Tag Archives: CFP

CFP: Doctor-Doctor: Global and Historical Perspectives on the Doctor-Patient Relationship



An interdisciplinary symposium, Friday 24 March 2017, TORCH, University of Oxford

Keynote Speaker: Dr Anna Elsner, University of Zurich

Call for Papers

“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.

In a one-day symposium on Friday 24 March 2017, we 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 to Sarah Jones (Oriel College, Oxford) and Alison Moulds (St Anne’s, Oxford) doctorpatient17@torch.ox.ac.uk by 30 November 2016.

This one-day symposium is funded by The Oxford Research Centre for the Humanities (TORCH) through a Medical Humanities Programme Grant and the Arts and Humanities Research Council-funded project Constructing Scientific Communities.

CFP – Gender and Pain in Modern History

Birkbeck, University of London
Public Conference: 24 – 25 March 2017

Call for Papers – Deadline 14 October 2016

In 2012, The Journal of Pain published a definitive study about the relationship between gender and pain, showing that for the vast majority of ailments, women reported significantly higher levels of pain (approximately twenty per cent higher) than men. In a variety of historical contexts, the female body has been associated with heightened sensitivity of various types. These images were borne out by cultural representations of female delicacy. However, female bodies have also been singled out for their ability to bear heightened pain, especially during childbirth. Representations of male stoicism (or perceived lack thereof) in the face of pain have also been a powerful image in many contexts. Women and men have long been thought to experience bodily sensations including discomfort and pain in a variety of culturally and historically specific ways: pain has routinely been gendered.

This two-day conference focuses on the historical relationship(s) between gender and pain between the early modern period and the present day. It aims to foster discussion among experts working on women’s history, the history of masculinity, and the history of gender; the history of science, health, and medicine; and the history of the body, with perspectives from a variety of national contexts and disciplinary backgrounds. Possible paper topics include, but are not limited to:

  • Histories of female and/or male experiences of pain, including attention to uniquely female or male medical ailments or conditions
  • Attention to historical representations of pain as they relate to femininity or masculinity
  • Gendered experiences of emotional pain and trauma
  • Attention to the role of other categories including race, ethnicity, age, and class or mode of living as they relate to gendered experiences of pain
  • Intersections of pain and sexuality, including pain during intercourse, sadism and masochism
  • Intersections of pain and reproduction – attention to the history of pain during pregnancy and childbirth, and perceptions of fetal pain including during abortion
  • The effects of gender on engagement with medicine and medical practitioners
  • The responses of various medical and cultural communities to pain in women and in men
  • Pain, gender, and social relationships
  • Representations of gender, sensitivity, and pain in art, literature, film, and drama

Confirmed speakers include Professor Keith Wailoo, Townsend Martin Professor of History and Public Affairs (Princeton University), Professor Wendy Kline, Dema G. Seelye Chair in the History of Medicine (Purdue University), and Dr Lisa Smith (University of Essex).

Please send abstracts of up to 350 words together with a brief (1 page) curriculum vitae to w.wood@bbk.ac.uk by October 14, 2016.

This conference is organized by Dr Whitney Wood and Professor Joanna Bourke, in affiliation with the Birkbeck Trauma Project. This event is supported by the Birkbeck Wellcome Trust Institutional Strategic Support Fund in the Department of History, Classics and Archaeology. More information can be found at http://www.bbk.ac.uk/trauma/events/gender-and-pain-in-modern-history/

The conference will be held at Birkbeck, University of London, located in Russell Square in central London. Following the conference, presenters will be invited to submit papers for a special journal issue or edited collection based on the conference themes.

CFP: Religion and Medicine: Healing the Body and Soul from the Middle Ages to the Modern Day


Birkbeck, University of London, 15-16 July 2016

Convenors: Katherine Harvey, John Henderson and Carmen Mangion

In the contemporary Western world, religion and medicine are increasingly separated, but through much of history they have been closely interrelated. This relationship has been characterised by some conflict, but also by a great deal of cooperation. Religious perspectives have informed both the understanding of and approaches to health and sickness, whilst religious personnel have frequently been at the forefront of medical provision. Religious organisations were, moreover, often at the heart of the response to medical emergencies, and provided key healing environments, such as hospitals and pilgrimage sites.

This conference will explore the relationship between religion and medicine in the historic past, ranging over a long chronological framework and a wide geographical span. The conference focus will be primarily historical, and we welcome contributions which take an interdisciplinary approach to this topic.

Four main themes will provide the focus of the conference. The sub-themes are not prescriptive, but are suggested as potential subjects for consideration:

Healing the Body and Healing the Soul

  • Medical traditions: the non-natural environment and the ‘Passions of the Soul’.
  • Religious traditions (for example, the Church Fathers, sermons and devotional literature).

    The Religious and Medicine

  • Medical knowledge and practice of religious personnel, including secular and regular clergy.
  • Nurses and nursing.
  • Medical practitioners, religious authorities and the regulation of medical activity and practice.

    Religious Responses

  • Religious responses to epidemics, from leprosy to plague to pox and cholera.
  • Medical missions in Europe and the wider world.
  • Religion, humanitarianism and medical care.

    Healing Environments and Religion

  • Religious healing/ miracles/ pilgrimage.
  • Institutional medical care (including hospitals, dispensaries and convalescent homes).

Proposals, consisting of a paper abstract (no more than 300 words) and a short biography (no more than 400 words), should be submitted to religionandmedicineconference@gmail.com by 30 October 2015. We will to respond to proposals by early December. For more information please visit our website, at https://religionandmedicine.wordpress.com/, and follow us on Twitter @RelMedConf2016

CFP: Scientiae Oxford 2016

Scientiae Oxford 2016

St Anne’s College, University of Oxford, 5-7 July 2016

Keynote Speakers: Martin Kemp (Oxford), Wouter Hanegraaff (Amsterdam), Third Speaker TBC

Convenor: Georgiana Hedesan (Oxford), Senior Adviser: Howard Hotson (Oxford), Organising Team: Karen Hollewand (Oxford), Cornelis Schilt (Sussex), Luca Guariento (Glasgow)

Proposals are invited for the fifth annual Scientiae conference on disciplines of knowing in the early modern world (roughly 1400-1800). The major premise of this conference series is that knowledge during this period was inherently interdisciplinary, involving complex mixtures of theories, practices and objects, which had yet to be separated into their modern ‘scientific’ configurations. Although centred on attempts to understand and control the natural world, Scientiae addresses natural philosophy, natural history, and the scientiae mixtae within a wide range of related fields, including but not restricted to Biblical exegesis, medicine, artisan practice and theory, logic, humanism, alchemy, magic, witchcraft, demonology, divinatory practices, astronomy, astrology, music, antiquarianism, experimentation and commerce. Attention is also given to mapping intellectual geographies through the tools of the digital humanities.

Scientiae Oxford 2016 welcomes proposals from researchers studying the early modern cultures and disciplines of knowing at any stage in their career. The proposals can be for individual papers, complete panels, roundtables or workshops, according to the following guidelines:

Individual paper: A 300-word abstract for papers of maximum 20 minutes.

Panel Proposal: Each panel will be 1 hour 30 minutes and must include three speakers. The panel organiser should send a proposal containing three 200-word abstracts for papers of 20 minutes each together with an overall account of the panel (max. 300 words).

Roundtable: Each roundtable will also last 1 hour 30 minutes, must include at the very least one chair and one or two respondents, and must engage the audience. The roundtable proposal should formulate a clear question and provide a rationale for it of c. 400-600 words.

Workshop (new at Scientiae 2016): A workshop is an opportunity for teaching and learning in some area of early modern intellectual and/or material culture. Examples might include period instruments, laboratory practices, pedagogic or art techniques, digital humanities and print culture. A proposal of 400-800 words should be provided by the organiser(s), together with details about the organisation, duration, and presenters. Workshop leaders will also need to work out logistical issues well in advance, with limited assistance from on-site conference convenors. Advance sign-up by participants will be required.

Please submit your proposal together with a brief bio (up to 300 words) by using the online form http://scientiae.co.uk/submission-form/. All submissions should be made by 15 November 2015. 


For more information, please also see the Oxford Scientiae website at http://scientiae.co.uk/oxford-2016/.