrators from different disciplines concerned with issues of Communication and Ethics in the fields of healthcare and the human and social sciences.

The Conference is hosted by the Medical Education Unit, Melbourne Medical School; Centre for Health and Society, School of Population Health; and the Language Testing Resource Centre, School of Languages and Linguistics, University of Melbourne.

We would like to invite abstracts and proposals to be submitted via email by 31 January 2013. The Call for Proposals can be found on the conference website where further details regarding submission guidelines, registration, program of events etc. can be found.