Lunchtime Seminars on Emotions, Edinburgh

‘To be called by the suffering’,  Laura Candiotto (University of Edinburgh, Eidyn Centre)

Location: 23 Buccleuch Place, Edinburgh

Date: 12-2pm, 1st March 2017

Drawing on Laura’s philosophical training experience with the Venice Board of Medical Practitioners, this seminar explores the calling for a nursing career, stressing the motivational role played by affectivity within the establishment of an authentic empathic relationship with the suffering of the patients. Affective ability should be nurtured in order to sustain the practitioners’ affective commitment, which may be put at risk by every day difficulties at work.


‘Emotional care work in the ambulance service: the haunted mind’, Emma Rowland (King’s College London)

Location: 23 Buccleuch Place, Edinburgh

Date: 12-2pm, 15th March 2017

Ambulance crews play an integral role in frontline emergency care, assessing, managing, treating and transporting the public with an extensive range of conditions. In attending critical incidents, ambulance crews have to manage the emotions of their patients, relatives and potential bystanders, in addition to their own and those of their crew mate. This seminar focuses on the implications of mobile care work to crews emotional well-being, and will illuminate how the haunted mind affects the delivery of patient care on the road.


‘Techno nurses and empathetic machines: Shifting relations in shaping good care’, Professor Jeanette Pols (University of Amsterdam)

Location: 23 Buccleuch Place, Edinburgh

Date: 12-2pm, 6th April 2017

Anticipations on what new technology will do often range between grand promises, or terrible nightmares. For health care, there is the promise that technology will lead to efficiency, self-management and quality. The nightmare is that technology will make care inhumane, placing screens, beeps or numbers between caregivers and patients. Jeanette will talk about the creative ways in which caregivers and patients relate to technology, and through technology to one another.


To reserve your place please email: For further details go to

CFP: Special Forum of Review of Disability Studies, ‘The Crip, the Fat and the Ugly in an Age of Austerity: Resistance, Reclamation, and Affirmation’

The Crip, the Fat and the Ugly in an Age of Austerity: Resistance, Reclamation, and Affirmation

The Review of Disability Studies: An International Journal (RDS) seeks proposals for a special forum on the Crip, the Fat, the Ugly. We are currently soliciting papers of up to 7500 words in length, including references and tables. The deadline for submission of papers is June 1, 2017. Papers should be submitted to the Special Guest Editors Dr. Jen Slater, Sheffield Hallam University, and Dr. Kirsty Liddiard, University of Sheffield . Upon submission, please indicate that your paper is for consideration of the special forum on the Crip, the fat, and the ugly in an age of austerity.

Papers considered for inclusion may take the form of academic and creative works, as well as reflections on international disability-specific policies, practices, pedagogies and developments.

Submissions to this special issue will undergo a process of multiple editors peer-review. Authors will be notified of whether their papers will be included in the forum by September 1, 2017. Accepted authors will then be asked to submit their papers online to RDS. Prospective authors are encouraged to consult the RDS website at for more information about the Journal and its formatting guidelines. Authors are encouraged to review previous issues of RDS in preparing their paper and to subscribe to the Journal. All submissions must follow the RDS publication guidelines posted on the website. Please note that acceptance of an article does not guarantee publication in RDS.

‘The magnificence of a body that shakes, spills out, takes up space, needs help, moseys, slinks, limps, drools, rocks, curls over on itself. The magnificence of a body that doesn’t get to choose when to go to the bathroom, let alone which bathroom to use. A body that doesn’t get to choose what to wear in the morning, what hairstyle to sport, how they’re going to move or stand, or what time they’re going to bed. The magnificence of bodies that have been coded, not just undesirable and ugly, but un-human. The magnificence of bodies that are understanding gender in far more complex ways than I could explain in an hour. Moving beyond a politic of desirability to loving the ugly. Respecting Ugly for how it has shaped us and been exiled. Seeing its power and magic, seeing the reasons it has been feared. Seeing it for what it is: some of our greatest strength’. (Mingus, 2011)

Global austerity has a far reach, often into, around, behind, beyond and alongside the body. Global austerity routinely categorises bodies in terms of productivity, value, cost, ability and aesthetics. The body is positioned vis-a-vis global austerity as a site for social order, economic possibility, progression, and big business. Whereas “[a]n able body is the body of a citizen; deformed deafened, amputated, obese, female, perverse, crippled, maimed and blinded bodies do not make up the body politic” (Davis, 1995, pp. 71-72).

Through global austerity, then, the crip, the fat and the ugly are typically Othered and denigrated bodies, identities, minds and selves, implicated and co-constituted by one-another (Bergman, 2009; Kafer, 2013). Within a context of coloniality, transnational capitalism, patriarchy, cissexism and white supremacy, the Crip, the fat and the ugly are rendered unintelligible (Butler, 1999), made in/visible and vilified locally, nationally, and globally. As Garland-Thompson (2002, p. 57) reminds us, “as a culture we are at once obsessed with and intensely conflicted about the disabled body. We fear, deify, disavow, avoid, abstract, revere, conceal, and reconstruct disability – perhaps because it is one of the most universal, fundamental of human experiences”.

Notwithstanding the harsh political backdrop, Clare (2015, p. 107) reminds us that “[w]ithout pride, individual and collective resistance to oppression becomes nearly impossible”. In this special issue we therefore seek to explore affirmatory meanings and pleasurable engagements with the Crip, the fat and the ugly. By this we mean to critically resist and play with normative understandings of what bodies should do and be, to reimagine that – as Mingus (2011) emphasises – the Crip, the fat and the ugly are ‘our greatest strength’. How are Crip, fat and ugly embodiments both resisting and resistant? How might they offer new ways of interrogating global austerity and neoliberal ways of life? How might the Crip, the fat, and the ugly generate new, diverse and polymorphous pleasures? What are the relationships, entanglements and connections between the austere and the aesthetic? What communities do the Crip, the fat, and the ugly build and how are these critical for survival, love and life?

Submissions to this journal could include, but are not limited to, critical interrogations of the relationship between the crip, the fat and the ugly, with:

  • Aesthetic labour
  • Activism and resistance
  • Beauty industries and economies
  • Biopolitics and biopedagogies
  • Bodily esteem, confidence, self-worth and self-love
  • Colonisation and first nations communities
  • Emotion and affect
  • Extensions of Mia Mingus’ work on ugliness
  • Globalisation and globality
  • Health and healthisisation
  • Identity, imagery and representation: masculinities, femininities, queer trans and intersex identities
  • Impairment and embodiment
  • Industrial complexes, institutions and systems
  • Madness and Mad politics
  • Other forms of privilege and oppression (class, ‘race’, gender, sexuality, age etc.)
  • Popular culture and The Arts
  • Queer bodies, identities and selves
  • The politics of staring (Garland-Thomson, 2009)
  • The sexual body: Pleasure, sensuality and desire

RDS is a peer-reviewed, multidisciplinary, international journal published by the Center on Disability Studies at the University of Hawai‘i at Manoa. The Journal contains research articles, essays, creative works and multimedia relating to the culture of disability and people with disabilities.

CFP: Edited Collection, The New Disability Activism: Current Trends, Shifting Priorities and (Uncertain) Future Directions

The New Disability Activism: Current Trends, Shifting Priorities and (Uncertain) Future Directions

The onslaught of neoliberalism, austerity measures and cuts, impact of climate change, protracted conflicts and ongoing refugee crisis, rise of far right and populist movements have all negatively impacted on disability and created more suffering, impairment and deaths in the global north and south. At the same time we are witnessing the watering down of many rights, legal entitlements and policies that sustained disability lives as well as the ability and willingness of academia, non-governmental organisations, multinationals and institutions to get involved in fighting back politically, economically, culturally and socially to ensure change. Yet, disabled people are fighting back and we urgently need to understand how, where and what they are doing, what they feel their challenges are and what their future needs will be.

We are thus putting together a book proposal for Routledge illustrating disability activism in its current forms and needed future directions. We will provide a dedicated space to disability activists to give them a platform to illustrate their current practices and a platform to do this in a format of their choosing. We also want to illustrate some of the ways in which academics are engaging in activist practice to understand why and how this occurs. Lastly, we feel we need to learn from the ways in which disability activism is forming and will change or needs to change to combat the coming challenges of the 21st Century.  How do you define activism? Does disability activism need to decolonise? What are the differing roles of pioneer and emerging activists in the north and south? What kinds of issues are of concern?

Topics of interest include but are not limited to:

  • The links between models and theories to social changes as seen and understood by activists and academics: what works?
  • The effects of neoliberal austerity measures and role of disabled people’s activism in the global north and south and links to influencing international and national policy
  • Disability activism and links to academia, non-governmental organisations, multinationals and ensuring funding, restitution or reparations
  • Perspectives from pioneer disability activists from the global north and south
  • Decolonising disability activism, protesting ableism and rethinking human rights in the global south and north
  • The experiences of disability activisms or emerging activisms that are not regularly given attention such as those of women, children and the elderly
  • New tactics, issues and advocacy movements, emancipations and liberations
  • Cyber-activism, the deep web and social media
  • New health activisms around issues such as dementia or infectious diseases and links to ‘disability’, biological (dis)ableism and the new futures of genomics for disability lives
  • Psychiatry, mad pride, mad studies, neurodiversity and survivor activism
  • Rebellion, emancipation, political revolt and the roles of disability in peace movements and reconciliation
  • Forced migration, refugee experiences and combating a disabling humanitarianism
  • Involvement in accessibility, independence and inclusion movements in Indonesia, intersectionality to protests against university fees in South Africa or movements such as Black Lives Matter in the United States
  • Far right movements, fascism and living under (dis) ableist dictatorships
  • Interventions in disabled people’s lives and role of activism
  • Disability activism incarcerated and imprisoned (i.e. prisons, day centres, orphanages, care homes etc.)
  • Art, culture, tourism and disability activism
  • Political engagement, voting (‘Cripping’ the vote or making it accessible) and occupation of public spaces
  • Different styles of activism: ‘confrontational vs non-confrontational disability activism’


  • Maria Berghs (De Montfort University)
  • Tsitsi Chataika (University of Zimbabwe)
  • Yahya El-Lahib (University of Calgary)

We will be supported by an advisory board of activists who will ensure oversight of the activist contributions.

Please send your abstract submissions to:

Abstracts should contain a title, a short paragraph (300 words) and some key words.

Deadline: 31st of March 2017

CFP: Spirituality and Recovery Conference, Durham

Location: University of Durham

Date: 12th-14th July 2017

The Project for Spirituality, Theology and Health at Durham University in association with Tees, Esk and Wear Valleys NHS Foundation Trust is pleased to announce its third conference exploring good practice in spirituality and mental health care.

As more and more mental health service providers embrace a recovery approach to care, this conference will provide opportunities to explore the role which spirituality has to play in such an approach. Can there be a recovery approach without taking spirituality into account? Does a recovery model open up new opportunities to ensure that attention to spiritual needs is routinely a part of assessment and care planning? Are ‘recovery’ and ‘spirituality’ simply two different words for the same thing when it comes to mental health care, or do they have their own distinct, but mutually enriching, meanings?

This conference is an opportunity for clinicians, service users and carers, chaplains, faith and community leaders and anyone else interested to come and think about how those interested in recovery and those who wish to promote the importance of spirituality can work together for the benefit of people who are receiving mental health services. The second day will focus particularly on the importance of narrative and we will hear a number of stories from TEWV service users. The final day will have a particular emphasis on compassion and kindness.

The conference will take place on Wednesday 12 – Friday 14 July 2017 at St John’s College, Durham, UK. The conference agenda and speaker biographies can be found here.

If you have any proposals for delegate workshops and presentations, please complete this form and return to Colin Jay no later than 1st April 2017.

To view details of the conference packages available, or to book a place, please click here.

CFP: Postgraduate Medical Humanities Conference, Exeter

Location: University of Exeter

Date: 29th – 30th June 2017

Keynote Speakers:

The by now well established University of Exeter Postgraduate Medical Humanities Conference is returning in 2017 for the fourth consecutive year to showcase the diversity of contemporary medical humanities research. Our conference this year will provide a platform for an international community of postgraduate researchers to share insights and network with academics working within and across disciplinary boundaries.

While we encourage innovative submissions that relate to any aspect of medical humanities, the following subject areas are of particular interest:

  • History of medicine
  • Disability studies
  • Gender and sexuality
  • Transformations of the body
  • History and philosophy of science
  • Occupational health and industrial psychology
  • Trauma studies
  • Affect studies
  • Medicine and the law
  • Medicine and the body in popular culture
  • Literature and medicine
  • Medical practise and issues of intersectionality
  • Globalization and biomedical practice

Although all proposals must address the conference’s central theme, we welcome scholarly submissions from those operating outside of traditional humanities research settings, such as medical students and community activists.

Applicants are invited to submit abstracts of up to 300 words (for 20-minute previously unpublished papers) to by Friday 3rd March 2017 with “PGMH 2017 Conference Abstract” written in the subject line of the email. We are also keen to receive panel and workshop proposals. These should include 300-word abstracts for up to four speakers, along with a 500-word overview that explains the aims and rationale of the session.

We hope to offer a small number of travel bursaries for this event, the details of which will be announced in due course.

Conference Registration: ‘Other Psychotherapies – across time, space, and cultures’, Glasgow

Other Psychotherapies – across time, space, and cultures

Date: Monday 3rd – Tuesday 4th April 2017

Location: Wolfson Medical Building, University of Glasgow, Glasgow, G12 8LQ

Organizing Committee:

  • Dr Gavin Miller (Chair), Medical Humanities Research Centre/English Literature, University of Glasgow
  • Dr Sofia Xenofontos, Classics, University of Glasgow
  • Dr Cheryl McGeachan, Geographical and Earth Sciences, University of Glasgow
  • Dr Ross White, Psychological Sciences, University of Liverpool

Keynote Speakers:

  • Dr Claudia Lang, Institute of Social and Cultural Anthropology, Ludwig-Maximilians-University Munich: ‘Theory and practice in Ayurvedic psychotherapy’
  • Dr Chiara Thumiger, Classics and Ancient History, University of Warwick: ‘Therapies of the word in ancient medicine’
  • Dr Elizabeth Roxburgh, Psychology, University of Northampton: ‘Anomalous experiences and mental health’
  • Dr Jennifer Lea, Geography, University of Exeter: ‘Building “A Mindful Nation”? The use of mindfulness meditation in educational, health and criminal justice settings’

The Wellcome Trust-funded conference ‘Other Psychotherapies – across time, space, and cultures’ brings contemporary Western expertise into dialogue with psychotherapeutic approaches from ‘other’ spatially, historically or otherwise ‘distant’ cultures. Having confirmed the programme of speakers for the event, we are delighted to announce that general registration is open.


Registration costs £40 for general admittance, and £15 for students/service users. Ticket price includes attendance at the conference on 3rd-4th April 2017, including lunch and refreshments on both days, and a buffet dinner on Mon 3rd April.To register, and to see our full programme of speakers, please visit our Eventbrite page.

Please email the organisers at if you have any queries.

Editor-in-Chief post at Medical Humanities

The Institute of Medical Ethics and BMJ are looking for the next Editor-in-Chief who can continue to shape Medical Humanities into a dynamic resource for a rapidly evolving field. Candidates should be active in the field, keen to facilitate international perspectives and maintain an awareness of trends and hot topics. The successful candidate will act as an ambassador for the journal supporting both pioneering authors and academics publishing their first papers. The candidate will also actively promote and strengthen the journal whilst upholding the highest ethical standards of professional practice. International and joint applications are welcomed.

Interviews will be held on 24th March 2017.

Term of office is 5 years; the role will take 12-15 hours a week.

Contact Kelly Horwood ( for more information and to apply with your CV and cover letter outlining your interest and your vision for future development of the journal.

Application deadline: 24th February 2017.

Start date: June 2017

Further information here.

Stone Lecture: Sally Magnusson on Dementia, Glasgow

Date: 6.30pm-8pm, Tuesday 21st February 2017

Venue: The Kelvin Gallery, Main Building, University of Glasgow

Registration Page:

It is our great pleasure to invite you to the 2017 Stone Lecture on Tuesday 21st February, during which broadcaster and writer Sally Magnusson will talk about the challenge of dementia.

She will explore how the experience of looking after her mother Mamie (chronicled in her bestselling memoir Where Memories Go) encouraged her to find ways of persuading society to look differently at dementia, and how her mother’s response to music led to the foundation of the charity Playlist for Life.

About the Stone Lecture
The late Sir Alexander Stone was a prominent member of the Jewish community in Glasgow, and a benefactor to the University. In addition, he endowed lectureships in Bibliophily and Rhetoric.

CFP: Special Issue of JLCDS, ‘Representations of Dwarfism’

Journal of Literary and Cultural Disability Studies 

Special issue: Representations of Dwarfism.

Guest editors: Erin Pritchard (Disability and Education, Liverpool Hope University) and Robert Kruse (Geography, West Liberty University).

Several themes are evident within the growing literature on cultural representations of disability. This includes the relationship between disability and humour by Tom Coogan and Rebecca Mallett; the social effects of displaying bodies perceived as extraordinary, as evident in the work of Rosemary Garland-Thompson; and the work of Paul Darke, which explores the representation of disabled people in film. This special issue aims to bring together articles that focus on the literary and cultural representations of dwarfism, both past and present.

The dominant discourse of dwarfism is often centred on entertainment. Dwarfs are popular characters within literature, including fantasy, children’s fairy tales, and science fiction novels. There is a strong connection between dwarfism and the mythical that blurs the boundary between fiction and disability. Limited adult literary work has focused on dwarfism and the subject of genetics, such as in Mendel’s’ dwarf. Dwarfs are also prominent in films and lowbrow entertainment venues. Hence, while there is continuing fascination with dwarfism (Shakespeare et al. 2010), there remain questions worthy of more research. How are dwarfs represented in various types of media? How do these representations shape society’s perception of dwarfs? This special issue seeks to develop these and other areas of inquiry and contribute significantly to the multi-disciplinary literature on literary and cultural representations.

We welcome proposals from disability scholars, but also from scholars in other disciplines whose perspectives can help to provide a broad and detailed understanding of the cultural representations of dwarfism. Contributions might consider, but need not be limited to:

  • Representations of people with dwarfism in children’s literature.
  • Cinematic representations of people with dwarfism.
  • Representations of people with dwarfism in television advertising.
  • Charitable representations of dwarfism.
  • Representations of dwarfism in religious texts.
  • Documentaries of people with dwarfism.
  • Representations of dwarfism in sci-fi and fantasy.
  • Theatrical representations of dwarfs.
  • Representations of dwarfs in adult literature.
  • From the Freak show to reality shows: the exhibition of dwarfism.
  • Representations of dwarfs in adult animation.
  • Disability humour and dwarfism.
  • The implications of lowbrow entertainment on people with dwarfism.

Please email a 1-page proposal and curriculum vitae to and by 1st December 2017. Contributors can expect to be selected and notified by 1st March 2018 (Full drafts of the selected articles will be due on 1st October 2018). Please direct any questions to either guest editor.

MHRC Discussion Group: Matthew Smith, ‘History in Action: Social Psychiatry in Contemporary, Political Perspective’, Glasgow

Date: 1-2pm, Wednesday 15th February

Location: Room 418, School of Geographical & Earth Sciences, East Quadrangle, University of Glasgow

All are welcome at this Wednesday’s MHRC discussion group, where Dr Matthew Smith (Strathclyde) will be presenting his work on social psychiatry.

History in Action: Social Psychiatry in Contemporary, Political Perspective’

In this ‘post-truth’ era, it is increasingly important for historians to be assertive about the insights their research can offer to contemporary debates and issues, but determining exactly what ‘lessons’ are relevant and developing the skills to articulate them to the wider world is not easy.  Using my current research on the history of social psychiatry as a case study, my paper will discuss my ongoing attempts to distil conclusions that matter from my research into the history of health and medicine and communicate them to the broader public.

Speaker: Dr Matthew Smith (University of Strathclyde).