Journal CFP: ‘Shaping Identity: The Ethical and Legal Implications of Medical Interventions for Individuals with Disabilities’

Within the context of ongoing debates about medical and social models of disability, the Journal of Philosophy, Science, and Law invites authors to submit new manuscripts that address the ethical and legal implications of interventions aimed at modifying the bodies of individuals with physical or mental impairments or disabilities.

Topics suitable for this Call for Papers include but are not limited to ethical and legal issues emerging from:

  • The use of bionic eyes
  • The use of cochlear implants
  • Prosthetics for everyday use or competitive sports
  • “Normalizing” surgery for individuals with Down Syndrome
  • Limb lengthening surgeries (e.g., for individuals with achondroplasia)
  • The use of growth hormones
  • The use of “neuroenhancement” drugs (e.g., to improve focus, memory, or other cognitive functioning)
  • Laws that influence decision making on behalf of disabled children (e.g., the Swedish law requiring parents to consult with member of the Deaf community prior to agreeing to cochlear implant surgery for their child)
  • Growth attenuation procedures
  • Familial or community pressure to modify or refuse modifications of one’s body

Manuscripts submitted for inclusion in this special issue must be original work and should not be under consideration with any other journal. The word count for submitted manuscripts, including references and notes, should not exceed 5000 words. Manuscripts should be accompanied by an abstract of no more than 200 words.

Authors should adhere to the Journal’s publication guidelines:

Authors should submit their manuscripts and abstracts via email attachments no later than June 1, 2013 to Dr. Yvette Pearson:
ypearson(at)odu(dot)edu. Please write “JPSL Disability” in the email subject line.

Accepted manuscripts will be published online in October 2013.

PhD Studentship: Mental Healthcare in Twentieth-Century Scotland, Glasgow Caledonian University

A fully-funded PhD studentship is available at the CSHHH, a collaboration of health historians at Glasgow Caledonian and Strathclyde Universities. It is a leading Centre for the study of modern history of health and healthcare, and we have a lively and growing postgraduate community .

We invite applications from candidates interested in pursuing doctoral research in the history of mental health and healthcare in late nineteenth and/or twentieth-century Scotland; applications with a comparative dimension to another country are welcome, but the project should exploit some of the rich archival resources available locally, such as the NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde Archives, the Lothian Health Services Archive and the National Archives of Scotland. In line with the distinctive research focus of health historians at Glasgow Caledonian, the doctoral project would be orientated towards the social, political and/or economic dimensions of mental health and healthcare. Possible focal points for this project could include:

  • The treatment of civilian patients in Scottish mental hospitals during the First World War, examining whether psychiatric care for ex-service patients prioritised at the expense of the pre-existing asylum population. This would engage with debates on the health of the civilian population during wartime, and the impact of war on psychiatric knowledge and practice.
  • Analysis of the place of mental health services within the National Health Service, with a focus on the funding available to mental health services in comparison to other health services and the impact this had on psychiatric hospital regimes.
  • Inequalities within mental healthcare? A comparative analysis which would contrast services for acute cases of mental disorder with responses to chronic mental disorder, learning disability and/or psychogeriatrics in twentieth-century Scotland
  • Deinstitutionalisation and community care in Scotland in the post-war era, with a focus on psychiatric rehabilitation, the changing nature of care within psychiatric hospitals, the establishment of local authority provisions and the relationship between hospital and community-based facilities
  • The experiences of psychiatric patients in Scotland and the evolution and influence of the service user movement on healthcare policies and provisions

Enquiries should be directed towards Dr Vicky Long (

The studentship is funded by Glasgow Caledonian University, and is worth £15,600 per annum for entry in October 2013. The studentship is offered for 3 years and will provide the following:

  • A maintenance stipend that is set at the annual stipend level of (£13,600) plus an additional £1000 (to cover the costs of work the student will undertake to support the School whilst strengthening their own capabilities)
  • Tuition fees up to a maximum of UK/EU levels (non-EU students must pay the outstanding non-EU tuition fee)
  • Commitment to each student to provide at least £1000 of personal development funding such as conference attendance or training programmes

Applicant should hold a first or second class honours degree, and should either hold or be working towards a masters degree in a relevant field (History, History of Medicine, or Medical Humanities).

For details on how to apply, and for other funded PhD studentship opportunities at Glasgow Caledonian University, please see: http://gcu/research/phdresearchopportunities/ 

Details of this studentship are located under the Society and Social Justice Tab.

Closing date for receipt of applications: Monday 15 April 2013.

CFP: ‘Disability and the Gothic’ Edited Volume

The relationship between disability and the Gothic, as Martha Stoddard Holmes rightly observes, has been undertheorized by scholars of the genre. This is surprising, given the intensity with which the Gothic has historically explored and exploited the prejudices associated with human difference as manifested in physiological and mental deviations from a perceived norm.

The proposed volume, which will be presented within the established International Gothic Series, published by Manchester University Press, will explore the uses and abuses of disability in Gothic fiction from the eighteenth century to the present, and will advance a genuinely international and multicultural analysis of this neglected aspect of Gothic stylistics. We particularly welcome papers that discuss Gothic textuality beyond the established European and American canon.

Issues which might be explored by contributors could include (but are not limited to):

  • Abject bodies
  • Human vivisection
  • Amputation
  • Leprosy
  • Birth defects
  • Mental illness
  • Body Integrity
  • Phantom limbs
  • Body modification
  • Pigmentation variations
  • Branding and scarification
  • Post-apocalyptic bodies
  • Conjoined siblings
  • Prostheses
  • Corrective surgery
  • Queer bodies
  • Degeneration
  • Ritual disfigurement
  • Hermaphroditism
  • Supernumerary limbs
  • Hospital culture
  • Zoomorphism

Proposals of approximately 500 words should be sent to the editors by 30 September 2013.  The editors are: William Hughes (Department of English, Bath Spa University, UK) email and Andrew Smith (School of English Literature, Language and Linguistics, University of Sheffield, UK) email

Medical Humanities Research Network Scotland (MHRNS) Symposium 2013

The second symposium of the MHRNS will be held in the School of Critical Studies, University of Glasgow, on Saturday 18 May 2013.

The RSE/Scottish Government-funded MHRNS aims to enable greater and more sustained collaborative research within Scotland in the medical humanities. The network’s website is available at:

The symposium addresses two of the network’s themes: ‘Mental Health’ and ‘Dependency’.

Abstracts of up to 250 words for 20-minute papers on topics such as those indicated below are invited for submission by 8 April 2013. We welcome submissions from medical students and clinical practitioners, as well as from academics in medicine and the humanities.


‘Mental Health’

  • Diagnosis, treatment, welfare provision and the shaping of social attitudes
  • How do we define “mental health” and is the concept being redefined in the face of economic recession?
  • To what extent should policy towards “mental illness” be based upon ideals of eradication, interventionism or self-management?
  •  How can the critical insights of those working in the humanities – in which “neurosis” and “madness” have often been embraced, perhaps naively, as sources of insight, inspiration, creativity and originality – contribute to these debates?



  • This focus invites research to explore further the possible alliance between medicine and the humanities in the exploration of dependency; it may include, but is not limited to, areas such as disability studies, illness narratives, and legal, philosophical and theological perspectives upon dependency.


The Keynote Speakers will be:

Dr Lucy Burke, Manchester Metropolitan University, on ‘Care and Dependency: Keywords in Disability Culture or Why Language Matters’
Dr Jonathan Andrews, Newcastle University, on ‘Asylum patient cultures: contextualising patient contributors to Edinburgh Asylum’s Morningside Mirror’

Please send abstract as an email attachment (.docx, .doc, .rtf, .pdf) to

Deadline for abstracts: 8 April 2013

CFP: Disability and Popular Culture, MPCA/ACA 2013

Call for Papers
Midwest Popular Culture Association / American Culture Association (MPCA/ACA)
2013 Conference
Friday-Sunday, 11-13 October 2013
St. Louis Union Station Hotel
St. Louis, Missouri
Deadline: 30 April 2013

The Disability & Popular Culture area of the MPCA invites proposals (or abstracts) for papers on any aspect of the intersection of disability and popular culture.  All topics, approaches, and perspectives related to disability and popular culture are welcome. Papers may address theoretical, methodological, empirical, or pedagogical concerns.  Interdisciplinary perspectives are encouraged, as are discussions of new directions in disability studies and popular culture studies.

The conference CFP and general conference information are available at:

Proposals/abstracts must be submitted at the MPCA submission site:  Proposals should be 250-500 words, and must be submitted by April 30, 2013.  Please be sure to indicate whether the presentation will require an LCD projector (this is the only available audiovisual equipment).

Please note the availability of travel grants for graduate students:

Inquiries may be directed to Asim Ali, the Disability & Popular Culture area chair, at

Asim Ali
Department of American Studies
University of Maryland

Workshop: ‘Disability and Culture: Whose Tragedy?’

Disability and Culture: Whose Tragedy?

Thursday March 21st, 2013

Royal Holloway, Centre for Creative Collaboration (c4cc) 16 Acton StreetLondon WC1X 9NG

Part of Royal Holloway’s Trauma, Fiction, History Series, jointly sponsored by the School of Modern Languages, Literatures and Cultures and the Humanities and Arts Research Centre, Royal Holloway.


11-11:15 Registration and Coffee

11:15-1:15pm Session One

Whose Disability? Challenging Stereotypical Representations of EpilepsyMaria Vaccarella (Centre for the Humanities and Health and Comparative Literature Department, King’s College London)

Sur mes lèvres, Deafness, Embodiment: Towards a Film Phenomenology of a Differently Ordered Sensorium Jenny Chamarette (Queen Mary, University of London)

Beyond the ‘Narrative of Overcoming’: Representations of Disability in Contemporary French Culture Sam Haigh (University of Warwick)

‘Freaks!’ Hurler Syndrome and other disabilities in Claire Daudin’s Le Sourire Brian Sudlow (Aston University)

1:15-2pm: Lunch

 2-3:30:  Session Two

Ana García-Siñeriz, Esas mujeres rubias (2010): disability, gender, and the medical establishment Abigail Lee Six (Royal Holloway, University of London)

The pain of itching Naomi Segal (Birkbeck College, London)

‘Raw data’: autistic aloneness and the category of insight in Elle s’appelle Sabine Vivienne Orchard (University of Southampton)

3:30-4: Tea

4-5:30 Session Three

Telling, not seeing: blindness and travel writing Charles Forsdick (University of Liverpool)

On not being deaf to the blind Kate Tunstall (Worcester College, Oxford)

Disability and Sexuality: the poetry of Denis Sanguin de Saint-Pavin (1595-1670) Nick Hammond (University of Cambridge)

5:30 Closing Remarks and Plans for Next Stages

Attendance at the study day is free and includes lunch and refreshments. Anyone interested in attending should contact the organiser, Dr Hannah Thompson to register for catering purposes.

The Centre for Creative Collaboration is a neutral collaborative space near King’s Cross. We are using this space to think about the  interdisciplinary and collaborative potential of the Disability and Culture project. This workshop is the first step in a project which we hope will expand into a dialogue not only between academics, but also with artistis, medical professionals, charities, activists and community groups.

Directions to c4cc can be found here and more details of the event can be found here.

“A Picture of Health”: Medical Humanities Postgraduate Conference (CFP, April 2013)

London, 4th-5th April 2013

While postgraduate medical historians have often had the opportunity to converse with each other through various forums, the wider field of medical humanities has been neglected. This student-led conference seeks papers from a wide variety of disciplines to show the divergent as well as similar themes running through the work of postgraduate medical humanities students. Organised by an historian, a curator and a creative practitioner, this two-day conference will include workshops on methodological issues and give students the opportunity to present their research findings in a supportive and dynamic environment.

Abstracts of 250-words or fewer should be sent here by 11 March 2013.

Extended CFP, ‘Attentive Writers’: Healthcare, Authorship and Authority

Please find below the extended call for papers for the conference, ‘Attentive Writers’: Healthcare, Authorship and Authority. The deadline for proposal submission has been extended to 18th March.

‘Attentive Writers’: Healthcare, Authorship, and Authority

Medical Humanities Research Centre, University of Glasgow, 23th-25th August 2013

From nurses, physicians and surgeons to administrators, caregivers, physiotherapists, technicians, veterinarians and voluntary sector workers, this conference adopts the term ‘attentive writers’ as evocative of the multitude of both non-professional and professional caregivers – clinical and non-clinical healthcare workers – whose attention to illness might take narrative form. The study of physician-writers was one of the earliest developments in the related fields of Literature and Medicine and the Medical Humanities, with canonical figures such as Conan Doyle, Goldsmith, Keats, Smollett, and William Carlos Williams, receiving much-deserved critical attention. Echoing Rita Charon’s concept of ’attentiveness’, this conference brings this established field of enquiry regarding ‘the physician as writer’ into dialogue with recent calls for a more inclusive approach to the Medical Humanities (i.e. ‘Health Humanities’) and questions the authoritative place of the Western – traditionally male – physician in our explorations of the humanities/health interface.

The relationship between healthcare, authorship and authority will be addressed through three inter-related strands  of thematic enquiry: (1) an historical and literary examination of ‘attentive writers’; (2) a more devolved interrogation of the field of Narrative Medicine; and (3) an examination of ‘attentive writing’ as creative practice.

Confirmed Plenary Speakers: Professor Rita Charon; Professor Paul Crawford; Professor G. Thomas Couser

Papers might address, but are not limited to, the following topics:

  • Nurse-writers, physician-writers, surgeon-writers, veterinarian-writers, etc. of any culture, historical period or literary epoch, and/or nurses, physicians, surgeons, and vets as literary subjects
  • Non-clinicalhealthcare workers (administrators, janitors, receptionists, technicians, etc.) as writers and/or literary subjects
  • The literature of caregiving
  • Gender and medical authority
  • Historical development of medical and literary professionalism
  • The afterlife of Foucault’s ‘medical gaze’
  • Hybrid discourses and genres (the case history, illness narratives, etc.)
  • Narrative Medicine (and particularly does it challenge or reinforce the notion of the physician as sole author/authority) and related developments in professionalism and education
  • The philosophy of attentiveness in healthcare and creative writing
  • ‘Attentive writing’ as creative practice; including ‘process oriented’ writing practices and those primarily concerned with the creation of aesthetically valuable outcomes.

For Creative Writers: We’re particularly looking for papers and readings from creative writers in all genres whose writing is rooted in questions about, experiences of orresearch into issues of illness, caregiving, and medicine.  We are also interested in how creativity may be impacted by any of these.  We’re particularly interested in discussing how our subjects, genres, research and craft exist in tension and help to produce expansive and important contributions to literature.  For the most part, these contributions should move beyond writing as reflection, to literary writingthat complicates and communicates knowledge and experiences of issues currently falling within the frame of medical/health humanities.

Proposals of up to 500 words for 20-minute papers/readings should be submitted, along with a short biography (no more than 250 words), to by 18 March 2013. Proposals from academics, clinical and non-clinical healthcare workers, creative writers, and interested lay persons are all most welcome.

For further information and updates, see

New Disability Studies M.A., Liverpool Hope University

Liverpool Hope University is starting a new Disability Studies M.A. Details as follows:

Disability Studies is a relatively new but rapidly growing academic discipline, as illustrated by the international proliferation of courses, events, networks, journals, book series, monographs, edited collections, and so on.  Though drawing on this progress substantially, the new Disability Studies M.A. at Liverpool Hope University will differ from similar programmes insofar as it will place particular emphasis on cultural issues. We will not only be interested in the policies, prejudices, and professions around disability, but also its representation in literature, media, film, art and so on. Liverpool Hope University is particularly well suited as a host for this programme on many counts. The regional, national, and international profile of the proposed programme will be enhanced greatly by the Centre for Culture & Disability Studies–and, by extension, the Journal of Literary & Cultural Disability Studies, the on-going seminar series, and the International Network of Literary & Cultural Disability Scholars.

Subject to validation, the course will commence October 2013 and the modules covered are likely to include Critical Disability Theory; Disability and Professional Practice; Disability, Culture, and Society; Research Methods; and a Dissertation.

For more information, please contact:

Dr. David Bolt

Director, Centre for Culture & Disability Studies