Medical Humanities PG Skills Workshop, Queen’s University Belfast

Date: 7 November 2013

Location: Postgraduate Centre, Queen’s University Belfast

Workshop description:

This one-day workshop is organised across the Schools of Modern Languages, English, and History and Anthropology and supported by the Institute for Collaborative Research in the Humanities. It is open to MA and Doctoral level research students who are interested in or are currently pursuing research in the medical humanities. It brings together a broad range of specialists across different subject areas and institutions who will provide their own personal insights into the opportunities and resources available to students interested in the Medical Humanities across history and literature and ranging from the 17th – 21st centuries, as well as a focus on the development of a range of skills essential for postgraduate development.

The day will being with a plenary introduction to the resources of the Wellcome Library and opportunities in libraries and archives in the USA. The afternoon will comprise four individual strands – Spanish, French, English, and History, focusing on skills such as: conducting archival research; reading early modern documents; digitisation; ethics; medicine and literature.

There is no attendance fee for any student wishing to attend but registration is required by 18th October 2013 – see below for details.



Plenary sessions:

Dr Elma Brenner (Wellcome Library, London)
Plenary – introduction to the Wellcome Library and its holdings, highlighting the great research potential of its collections for postgraduate students in the medical humanities. The Library has its origin in the personal collection of Sir Henry S. Wellcome (1853–1936). The holdings range from medieval and early modern manuscripts to rare books, works of art, ephemera, modern medical archives and moving image and sound collections, as well as extensive collections of secondary and reference works. The history of medicine and health is broadly conceived – topics covered include witchcraft, cookery, health resorts and travel, and astrology. Dr Brenner will introduce students to the Library Catalogue, the digital content (accessible via a new tool, the ‘player’) and the digital image resource, Wellcome Images.

Dr Yarí Pérez Marín (Durham University)
Plenary – This session will provide information on a selection of major archives in the United States that may be of use to postgraduate students interested in the Medical Humanities. Beyond an overview of the strengths of the collections as it pertains to early modern science and medicine, it will give advice on how to plan a visit and maximize productivity and will discuss existing fellowship and grant opportunities at some of the institutions.

French session:

Dr Larry Duffy (University of Kent)
Key methodological and practical issues for interdisciplinary research in the medical humanities, focusing on preparation for and use of archives, the extent, value and relevance of archival and library (including Special Collections) resources available to Medical Humanities researchers in the UK and France, and a demonstration of any web-based discovery tools or digitized resources, all within the context of his research on the history of scientific and professional disciplines in nineteenth-century French culture.

Dr Steven Wilson (Queen’s University Belfast)
A case study on the interfaces of medicine and literature in nineteenth- and twentieth-century France, with specific reference to the genre of autopathography, an important resource for students interested in the medical humanities. It will examine the shift in approaches to medical history in recent years, away from the ‘top down’ theories of clinicians towards a more considered view of the ’embodied’ experience of disease and suffering in so-called illness narratives.

English session:

Prof. Andrew Carpenter(University College Dublin)
Science, Medicine and Literature in Ireland before 1800: how to use the archives and the printed resources.
After a brief survey of the extent of surviving printed and manuscript sources for the study of science, medicine and literature in pre-Union Ireland, this session will show participants how to find and use these rich and currently under-utilized materials.

Dr Vike Plock (University of Exeter)
James Joyce and medicine
A case study to discuss the challenges and opportunities faced by sholars engaged in interdisciplinary research (literature and medicine). She will address the question of how literary texts, modernists texts in particular, engage with medical debates of their time and answer questions about methodology and practical issues concerning research into literature and medicine.

History session (Sources and case studies – including round table discussion):

Dr Elma Brenner (Wellcome Library, London)
Sources for scholarly and ‘popular’ medicine in the medieval and early modern periods.

Dr Ciara Breathnach (University of Limerick)
The experience of TB in pre-penicillin Ireland: the patient perspective.

Dr Sean Lucey (Queen’s University Belfast)
Pre-welfare state health-care systems in the twentieth century: the case of Belfast.

Latin American/Spanish session:

Dr Miruna Achim (Universidad Autónoma Metropolitana, Cuajimalpa, México)
Sources for the study of  Mexican medicine in the the 16th-19th centuries: the uses of astrological forecasts.

Dr Mauricio Nieto Olarte (Universidad de los Andes, Bogotá, Colombia)
Images and maps as sources of research and historical enquiry

Dr Marcelo Figueroa (Universidad Nacional de Tucumán, CONICET, Argentina) 


Travel to Queen’s University Belfast

Campus Map (see location 4 for Postgraduate Centre)



Registration details – registration deadline 18th October 2013

For further details contact: Robyn Atcheson (

Event organisation team: Dr Fiona Clark (School of Modern Languages); Mark McKinty (School of Modern Languages); Robyn Atcheson (School of History); Sheila Rooney (School of English)

CFP: ‘Disabilty and Sustainability’, Society for Disability Studies, Minneapolis

Disability and Sustainability

27th annual meeting, Society for Disability Studies

11th-14th June 2014, Minneapolis, USA

Submission system will open 1st October 2013 at

Deadline for submissions: 13th December 2013


The program committee of the 27th annual meeting of the Society for Disability Studies invites you to consider the multiple and significant possibilities at the intersection of sustainability and disability.

We offer the term sustainability to explore both its traditional meaning–the ability to be sustained, supported, upheld, or confirmed—and to engage the more recent deployment of sustainability as an environmental, ecological, agricultural, and economic concept that advances the quality of not being harmful to the environment or depleting natural resources, thereby
supporting long-term ecological balance.

As you plan your proposal for participation in the 2014 conference, we offer these broad intersectional and interdisciplinary questions that emerge from a critical engagement with disability (and) sustainability:

  • What does it mean to sustain disability? How do/might/should/will we sustain disability?
  • How does/doesn’t your own academic or professional field engage with disability and sustainability?
  • What local, regional, national, continental, transnational, global practices and policies are available—or need to be developed—in the intersection between disability and sustainability?
  • What practices, processes, policies, and products of the sustainability movement most impact, intersect, overlap, inform, or resonate with disability practices, processes, policies, and products?
  • How can/do people with disabilities best carry out—or critique—the sustainability movement?
  • Where and how do identities based on class, race, gender, geography, politics,  or sexuality further inform, influence, and interact with disability (and) sustainability?
  • In what ways do interactions with and practices of Native communities affect or shape disability (and) sustainability?
  • How can access be imagined as an element of sustainability?
  • Where do current theoretical models—such as impairment/disability; social/medical; (in)dependence/interdependence–coincide or collide with disability (and) sustainability?
  • How do disability (and) sustainability fold into or against our understanding of transnational, international, global, and geopolitical “work”?
  • What can conversations about disability (and) sustainability offer to global, national, regional, and local healthcare policies and debates?
  • When disability (and) sustainability enter into global, national, regional, and local policies and practices around employment, what difference(s) can/does this make?
  • How do/can disability (and) sustainability contribute to notions/systems of sustainable food, farming, and land development?

We welcome proposals in all areas of disability studies, especially those submissions premised on this year’s theme.

This year’s program committee is continuing the idea of specific “strands” that relate to the larger more general theme of the SDS conference. Each strand may have 3 or 4 related events (e.g. panels, workshops), organized to occur throughout the conference in a way that will eliminate any overlap of sessions in an effort to facilitate a more sustained discussion of specific issues that have arisen as areas of interest within the organization.

Our planned strands this year are as follows. Others may emerge from member proposals:

  • Minnesota disability/sustainability movement histories: How can we think both locally and globally about disability and sustainability in Minnesota or the upper Midwest?
  • Communities / Identities: Explores challenges and possibilities that shape collaboration, culture, and community for people who experience disability.
  • Power and privilege: Explores the workings of power and privilege broadly, in this case within the disability (and) sustainability
  • movement(s), and within SDS itself. 
  • Professional development: Pertains to matters such as locating funding, pursuing academic and non-academic jobs, surviving the tenure track, etc. Special consideration will be given to proposals that make an explicit link between sustainability and professional development.

Translational research in disability studies and health sciences: Using translational research here to refer to research that translates between disciplines, and from basic research to applied research and to practice, the goals of this strand are: (1) to demonstrate how disability studies theory contributes to the conception of health sciences research and practice; (2) to provide best practice examples of disability studies translational research and practice; and (3) to mentor a new generation of federally funded disability studies researchers and practitioners. We particularly welcome submissions from disabled clinicians/clinical researchers interested in cutting edge disability studies perspectives.

If you would like your proposal to be considered as part of one of these thematic strands, mark this in your submission.

For further information contact the Program Committee of the SDS 2014 program committee at

CFP: Disability Studies Quarterly Special Issue 2015, Americans with Disabilities Act

2015 Special Issue of Disability Studies Quarterly on the Americans with Disabilities Act

In 2015, Disability Studies Quarterly will publish a Special Issue to mark the 25th anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act. The ADA has been a watershed in American disability policy, with far-reaching effects on the status of Americans with disabilities, but has fallen far short of the expectations for social transformation with which it was enacted in 1990.  The Special Issue will commemorate the ADA’s 25th anniversary with both a look back at how the ADA has affected the disability community and the larger society, and an assessment of future prospects for attaining the ADA’s goals of inclusion and empowerment.

Papers that are related (broadly) to the ADA are invited from scholars from any academic or professional discipline, disability policy professionals and advocates, and from disability activists. The issue will strive to incorporate a diverse variety of perspectives within disability studies. Priority for selection will be given to manuscripts that are broadly framed and advance our understanding of the direct and indirect consequences of the ADA for people with disabilities, rather than those which focus on narrow legal, policy, or technical aspects of the Act.

Some examples of potential paper topics include, but would not be limited to: The History of the Americans with Disabilities Act; The ADA and Disability Law; The ADA and the Workplace/Workforce; The ADA and Public Accommodation; The ADA and Community Living; The ADA and Disability in the Arts and Popular Culture; The ADA and Health Care; Disability Culture and Pride Since the Passage of the ADA; Disability Politics Since the Passage of the ADA; The Global Impact of the ADA and the U.N. Convention; Technology, Disability, and the ADA

All submitted papers will be subject to peer review, and revisions may be requested for inclusion in the Special Issue.  The deadline for submission of proposals is June 1, 2014.  We anticipate that peer review and editing would be completed, and the complete issue will be submitted to DSQ before the end of 2014.

Proposals or questions about the Special Issue may be directed to Richard Scotch, Special Issue Editor, at