Mental Disability Law in Practice (July 1 – July 12, 2013)


Central European University, Budapest announces its international postgraduate summer course on “Mental Disability Law in Practice” (July 1 – July 12, 2013) for graduate students and junior researchers and faculty preferably in humanities.

Detailed course information:

Course Directors:

Oliver Lewis, Mental Disability Advocacy Center, Budapest, Hungary

Course Faculty:

Peter Bartlett, School of Law, University of Nottingham, UK
Anna Lawson, Faculty of Education, Social Sciences and Law, School of Law, University of Leeds, UK
Lycette Nelson, Mental Disability Advocacy Center, Budapest, Hungary
Eva Szeli, Arizona State University, Phoenix; New York Law School, USA

This two-week applied legal advocacy course is designed to strengthen the skills and knowledge of an array of participants including practicing attorneys, non-practising lawyers, NGO staff and board members, policy-makers, activists, policy experts and PhD students.

We encourage people with disabilities to apply, especially those with experience of intellectual or psycho-social disabilities.

The course focuses on experiences from Central and Eastern Europe, Africa and India. We welcome participants from anywhere in the world. While drilling down into real-life application of rights, the course will also explore interdisciplinary perspectives from sociology, public policy, and psychology. Note that scholarships are extremely limited and it is expected that participants will be largely or wholly self-funded.

Together, the faculty members have experience in human rights advocacy, teaching and programming across Europe, Africa, North America and India, and are sensitive to – and knowledgeable about – the specific needs and problems of these regions.

The course aims to strengthen participants’ knowledge about international law, in particular the 2006 UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities and its Optional Protocol. The course objectives are to heighten participants’ awareness of this international law (and to understand some of the tensions between this Convention and other legal instruments); to sharpen advocacy skills with relation to the rights of people with intellectual or psychosocial disabilities; and to utilise strategic litigation as an advocacy tool.

The course uses innovative teaching methods and encourages participants to reflect on law in practice, and how lawyers and other advocates can impact policy-making at the domestic level to ensure the implementation of international human rights law. Methods include, discussions with people with disabilities living in the community, videos, group discussions, a mock presentation to a national human rights commission, advocacy skills training, as well as tutor presentations.

Language of instruction: English

For more details, email

Application deadline: February 15, 2013



Calls for Papers: ‘Minding the Body’ and ”Understanding Human Flourishing’

Minding the Body: Dualism and its Discontents

The Graduate Centre, The City University of New York


New York, 28th February – 1st March 2013

Deadline for abstracts: 21st January 2013

“Minding the Body” is an interdisciplinary conference hosted by the English Student Association in the English program at The Graduate Center (CUNY), New York. This conference will include work by graduate students that considers theoretical perspectives and scholarship that explores the mind-body problem via a wide range of disciplines, including the humanities (literary studies, philosophy, visual arts, and performance studies), the social sciences, technology and media studies, neuroscience, medicine, psychology, and cognitive science. Intersections between recent theoretical currents, including theories of mind and consciousness, ideas about emotions and affect, and the relationship between neuroscientific findings and understandings of embodiment, will be explored.

We would like to include the widest possible range of approaches to ways of thinking about “minding the body” in all literary fields and we encourage interrogation of disciplinary boundaries or interdisciplinary perspectives. Papers may be literary and humanities focused, or may consider other perspectives on mind and body from other fields.

We encourage proposals in other media as well. Please send a proposal of 250-500 words as well as display requirements or any a/v needs.

For more information, visit or contact the conference organisers at


Understanding Human Flourishing: A Postgraduate Medical Humanities Conference


Durham University, 16th-17th May 2013

Deadline for abstracts: 18th February 2013

Keynote Speaker: Professor Stuart Murray, School of English and Centre for Medical Humanities, University of Leeds

Panel of Academic Publishers: Professor Martyn Evans, Centre for Medical Humanities, Durham University;  Professor Brian Hurwitz, Centre for Humanities and Health, King’s College, London; Dr Deborah Kirklin, Editor of BMJ Medical Humanities journal, University College London

Medical Humanities is a growing interdisciplinary field, comprising both the humanities and social sciences. The field aims to contextualize, criticise and complement medicine as a human and social practice. Medical Humanities highlight the role of experience, both of patients and professionals, as well as the patient-health professional relationship. They draw attention to the social context of illness and disability and they value subjective experience as a source of legitimate knowledge. In Medical Humanities experience andrelationships are seen as central to human flourishing, health and healthcare while scientific approaches to theirunderstanding alone are considered inadequate. Social science research, literary studies, the arts andphilosophy can all help explore, understand and support human flourishing.

This two-day conference aims to bring together postgraduate researchers whose interests relate to the medical humanities in order to explore interdisciplinary perspectives on, and ways of researching, health, illness and human flourishing. The conference will enable postgraduates to build networks and collaborative relationships for the future. The panel on academic publishing ensures that this conference will provide crucial information and advice for researchers at the beginning of a career in medical humanities.

Abstracts of 250 words for 20 minute papers are invited. Topics might include (but are not limited to):

Creativity: role of arts in human flourishing; illness narratives; representations of health conditions in art and literature; literature and art as sources of understanding experience of physical and mental illness, disability, health care and medical practice

Medical Practice and Education: use of literature/art in training health professionals; literature and art as (alternative) therapy; narrative therapy; the role of spirituality in medical practice; the history of medicine; qualitative research and ethnography in health settings; ethics of care; empathy; relationships in healthcare

Embodied Cognition: the mind-body split in medicine and its effect on our understanding of what it is to be human; questions of selfhood in mental health/neurodegenerative diseases; the normal and pathological in human experience; neuroscience and philosophy of medicine.

Please address all abstracts or queries to the conference organisers Rebecca Bitenc and Dr Naomi Marklew. For more information, please visit our web site.


CFP: Association for Medical Humanities Conference

Call for Papers: Global Medical Humanities


Aberdeen, 8-10 July 2013

Submission deadline: 1st February 2013

There has been continuous and vigorous debate about the theory and practice of medical humanities but only recently have questions been raised about the content and aims of the field in a global context. For example, in December 2011, Claire Hooker and Estelle Noonan published a paper entitled ‘Medical Humanities as Expressive of Western Culture’ in Medical Humanities. Based on their consultations with scholars in a range of Asian countries, they suggest that some curricula have been inappropriately influenced by Western medical history and the Western medical and artistic canon. This is not to deny that some Asian medical and non-medical faculties have long traditions of scholarship in social, cultural and historical dimensions of health and medicine. In spite of the diverse ethnic origins of professional healthcare students in the West, Western medical humanities has sometimes been, in effect, parochial. But those of us who have engaged in practical medical humanities teaching know that the motivations of all students, and their reactions to medical humanities, are diverse.
The 2013 conference of the Association for Medical Humanities takes as its starting point the view that medical humanities must become a global endeavour in terms of research, teaching and application. Taking as our theme ‘Global Medical Humanities’, this conference aims to open up hitherto marginalised aspects of the field.

Themes and questions that the conference seeks to address:

  •  How does medical humanities vary in less developed, developing and developed countries?
  •  In what ways can the humanities help us better understand health inequalities in different cultural, social, political and economic settings?
  •  In what ways can the humanities help in increasing cross-cultural understanding and exchanges in relation to health?
  •  Are professional healthcare students, academics and practitioners in less developed countries more or less receptive to medical humanities than their counterparts in the West?
  •  Can medical humanities nurture an appreciation of the importance and nature of the global interconnectedness of public health issues?
  •  In what ways can we use the humanities to improve healthcare professionals’ understandings of other cultures?
  •  Can the idea of medical humanities as a useful medium for ‘inter-professional’ education be applied world-wide?
  •  Theatre, film and the other arts have been used to deepen professional healthcare students’ insights into the ethical issues that they will face in practice. These media have also been used to rally the support of and influence target populations. The conference would be interested in accounts of the use of such methods in various cultural settings.
  •  In what ways does film facilitate and / or hinder the agenda of global medical / health humanities?
  •  How do the challenges of using medical humanities to nurture an appreciation of spirituality and pluralism in medicine and health vary globally?
  •  Can medical humanities offer new and fruitful perspectives on traditional, indigenous, complementary and alternative medicine?
  •  Has medical humanities anything to offer the development of environmentally benign and sustainable public health and healthcare?
  •  To what extent can the theory and practice of medical humanities be independent of national cultures and traditions?
  •  Can medical humanities serve as a counter to the fragmentation of medical knowledge?
  •  There has been much debate about the naming of our field, e.g. health humanities versus medical humanities. How does this debate play out in the global medical humanities context? And how does ‘global medical humanities’ link with ‘global health ethics’?

For more details see or contact Catherine Jones

CFP: ‘Writing Bodies: Gender and Medicine in the Nineteenth Century’

Call for Papers for Special Issue: Nineteenth-Century Gender Studies Summer 2013


Scholars are invited to submit articles for the Nineteenth-Century Gender Studies special issue ‘Writing Bodies: Gender and Medicine in the Nineteenth Century’. Nineteenth-Century Gender Studies is a peer-reviewed, online journal committed to publishing insightful and innovative scholarship on gender studies and nineteenth-century British literature, art and culture. The journal endorses a broad definition of gender studies and welcomes submissions that consider gender and sexuality in conjunction with race, class, place and nationality. This special issue aims to situate nineteenth-century gender studies within a wider conversation that is taking place regarding health, medicine, and embodiment across the humanities and social sciences, to address a critical gap in the conversations about the intersection of nineteenth-century gender politics and medicine. Critical discussion of gender and medicine in the nineteenth century has often relied on a dichotomy in which ‘male medical discourse’ (Vertinsky, 1994) stands in opposition to the image of the female patient. Furthermore, most feminist research on gender and medicine in the nineteenth century has been done on the medicalisation or, in the fin de siècle, ‘hysterisation’ of women. This special issue proposes to problematise this dichotomy and expand the notion of gender and medicine to include topics which have previously been overlooked. Medical technologies, institutionalisation, and more complex approaches to the practitioner/patient relationship tend to be excluded from discussions of gender and embodiment in the nineteenth century, but they are essential to a comprehensive exploration of medicine as it evolved throughout the century.

Building off of works such as Catherine Judd’s Bedside Seducations: Nursing and the Victorian Imagination, 1830-1880 (1998), Kristine Swenson’s Medical Women and Victorian Fiction (2005), and Miriam Bailin’s The Sickroom in Victorian Fiction: The Art of Being Ill (2007), this issue will seek to reformulate an approach to gender and medicine, which has traditionally been more interested in the role of women in the medical sphere. As well as discussing women in medicine, this issue will extend its reach to consider masculinity, sexualities, gender and the non-human, and the way that notions of gender influence medical narratives just as medicine influences constructions of gender.

We invite submissions that explore topics such as:

  • Medical narratives
  • Practitioners/patients
  • Nursing
  • The culture of medical journals
  • Literary and artistic constructions of medicine and the body
  • Medical technologies
  • Institutionalisation of medicine
  • The gendered body
  • Emotive embodiment
  • Illness narratives
  • Constructions of disability
  • Medicalisation of the body
  • Anatomical texts
  • Reproductive technologies and the rise of obstetrics
  • Performativity and modes of looking
  • Medical museums
  • Sexology

We welcome articles of 5,000-8,000 words, and in MLA format. Please use US spelling and citations. With the submission you should also include a 250-300 word abstract and a 50 word biographical note, the latter which will be posted if accepted for publication. Please send an electronic version of your submission, in Word or .doc format, to both editors: Lena Wånggren ( and Ally Crockford ( The deadline for submissions is 1st March 2013.

We also welcome book reviews and review essays, especially on the themes of gender, the body, and medicine, but also on wider issues regarding gender in the nineteenth century. If you want to submit a book review, please contact the reviews editor Susan David Bernstein (

We look forward to receiving your work!

Lena and Ally