Archive for the ‘ Call for Paper ’ Category

CFP: Translating Happiness: Medicine, Culture and ‘Social Progress’

world-happy-day-386x386This year the General Assembly of the United Nations (UN) proclaimed March 20th the International Day of Happiness. This day is premised on international recognition of the pursuit of happiness as a fundamental human goal, and a means of promoting sustainable development. International acknowledgement of the important role that happiness plays in development is also displayed in the 2012 World Happiness Report, as well as a host of recent changes to national social policies, community infrastructures and health services.

This special issue of Health, Culture and Society (HCS) explores the multiple and contested ways of knowing happiness. We are particularly interested in research that analyzes the translations of happiness. According to Nikolas Rose, translation provides for the possibility of government: “In the dynamics of translation, alignments are forged between the objectives of those wishing to govern and the personal projects of those organizations, groups, and individuals who are the subjects of government” (1999, p. 48). This issue aims to construct a comprehensive picture of the important role that translations of happiness – as made to appear in social philosophy, featured in the emerging field of positive psychology, mapped in global happiness indexes, or communicated in concepts such as ‘well-being’ or ‘quality of life’ – play in contemporary understandings of the ‘human’ and ‘human development.’ Papers are sought that explore the relations between happiness and health, and examine the social, cultural and political contexts of medical translations of happiness. Papers that share comparative analyses of happiness or that adopt a critical paradigm and analyze the role of conceptions of happiness in the diagnosis of individual and social ills and the reproduction of inequality are especially welcome.

Potential topic areas include:

· Happiness and Disability/Disablement/Ableism

· Happiness, Health Services and Social Policy

· Politicization of Happiness (Happiness Indexes)

· Cartographies of Happiness (e.g., ‘Happiness Maps’)

· Happiness and Constructions of ‘the Human’/Humanity

· Economic Paradigms of Happiness

· Ecological Perspectives

· Happiness and National Development (e.g., Gross National Happiness and/vs. Gross National Domestic Product)

· Happiness and Imperialism/The Colonial Continuum

· Happiness and Racialization/Racism

· Happiness and Global Governance

· Happiness and Self-Governance (e.g., The Emergence of Self-Help Literature)

· Happiness and Choice/The Making of the ‘Rational Subject’

· Happiness and Disciplinary Knowledge

· Happiness and Social Order (incl.: Happiness and Social Change; Happiness and the Pathologization of Resistance)

· Genealogies of Happiness (Historical Perspectives)

· Happiness Across the Lifecycle/The Role of Happiness in ‘Positive’ or Healthy Aging

· Happiness, Identity and Community/Solidarity and Subjective Well-being

· Happiness, Gender and Sexuality

· Happiness and Patriarchy

· Happiness, Heterosexism and Homophobia

· Happiness and Spirituality

· Happiness, Leisure and Lifestyle

· The Commodification of Happiness/Happiness and Consumer Culture

· (Re)Discovering (Un)Happiness – Diagnostic Tools and their Discontents (e.g., The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, 5th Edition)

· Happiness, Resilience and Recovery

· A Poetics of Happiness/Happiness and the Art of Living

· Happiness and Desire

· Happiness and a Politics of Love

· Embodiment and Happiness Research/Phenomenological Perspectives

Interested contributors are invited to send a 250 word proposal to no later than July 15th. Prospective contributors will be notified of acceptance by July 30th. For accepted proposals full papers will be due September 27th. Manuscripts submitted for inclusion in this special issue must be in APA format, be original work and should not be under consideration by any other journal.


Works Cited:

Rose, N. (1999). Powers of freedom: Reframing political thought. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.


About the Journal:

Health,Culture and Society (HCS) is an important contribution to the medical humanities and the social history of health. It will promote critical studies, disseminate important contemporary research and act as an international podium for the exchange of new ideas, strategies and practices. The journal is geared towards an inter-disciplinary approach to issues of health, culture and society inviting contributions from a diversity of fields. HCS will reflect the very real developments in ideas that shape our modern understandings of health, and how cultural and social factors are important to its paradigm. The journal encourages original and funded research into regional developments which can impact upon the global image of health, society and culture.

HCS is the product of initiative, research and debate centered on the history and development of the health paradigm. The facilitation of the University of Pittsburgh, the CNPq and the Oswaldo Cruz Foundation, as well as the Wellcome Trust and the University of Western Santa Catarina (UnoChapeco), made it possible to eventually bring together important and emerging voices in the debate of health which define the new critical perspectives, and research from the physical and social sciences. HCS serves as a platform which has been developed to meet the contemporary necessity for international dialogue, partnerships, collaboration, knowledge transformation and global integration.


Katie Aubrecht, PhD

Research Coordinator

Nova Scotia Centre on Aging

Mount Saint Vincent University

Halifax, Nova Scotia, B3M 2J6

T: 902-457-6193; F: 902-457-6508


CfP: Interdisciplinary Conference ‘This is my Body’ (Cambridge, November 2013)

This is my Body

Monday, 18 November 2013 to Tuesday, 19 November 2013
Location: William Harvey Lecture Theatre, Addenbrooke’s Clinical School


Dr Olivia Will (Department of Surgery, Addenbrooke’s Hospital)

Dr Lucy Razzall (Faculty of English, University of Cambridge)


The relationship between the mind and the body raises innumerable challenging questions across the arts, humanities, and social science disciplines. For those who come into professional contact with the human body every day in the National Health Service, the mind and the body are usually considered distinct from each other. This is even reflected in the organisational structure of the NHS, where mental health trusts are separate from other healthcare services. Any medical interpretation of the human body, even while it is grounded in empirical evidence, is also inevitably shaped by the intricacies of cultural context, but this is often overlooked in contemporary medicine.

Keynote speaker: Ludmilla Jordanova (KCL)

Call for Papers

This two-day conference aims to return human experience to the centre of medical discussion by bringing scholars of the body from across the arts, humanities, and social sciences together with medical and surgical practitioners from the National Health Service. In engaging with the human body from a wide range of perspectives, this conference will explore the ways in which understandings, experiences, and representations of the body beyond the traditional medical sphere might inform healing and healthcare. This interdisciplinary conference will be the first of its kind ever held at Addenbrooke’s Hospital, and will establish an important new interface between the academy and the National Health Service.

We invite proposals (250 words) for 20-minute papers from graduate students and senior scholars in the arts, humanities, and social sciences, and from medical students and medical/surgical professionals, which will offer disciplinary perspectives on the human body and experiences of embodiment. Papers could address, but are not restricted to, any aspect of the following:

  • physical and mental illness: treatment and recovery
  • roles, identities, and relationships of patients, carers, and doctors
  • injury, wounds, and healing
  • trauma and disfigurement
  • pain and suffering
  • gender and sexuality
  • life-cycles: birth, childhood, puberty, reproduction, ageing, frailty, death

Please email your proposal to Any informal enquiries may be addressed to the conveners, Olivia Will and Lucy Razzall. The deadline for submission is 31 July 2013.

For more information:

CFP: Performing Science and Scientific Performance

Performing Science and Scientific Performance (2 Hour Session)

American Society for Theatre Research Conference 2013

November 7-10, Dallas, Texas

Conveners: Kati Sweaney, Northwestern University ( and Aileen Robinson, Northwestern University (

Scientists have a long history of adopting performance practices as a means of manufacturing professional authority. The public dissection theatres of early modern Europe, the 18th-century parlor-room demonstrations of everything from air-pumps to phrenology, the spectacular electricity shows of Tesla and Edison, the performing hysterics in the Tuesday lectures of Freud’s teacher Charcot, and the contemporary phenomenon of the TED conference—all these are not simply entertainments with a scientific theme. Each event adjudicates between critical performance practices, scientific ideas, and cultural authorities, enacting embodied relationships between scientists and objects. Because the interdisciplinary field of science studies seeks a broad cultural understanding of how scientific knowledge is made, it has vigorously taken up performance as a new critical lens (as the 2010 special issue of the science history journal Isis demonstrates). However, we have observed that little of this valuable contemporary work on scientific performance has been written by scholars of performance, and that most of such scholarship tends to use performance as a metaphor, rather than as a methodology. In this working session, we will open up a space for performance scholars to critically assess and contribute to scholarship in this field. We invite papers that interrogate the relationship between the truth-making claims of science and performance, broadly understood. Possible topics for inquiry include:

  • Historical scientific demonstrations
  • Contemporary bioart
  • Medical performance art and body art
  • Plays that concern science and scientists
  • “Performance” as a scientific virtue, a la Jon McKenzie
  • Methodological inquiries into the forms of science as performance
  • Science performance within specific spaces—museums, archives, universities
  •  Pedagogical performance of science within schools and universities

We invite 500-word proposals that include an abstract for your ASTR paper submission as well as a brief description of your current work. Please include full contact information and organizational affiliation (if any) on both your proposal and your email and send your proposal to both conveners by June 3, 2013.

Participants will submit a 10-12 (2,500-3,000 words) page draft of their paper by October 1 to the conveners. A bibliography will be circulated in the summer for the benefit of the participants; two small readings will be highly encouraged to establish common discussion points. Between October 1 and the ASTR conference, participants will be divided into small groups in which they will read each other papers and a forum will be set up for discussing major and minor themes within the works. Major edits and commentary will be discussed during the conference itself.

This working session seeks to address questions of science and performance through methodological lenses; therefore, the working group will be arranged around a two-hour format discussion format, dedicated to addressing issues and questions that arose within individual submissions. The first hour will incorporate introductions followed by a breakout session. In this session, previously arranged groups will discuss the larger issues raised at this meeting in relationship to their specific work and papers. The goal of the breakout session will be twofold: 1) to workshop/further troubleshoot individual papers; 2) to address questions and ideas pertinent to the larger interests of the group in a smaller setting. The final stage of the group will be a large group discussion forum, where questions of methodology, practice, and research can be productively followed.

Kati Sweaney

Northwestern University
Ph.D. Candidate, Interdisciplinary Ph.D. in Theatre & Drama

Assistant Master, Shepard Residential College

Graduate Teaching Fellow, Searle Center for Advancing Learning & Teaching

CFP: From Moral Treatment to Psychological Therapies (UCL)

CFP: From Moral Treatment to Psychological Therapies: Histories of Psychotherapeutics from the York Retreat to the Present Day.

Centre for the History of Psychological Disciplines, UCL
11-13th October 2013

Whilst the history of psychiatry has become a well developed field of scholarship, there remain few examinations of psychotherapeutic treatments beyond histories of psychoanalytic approaches. This conference will bring together recent historical research on therapeutic treatments for mental distress and disorder, from the 18th century up to the present. It seeks to explore how such therapies were developed, their institutional and intellectual contexts, and the debates and controversies which may surround their use. ‘Psychotherapeutics’ is defined in its broadest terms, and is intended to include approaches that have been accepted by the medical or state establishments, as well as those practiced outside official institutional settings. Such modes of therapy could include moral treatment, mesmerism, mental healing, ‘talking’ therapies with a wide variety of theoretical bases, from psychoanalysis to cognitive therapy, as well as professional interventions such as those from psychiatric nursing, mental health social work, occupational therapy, play therapy and art therapy.

Topics may include, but are not limited to:

• The philosophical basis of therapies, such as existential, gestalt or behavioural approaches etc.
• Connections between the generation of therapeutic methods and their orginators’ biographies.
• Institutional, economic and political influences on the development of therapeutic practice.
• Psychotherapeutics in the health services.
• The professionalization and regulation of psychotherapeutic practice.
• The relationship between psychotherapeutic methods and other fields of knowledge, e.g. pedagogy, criminology, the neurosciences etc.
• Debates and controversies about psychotherapeutic approaches.
• The development of specific approaches for different age groups.
• Psychotherapeutic concepts in popular culture and the media.

Abstracts of up to 500 words for 20 minute papers should be sent to Sarah Marks at Proposals for themed panels with a maximum of four participants are also welcome. The deadline for individual papers and panel proposals is the 10th June 2013. Participants will be notified whether their papers have been accepted by 20th June 2013.

CfP – Colloquium “Sexual Futures: Versions of the Sexual Past, Visions of the Sexual Future” (University of Exeter, September 2013)

University of Exeter

5th & 6th September 2013

Call for Papers

The future offers a critical space to negotiate sexual possibilities. It can serve as a doomsday warning, provide utopian fantasies or aspirational goals for real reform. Such visions of the sexual future are often achieved through an imaginative reworking of motifs and elements from the past. This colloquium investigates how and why sexual knowledge, articulated in science, literature, art, politics, law and religion, turns to the past to envision the future.

When it comes to imagining the future, the past can be cast in manifold ways. It can appear as mythical, traditional, ancestral, atavistic, hereditary, primitive, classical, or historical. It can also serve a number of purposes. It can lend weight or authority; it can provide a rhetoric of objectivity, neutrality and empiricism to support visions of the future. It can galvanise calls for reform by appearing to offer visions of realistic possibility, alternative social worlds that have existed in the past and are therefore more than idle fantasy. The past can also be deployed in narratives about progress and decline, civilization and evolution, which lead towards a utopian or dystopian future. It can be marshalled as evidence to articulate universalising claims about humanity, provide evidence of variability across time, illustrate future possibilities or legitimise change. In addition, the past can offer a space of forgetting and loss and therefore a means of rejecting or engaging critically with the very concept of the future. It is the aim of the colloquium to examine how such uses of the past in the service of the future intersect with sexual knowledge and experience.

Forming part of the Sexual Knowledge, Sexual History project, this colloquium invites scholars from a range of disciplines to examine any aspect of the nexus between past, future and sex. Central questions might include, but are not limited to:

- Why and how have people throughout history turned to the past to imagine sexual futures?
- How does the past facilitate the imagination of future sexualities? Conversely, how does the past restrict what is considered to be a possible future?
- Which aspects or elements of the past are used in the construction of sexual futures?
- What authority does the past hold in the articulation of future visions of sexuality?
- How is the relation between past and future conceptualised differently over time and how does this change the way in which sexuality is understood and experienced?
- How do uses of the past in the service of the future compare across different areas of sexual knowledge, including science, literature, art, politics, law or religion?

Please contact Kate Fisher (, Rebecca Langlands ( or Jana Funke ( for further details or to discuss possible research papers.

Abstracts to be emailed to Jana Funke by 24th April 2013.

Image credit: Andrew Junge, “Pandora’s Box” (2005)

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