CFP: ‘VariAbilities III: The Same Only Different?’, London, 6-7 June 2017

VariAbilities III: The Same Only Different?

Location: Senate House, University of London, Malet Street, London, WC1E

Date: Tuesday 6th – Wednesday 7th June 2017

In the third iteration of the Variabilities Series, we will take stock of the academic work done on the “body” in “history”.

When we study the “Body” should we restrict ourselves to impaired bodies or make comparisons with sports bodies? Or should a conference discussing the body entertain papers on both impaired and sports bodies?

When we consider “history” we must ask ourselves when did history begin, and has it ended? Variabilities III is casting its nets as widely as possible, with no methodological assumptions, beginning or end dates, with as wide scope for dialogue as possible.

Come and tell us what the “body” in “history” means to you.

For accessibility purposes we welcome Skype Presentations.

Please send your proposal (300 words) by November 30th 2016 to: and


Research Funding: ‘Impact of First World War on Medicine and Healthcare’, Worcester Medical Museums

Research Bursary: Impact of First World War on Medicine and Healthcare

Researcher to be appointed in October 2016. Project to be complete by September 2017.
This is a paid research opportunity.

Project Details

Worcester’s Medical Museums are looking for a Researcher to study the impact of the First World War on developments in medicine and healthcare in Worcestershire (and beyond). This will include the areas and disciplines of medicine covered in displays at both museums, to include (but not limited to): Home Medicine, Medical Science, Surgery, Anaesthetics, War surgery, and First Aid. The Researcher will have access to Worcester Medical Museums’ collection of objects, books and photographs, and archives held at The Hive. The Researcher will theme and edit their findings for printing in a mini publication, and for display on a pop-up banner to be toured. To view our previous research publication about the story of the first female Resident Medical Officer at Worcester Infirmary, go to

This project is funded by the Heritage Lottery Fund, and part of the larger Worcestershire World War 100 partnership with heritage organisations and attractions in Worcestershire. The found research will enable us to share the broader picture of developments in medicine and healthcare during this time, and enable visitors to comment on the subject matter through social media, display panels at the George Marshall Medical Museum and The Infirmary, and the ‘Debating Space’ at The Infirmary. We will also publish the findings in a mini booklet available both online and in print.


The Researcher will have regular supervision sessions with Dr. Frank Crompton, Associate Fellow at the University of Birmingham Centre for the History of Medicine, and longstanding PhD supervisor for the University of Worcester.

To Apply

To apply for this role please send a current CV and sample of your writing no longer than 2 sides A4 from a completed research document (e.g. dissertation, essay, published article) to Mark Macleod, Head of The Infirmary at or The Infirmary, University of Worcester, Castle Street, Worcester, WR1 3AS by 12pm on Friday 21st October, 2016 with appointment before the end of October.

CFP: Special Issue of RHM, ‘Disability and Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights’

Special Issue: ‘Disability and Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights’, Reproductive Health Matters

Deadline: 30th Nov 2016

The forthcoming issue of RHM, which is produced in partnership with CREA, and co-edited with Janet Price and Renu Addlaka, is aimed at shedding light on the population of people with disabilities, focusing on their sexual and reproductive health and rights (SRHR). This is a subject that is slowly emerging from a private world of neglect and exclusion into public discourse and policy.

More than 15% of the world’s population are affected by disability, which include physical or sensory impairments, intellectual disability, as well as psychosocial disability. While persons with disability have equal rights and sexual and reproductive desires and hopes as non-disabled people, society has disregarded their sexuality and reproductive concerns, aspirations and human rights. The topic of SRHR has also been largely overlooked by the disability rights movement and neglected in policy, planning and service delivery by social, health and welfare services.

Within this thematic issue, we intend to provide an arena for original research, personal experiences and critical analyses that address the current situation and future potential in sexuality and SRHR of people with disabilities. The issue will concentrate on three areas:

1. Rights, justice and aspirations of people with disabilities

Sexual and reproductive health and rights of people with disabilities continue to be contested, and there are particular concerns in relation to women with disabilities. Analysis of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (UNCRPD) negotiations demonstrates how rights were downgraded to focus on family life, resulting in no mentions of sexuality, sexual integrity or agency, or non-heteropatriarchal approaches and identities. However, debates and campaigns are emerging, recognising people with disabilities as sexual beings with equal rights to aspirations for sexual desire, intimacy, love, relationships and sexual and reproductive choices. Activism has resulted in positive movement at regional level, although in negotiating the Sustainable Development Goals, it achieved limited impact. There is a need for analysis of the success and failures of activism in relation to policy creation and its implementation. Societies are moving at different rates in recognising SRHR of people with disabilities. As people with disabilities gain increasing agency and control in other areas of their lives, it is essential to understand the context and outcomes of demands for choice over sexuality and relationships and how these emerge in relation to diversity and equality in the struggle for personal freedoms and a better quality of life.

2. Inequitable structures and access

Access is a complex process, dependent on multiple factors and hampered by poverty, stigma and discrimination, inaccessible environments and communications, and absence of meaningful engagement of people with disabilities in decision making and service delivery. Neoliberalism and austerity measures also impact access to personal and institutional SRHR resources, a careful examination of which is highly warranted. War, ongoing conflict and environmental disasters further cause instability, and result in an increase in the numbers of people with disabilities. For women, disability often means being suddenly displaced, excluded from a life of femininity, partnership, active sexuality and often denied the opportunities for motherhood. In the context of refugees and displaced populations, people with complex impairments may be left behind without support. In this context, vulnerability increases the levels of sexual violence towards both women and men, resulting in sexual and reproductive trauma —an unacknowledged form of disability —that cause stigma and isolation. These are crucial, yet rarely debated challenges in the respect, protection and fulfilment of SRHR.

3. Personal experiences, identity and intersectionality

Prejudice around disability and sexuality have resulted in poor documentation of local and cultural factors that shape personal shame and construct challenges in developing sexual confidence and establishing relationships. There is limited research on how cultural attitudes affect people with disabilities in search of sexual relationships, desire to express sexual orientation and gender identity, the negotiation of which is almost always counter to collective norms of heterosexuality, marriage and family.

While sexual violence towards people with disabilities is moderately well documented and human rights violations in this regard are well recognised, crucial analysis of personal context and gender dynamics, including the dynamic between disability and feminist activism, are limited. There is little data about interactions and alliances across movements around disability and sexuality rights despite the emergence of coalitions, courses and research developed transversally in various regions, initiatives that have a growing global reach.

Call for Papers – What and When?

For this issue of Reproductive Health Matters, we are inviting articles that contribute towards building a knowledge base that can inform policy and practice and offer a better understanding of the connection and intersection of SRHR and disability. We welcome analytical pieces, critical perspectives and contextual analysis on SRHR of people with disabilities, addressing the broad outlines given here. We encourage original research articles, and policy and human rights analysis and we will consider reviews, commentaries, viewpoints and critical perspectives. Submission of photo or video articles illustrating positive dimensions of the topic is encouraged. We warmly welcome narratives from people with disabilities, as well as contributions from low- and middle income countries and from activists and actors promoting SRHR for people with disabilities.

Across these areas, we welcome analytic approaches to discursive strategies of change related to the subject. Apart from that already outlined, other potential topics include:

  • What are people with disabilities’ experiences of: pleasure and managing violence; establishing relationships and fulfilling their SRHR; challenging prejudice; and negotiating the influence of intersectional factors, e.g., shared disability, gender, ethnicity, and educational status?
  • Between who and where are relationships established by people with disabilities, how are these experienced, and how do they vary socio-culturally and from the human rights perspective?
  • What are the responses to the desire for comprehensive sexuality information, sexuality education and services, including sexual assistance for people with disabilities?
  • How is the exclusionary power of shame exacerbated and accompanied by violence in times of crisis and shifting socio-economic power, e.g., elections, coups, war, economic crisis?
Submissions accepted between 1 October and 30 November 2016

Submit at

**Please carefully read submission guidelines before submissions.

CFP: ‘Doctor, Doctor: Global and Historical Perspectives on the Doctor-Patient Relationship’, Oxford

Location and date: University of Oxford, 24th March 2017

Deadline: 30th November 2016

“Two distinct and separate parties interact with one another – not one mind (the physician’s), not one body (the patient’s), but two minds and two bodies.”

– Jay Katz, The Silent World of Doctor and Patient (1984)

The doctor-patient relationship is the primary way that we experience medicine: we go to the doctor when we are may be sick, or are scared of becoming sick. Healthcare is constructed around encounters between practitioners and patients, and the relationship between them is integral to how medicine is practised, experienced, and represented around the world. It may be paternalistic or a partnership of equals, underpinned by acts of care and compassion or negligence and abuse.

This one-day symposium organised by The Oxford Research Centre for the Humanities (TORCH) will explore the different ways in which encounters between medical practitioners and patients have been imagined or conceptualised across different historical and cultural contexts.

How has our understanding of these interactions been affected by factors such as scientific and technological advances, urbanisation, and increased patient demand? By interrogating these idiosyncratic and complex personal and professional relationships, how can we better understand broad themes, such as the professionalisation of medicine or the politics of identity? The doctor often tells us a great deal about the patient: but what can the patient tell us about the doctor?

We encourage proposals for 20-minute papers from scholars with an interest in medical humanities working across different disciplines, e.g. arts, humanities, social sciences, and medicine. While papers on the history of medicine in British and North American contexts are welcome, we would also like to hear from scholars working in languages other than English, and on areas of the world beyond Britain and North America.

Possible topics could include, but are not limited to:

  • Representations of practitioners and patients in literature, visual arts, and film;
  • Different types of medical practitioners, e.g. nurses, dentists, midwives;
  • History of emotions: the affect of the medical encounter;
  • Whose voice? Patient narratives and case histories;
  • Living with diseases of the age: nervous attacks, melancholia, hysteria, shell-shock;
  • Doctors, patients and identity politics: gender, sexuality, race, class;
  • Professionalisation, power and authority;
  • Experiencing and/or practising colonial, imperial, and indigenous medicine;
  • Medical encounters in the institution: hospitals, workhouses, prisons, asylums;
  • Psychiatry and mental health;
  • Medicine, the state, and its citizens;
  • The material culture surrounding doctor-patient relationships.

Proposals should be no more than 300 words in length and a short biography should be included in addition. Please submit them by email to Sarah Jones (Oriel College, Oxford) and Alison Moulds (St Anne’s, Oxford) by 30 November 2016.

The symposium is funded by TORCH through a Medical Humanities Programme Grant and the Arts and Humanities Research Council-funded project Constructing Scientific Communities.