AHRC-funded Collaborative Doctoral Studentships: History of Medicine

A consortium of the Science Museum Group Museums, BT Archives, the RGS-IBG and the Royal Society has been awarded eighteen AHRC-funded Collaborative Doctoral studentships over three years. The Science Museum, in particular, is interested in proposals concerning the history of medicine and medical anthropology relating to:

  • Sites of scientific research and their material culture: the country house, the laboratory, the asylum, the field, including industry and psychiatric research and care centres
  • Perspectives on material cultures of non-western science and medicine
  • Women in science, technology, engineering and medical workplaces
  • History of Medicine:
    • Changing understandings of the body and their impact on diagnosis and care.
    • Manifestations of changing patient-practitioner power relations in material medical culture

If you are interested in submitting a proposal and would like to discuss how it might fit with the museum’s research priorities please email Oisin Wall.

CFP: Edited Collection on Contemporary Art and Culture in Disability Studies

John Derby and Alice Wexler are soliciting abstracts for an edited book on contemporary art and culture as it intersects disability studies. The purpose of the book is to present broad, interdisciplinary scholarship on art and visual culture that explores disability in terms of lived experience. The book will be framed by three overlapping sections: (a) the professional art world, (b) the in-between spaces of community arts and education programs (e.g., PK-12 art and special education, mental institution art and occupational therapy, community education), and (c)
isolated artists and amateurs, including outsider artists and hobbyists. As art educators whose research intersects disability studies, the editors recognize the artificial nature of such categories, and hope to challenge them while recognizing the very real barriers that exist where disability and art interact. We seek scholars representing diverse disciplines, including visual art, performance art, the performing arts, English, museum studies, education including art education, art history, art criticism, and other social science and humanities scholars and arts professionals. In particular, we seek scholars interested in addressing the “professional art world section.”

Please send a 300-500 word abstract, title, short bio, and CV to both editors at johnderby@ku.edu and awex26@gmail.com by 11th October 2015 for consideration in the proposed volume. The proposal is in the late stages of development and we plan to submit it in late October, 2015. Feel free to ask any questions you may have in the meantime.

Workshop: Science Fiction and Public Engagement with Medicine, University of Glasgow

27th Novemeber 2015

University of Glasgow

What are the uses and abuses of science fiction in the aim of public engagement with medicine?

We can assess science fiction as if it were entertainment education, distinguishing beween legitimate extrapolation and genre misrepresentation. But are there more productive ways of thinking about how science fiction engages with medical expertise than simply the problematic distinction of ‘appropriate simplication’ versus ‘distortion’? Jenny Kitzinger from the University of Cardiff (“Science Fiction, ethics and the body: clones, coma patients and organ harvesting”) and David Lawrence from the Costumed Visions of Enhanced Bodies project (portrayals of the enhanced body in comic books) join us to explore these questions.

The workshop will be held at the University of Glasgow on Friday the 27th of November 2015. If you are interested in getting involved with this workshop (or any other) then please email us. Postgraduate and early career researchers may wish to apply to the attendance fund to support their travel expenses.

If you are interested in the Science Fiction and the Medical Humanities project, please contact Anna McFarlane to be added to the mailing list.

CFP: The Lumen, themed issue on ‘Trauma’

The Lumen is an annual Edinburgh University new writing and arts journal of the mutual dialogue between medicine, the arts and the humanities. We hope to foster creative and critical discourse on the personal experience of illness and healthcare. The Lumen will provide a space for the expression of the deeply personal narratives of the medical encounter, from patients and healthcare professionals alike, and the aspects of the human condition that it exposes. We are pleased to announce that we are now accepting submissions for the Summer 2016 issue of The Lumen. The theme for this issue will be ‘Trauma’.

Contributors are welcome to interpret this theme in any way they wish along the lines of any discipline. We also welcome reviews of books or other artistic work that deals with a discussion of trauma or narratives that emerge thereof. Some possible interpretations of this theme could be:

  • The impact of a traumatic event or process on identity and temporality
  • Narrating and coping with traumatic events
  • Talking about trauma in public discourse
  • The form and essence of traumatic change
  • Trauma as a permanent state of being rather than a singular, momentary breach
  • The trauma of internal processes rather than external intrusions
  • Historical, political or socio-symbolic forms of trauma

The above list is not exhaustive, and is merely indicative of some of the possible interpretations of the theme for the forthcoming issue. Contributors are welcome to interpret the theme however they like.

We welcome submissions in the following categories:

  1. Fiction: Short fiction which is no more than 3,000 words in length and can be written in any style or genre. Stories should be stand-alone and complete works.
  2. Non-fiction: Narrative/memoir or essays (either critical or academic) that are no longer than 3,000 words in length.
  3. Poetry: Poems that are no longer than 70 lines in length in any style, genre or form.
  4. Reviews: Short reviews of one work (between 500 and 750 words) or comparative reviews of two or more works (between 750 and 1,000 words). If you would like to review a relevant literary or artistic work or performance, please contact us with a proposal via email and we shall consider it. Alternatively, we will also post a list of works we would like reviewed on our web site.
  5. Visual Art: All forms of visual art (illustrations, photographs, et cetera), submitted as digital images (preferably high-resolution .jpeg) of up to 10 MB in file size. Please include the title, date, medium and size as applicable. If you should encounter any difficulty in sending us images via email due to file size, please contact us to arrange an alternative mode of submission.

The deadline for submissions for this issue is Friday 4th December 2015. All submissions must be sent on or before this date via email.

In addition, The Lumen also welcomes contributions for its blog on a rolling basis. These contributions can also be stories, poetry, essays, reviews, et cetera as per the guidelines below. These need not necessarily relate to the theme for the print issue, and can be on any subject or theme. We are also open to suggestions for blog posts. Please feel free to contact the editors at the above email address if you would like to make a suggestion for a piece.

For further details, please refer to the full Call for Submissions. Any queries regarding submissions can be addressed to the editors.

Visiting Lecturer: Lean Dowse, ‘Lost in Translation: young people with cognitive disabilities in contact with the criminal justice system’, Glasgow

Location: Boyd Orr Building, Room 407 Lecture Theatre, University of Glasgow

Date: 4-5.30pm, 30th September 2015

Leanne Dowse, UNSW Australia

There is significant and growing concern that some young people with cognitive disabilities are marginalised and criminalised via their multiple movements into and through systems of care and control. As young people (and later as adults) those with multiple interlocking experiences that span disability, health and mental health, behavioural and social issues figure significantly in policing, justice and correctional settings, both as victims and offenders. It appears that for a significant proportion, their support needs are complex and their trajectory into the criminal justice system begins very early in life. This paper reports on research tracing the trajectories of a cohort of individuals who have complex support needs and who have been in prison in NSW Australia. Findings presented indicate that vulnerabilities emerging early in life for this group may include dual or multiple impairments, histories of victimization, early and persistent social disadvantage, placement in out of home care, early educational disengagement, precarious housing and substance misuse. The paper reflects on the limited capacity evident in the human service system to recognise and respond to these complex needs, particularly at key points of transition. A series of case studies demonstrate the ways that management of need is often defrayed to the criminal justice system as the key system of response. Effective prevention and support approaches will be discussed.


Leanne Dowse is Associate Professor and Chair in Intellectual Disability Behaviour Support [IDBS] at UNSW Australia. She has been a scholar, practitioner, supporter and ally in the area of intellectual disability since the 1980s and has taught social policy, research methods, disability studies, and criminology for the past two decades. Her role as Chair IDBS, works to expand the body of knowledge and increase workforce capacity in the delivery of appropriate and effective services to people with an intellectual disability with complex support needs, through a focus on training and education, enhanced policy and service models and targeted research. 


CFP: Special Issue of JLCDS, ‘Drama, Theatrical Performance, and Disability’

Journal of Literary and Cultural Disability Studies

Special issue: Drama, Theatrical Performance, and Disability

Guest editors: Ann M. Fox and Carrie Sandahl

This special issue of JCLDS will consider the representation of disability in drama and theatrical performance.

The performance of disability in film, television, and popular culture has received considerable attention within disability studies.  But what of the representation of disability in drama and other theatrical performance, that is, the persistent presence of disability in embodied, spoken/signed performances created specifically for the stage? From Philoctetes toPyretown, from Deaf West to Wry Crips, plays and performers have engaged the disability experience in multivaried ways.  These representations sometimes have been complex, problematic, or contradictory, revealing how disability is situated and constructed in a particular place and time.  They have sometimes created space for the new; for example, in the forthcoming volume Disability, Avoidance, and the Academy: Challenging Resistance (Routledge, 2015) Ann Fox has coined the term “fabulous invalid” to denote the presence of a disabled character in mainstream drama whose presence recasts old ideas about disability, deploying it as creative and generative. Theatrical performance has likewise been a site for disabled performers to tell their stories and insist on visibility.  It has been ten years since Carrie Sandahl and Phillip Auslander’s Bodies in Commotion and Victoria Ann Lewis’s Beyond Victims and Villains. Both these anthologies included discussions of drama and theatrical performance. This special issue of JLCDS extends and focuses these efforts to critical disability studies analyses of play texts and live performance that is explicitly theatrically framed. The guest editors are also interested in pieces that explore central concerns of theater and performance artists who are creating new work or reviving canonical texts that feature representations of disability experience.  Please note that this issue is focused on texts and performances that are specifically shaped for theatrical performance, and not on the performance of everyday life or “invisible theater.”

Contributions might consider but need not be limited to:

  • Disability representations in dramatic literature in any time period.  Please note global literatures are welcome, but must be written about in English translation.
  • Creating disability culture through performance.
  • Creating Deaf culture through performance.
  • Intersectional identities in drama (e.g., what might crip and camp have to say to one another? How do race and disability interrelate on stage?).
  • The disabled body configured in theatrical spaces.
  • Disabled or Deaf playwrights, actors, theater companies, and performance artists.
  • Writing across the disabled/nondisabled “divide” or the hearing/Deaf “divide.”
  • Community-based theaters that engage disability topics and disability aesthetics.
  • Disability and solo performance.
  • “Deaf gain” and “Disability gain” in dramatic performance and writing (for a discussion of “Deaf gain,” see the introduction to Deaf Gain: Raising the Stakes for Human Diversity (U of Minnesota P, 2014)).
  • The politics and possibilities surrounding disability and casting.
  • Disability aesthetics in drama and performance.
  • The social, political, and/or aesthetic implications of recent initiatives to make theatre more accessible.
  • The aesthetics of disability “accommodations” (traditional and innovative).
  • Training and professional development for disabled playwrights, actors, and performance artists.


15th January 2016: submission of a 500 words proposal and a one-page curriculum vitae to guest editors at anfox@davidson.edu and csandahl@uic.edu.

15th February 2016: prospective authors notified of proposal status.

1st August  2016: final versions of selected papers due to editors.

1st November 2016: Decisions and revisions on submissions sent to authors.

1st February 2017: Final, revised papers due.