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Troubling Narratives: Identity Matters – Conference Announcement and Call for Papers

11 Feb, 14 | by Deborah Bowman

First Call for Papers

‘Troubling Narratives: Identity Matters’
The Institute for Research in Citizenship and Applied Human Sciences, University of Huddersfield, Thursday 19th and Friday 20th of June 2014. 

Confirmed keynote speakers for the conference are:

Ann Phoenix, University of London
Ken Plummer, University of Essex

This conference builds on the University of Huddersfield’s long held tradition of hosting a bi-annual conference on narrative research. It seeks to provide a fresh context for the development and dissemination of new research, ideas, perspectives and methodologies in the field of narrative research and enquiry and aims to bring together scholars working in a range of disciplinary fields. ‘Narrative’ is well known for its looseness of definition, its multiplicity of approaches and its interdisciplinarity, which over the years has led to a richness and diversity of narrative work. Identities, both private and public and individual and collective, have long been a focus for narrative researchers, where the content, form and effects of identity story-telling have been explored in a range of areas and contexts. The focus of ‘Troubling Narratives: Identity Matters’ is to address the ‘troubles’ that now surround contemporary narratives of identity, and the ways in which previous work may simultaneously inform but also trouble and be ‘troubled’ by new narrative work in the broad area of ‘identities’.

The conference invites contributions from researchers interested in using narratives across a range of disciplines including, sociology, gender studies, psychology, law, politics, criminology, philosophy, history, anthropology, social work, education, and business and management. Topics of interest to this conference include (though are not restricted to) the following areas:

Abstracts should be no longer than 250 words. Papers may be in the form of 20 minute oral presentations, and also workshop sessions and poster presentations (the format should be clearly stated in the abstract).  All submissions must include the author/speaker(s) name, title of paper, university or organizational affiliation, and contact information. The deadline for submission of abstract is Monday 3rd February 2014. Please email your abstract to the conference organisers at:  with ‘conference abstract’ in the subject line.  You will be notified about whether your paper has been accepted soon after Monday 10th March 2014.

The conference registration deadline is 5th June 2014. Conference costs are: Full rate: £150 to include conference dinner, or £110 excluding dinner. Student rate: £50 to include conference dinner, or £30 excluding dinner.


Call for Papers: Fashionable Diseases: Medicine, Literature and Culture, ca. 1660-1832

28 Jan, 14 | by Deborah Bowman

An International Interdisciplinary Conference

Newcastle and Northumbria Universities

3rd – 5th July 2014


Keynote speakers include:
Professor Helen Deutsch, ‘Diseases of Writing’

University of California, Los Angeles

Author of Resemblance and Disgrace: Alexander Pope and the Deformation of Culture


Dr David Shuttleton, ‘The Fashioning of Fashionable Diseases in the Eighteenth Century’

University of Glasgow

Author of Smallpox and the Literary Imagination


Between 1660 and 1832 books such as Cheyne’s English Malady and Adair’s Essays on Fashionable Diseases created a substantial debate on the relationship between fashion and sickness, linking melancholy, the vapours, nervousness, gout, consumption and many other conditions with the elite and superior sensibility. This conference aims to include voices from both within the social and medical elite and beyond, and to look at diseases that have not previously been examined in this context and at what can be learned from ‘unfashionable’ illnesses. It also aims to consider not only diseases associated with social prestige, but also with the medical critique of fashionable luxurious lifestyles, and the debate on ‘imaginary’ diseases. The role of culture in creating, framing and spreading conceptions of fashionable disease will also be considered.


Proposals for papers and three-person panels are welcome on topics related to fashionable diseases, including:

  • Patient experience
  • Consumer society and the ‘medical marketplace’
  • Culture (literature, music, etc) and fashionable disease
  • Geographical meanings – travel literature and spa culture
  • Morality, politics and medicine in critiques of fashionable lifestyles
  • Satire, stigma, fashion
  • ‘Imaginary’ diseases
  • Class, gender, race, religion, etc
  • Unfashionable diseases


We are also keen to receive proposals offering interdisciplinary and internationally comparative perspectives, or relating eighteenth-century to contemporary fashionable diseases.

Please submit abstracts (max. 250 words) and a brief biography (max 100 words) to by 28 February 2014


Ayesha Ahmad: Call For Abstracts – Second Annual Western Michigan University Medical Humanities Conference

26 Mar, 12 | by Ayesha Ahmad

Second Annual Western Michigan University Medical Humanities Conference

September 27-28, 2012; Kalamazoo, Michigan

Proposals should be submitted electronically by July 15—in either .doc/.docx or .pdf format—to


Ayesha Ahmad: CFP: Comics and Medicine: Navigating the Margins, 22-24 July 2012, Toronto, Canada

14 Mar, 12 | by Ayesha Ahmad

The third international interdisciplinary conference* on comics and
medicine will continue to explore the intersection of sequential
visual arts and medicine. This year we will highlight perspectives
that are often under-represented in graphic narratives, such as
depictions of the Outsider or Other in the context of issues such as
barriers to healthcare, the stigma of mental illness and disability,
and the silent burden of caretaking.


Ayesha Ahmad: Forthcoming Symposium ‘Activating Theatre: people participating, performing politics’ at University of Leeds

13 Feb, 12 | by Ayesha Ahmad

Activating Theatre: people participating, performing politics

A practice-based symposium examining how theatre and performance work to change people and society

Tuesday 6 March 2012, Stage@leeds Building, University of Leeds


James Poskett: Material and visual culture of conferences

9 Dec, 11 | by James Poskett

Conferences can be somewhat dry affairs. Papers delivered as long droning monologues are liable to send even the most hardened academics into a dreary stupor. The more enticing discussions can also take their toll as the days wear on, debate often returning to ancient disputes. So what better way to break up the day and keep everyone fresh than with an outing to the cinema?

At the recent Communicating Reproduction conference we were all sent to see Helga (1967). Of course, this outing wasn’t frivolous but rather an opportunity for us to engage with the substance of the conference: the history of reproduction through communication including text, images, film and sound.


Ayesha Ahmad: ‘Looking and Healing Seminar’: King’s College London

10 Nov, 11 | by Ayesha Ahmad

Highly recommended is a forthcoming seminar to be held at the Centre for Humanities and Health, King’s College London by Dr Matha Fleming. Dr Fleming is a museum professional and academic working in the interdisciplinary nexus between the sciences, the humanities and the fine arts: her work over several decades has forged innovative and productive methodological alignments across disciplines.


James Poskett: Stories of psychology

12 Oct, 11 | by James Poskett

Who are the big names in the history of child psychology? Anna Freud? Melanie Klein? John Bowlby? Certainly. But, according to Professor Sally Shuttleworth, in order to locate the origins of child psychology, we have to look to nineteenth-century literature, to authors such as George Eliot and Charles Dickens.

This is just one of the historical titbits to come out of the recent Stories of Psychology conference, ran by the British Psychological Society at the Wellcome Trust. In her paper, entitled Studying the Child in the Nineteenth Century, Shuttleworth argued that the emerging genre of the nineteenth-century novel was the first to take the psychological world of the child seriously. Whilst previous works may have dealt with comings of age, novels such as Dickens’s Dombey and Son began to investigate the psychological world of the child in its own right, particularly within the context of education. (In the novel, Dombey’s son has difficultly socialising and is sent to a number of medical and educational establishments in order to rectify this shortcoming.)

Shuttleworth believes that such literary explorations were picked up by the psychologists and educationalists of the time, citing as evidence the way in which psychological theories were put to use in debates over compulsory education.


Ian Williams: Graphic Medicine: Visualising the Stigma of Illness: Ian Williams

4 Oct, 11 | by Deborah Kirklin

The contribution of the medium of comics (referred to in the plural to denote both the physical printed object and the attendant philosophy) to medical discourse has begun, over the past few of years, to be explored by academics interested in illness narrative, patient experience and healthcare education. Autobiographical comics and graphic novels authored by artists who have experienced trauma or illness can be rich sources of patient narrative, opening a window into the world of others’ suffering or healthcare experience. more…

The Drama of Medicine: All the Ward’s a Stage: 2nd Annual Conference Student AMH 11th July 2011, UK

16 Jun, 11 | by Deborah Kirklin

The Student Association for Medical Humanities is holding their second annual conference, so if you’re a student and interested in art, philosophy and literature, and how the arts and humanities relate to medicine, then this could be for you.

The conference will explore all aspects of medical humanities and will give students the opportunity to present their medical humanities work to their peers.

There will also be workshops and sessions with renowned academics including Professor Bill Fulford and Dr Tony Dux, as well as a workshop with the Society of Medical Writers.

To register interest, submit an abstract or for any queries please contact

Deadline for abstract submission: Friday 1st July 2011

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