CFP: ‘Dementia, Violence, and the Politics of Memory in Contemporary Literature, Film, and Comics’, workshop and publication, Berlin

Location: Workshop at Freie Universität Berlin, Germany

Date: 13th – 15th September 2018

Deadline: 13th May 2018

CfP for an edited volume or peer-reviewed special journal issue, preceded by a workshop at Freie Universität Berlin, Germany (Sept. 13-15, 2018).

In public discourse and the day-to-day provision of health care, Alzheimer’s disease and other forms of dementia are predominantly regarded as illnesses afflicting individuals. Although diseases of memory can have great impact on relatives, caregivers, and communities, stories of dementia are not necessarily understood as entailing any wider political meaning and it seems common sense not to hold dementia patients accountable for their affliction. At the same time, however (in Western societies at least), memory loss is not always viewed purely as a contingent, ‘neutral’ neurobiological process but can tie into political debates, especially in the context of WW II and the Holocaust but also other experiences of racial/ political violence and trauma, e.g. in the context of colonialism, slavery, genocide, and forced migration in or across Europe, the Americas, and beyond.

In perpetrator societies, dementia-induced amnesia can be interpreted to be a wilful refusal to remember (the neurobiological equivalent of repression), and sufferers might even be blamed for strategically ‘giving in’ to their disease at a specific point in time in order to avoid confrontation with their past. This happened in Germany when Walter Jens, rhetorics professor and influential post-war public intellectual, succumbed to Alzheimer’s at the very moment the media uncovered the facts that he had applied for membership to the NSDAP and published anti-Semitic essays whilst still a student of literature (see Tilman Jens’ 2009 essay Demenz: Abschied von meinem Vater).

In the case of both victims and perpetrators of traumatic injustice and violence, dementia may reveal previously buried or hidden memories (as is imagined in Elie Wiesel’s L’oublié, 1989, Irene Dische’s The Doctor Needs a Home, 1995, Nicole Krauss’ Great House, 2010, or Cécile Wajsbrot’s L’hydre de Lerne, 2011, and David Chariandy’s Soucouyant, 2007). Dementia and amnesia, in these cases, paradoxically reveal rather than conceal uncomfortable truths – in our current cultural moment, given the amount of time that has passed since WW II and the Holocaust, they may do so for the last time. In the context of forced migration, demented protagonists may return to their childhood language and re-enact (traumatic) memories, challenging their status as survivors and their successful integration into their countries of destination (see e.g. Bernlef’s 1984 novel Hersenschimmen).

Memory theorists and cultural studies scholars have raised the fact that our memory culture will change once the last eyewitnesses of 20th century catastrophes have died – communicative memory will turn into cultural memory, to put it in Jan Assmann’s terms. Should the increasing focus on protagonists with dementia in recent books and films be understood as related to this development? Is dementia in these contexts a simple plot device, is the illness depicted realistically, and/ or is it used as a metaphor to raise
larger cultural and socio-political issues? How do literary texts, films, or comics conceptualise the dynamics of remembering and forgetting and the interrelations between ‘real’, repressed, re/imagined memories, or those (un)covered by screen memories? What are the political repercussions and the larger cultural impact of these works? What kind(s) of ‘truth’ do they propose; what is at stake when dementia meets history and politics?

We invite previously unpublished papers from scholars from various disciplines, such as literary, film and comics studies, history, cultural studies, at all career stages, from postgraduates to senior academics. Contributions should be written in English and focus on literary texts, films, or comics (from any cultural context). Workshop participants will receive funding to cover travel and accommodation expenses. The
2018 workshop may be followed by another meeting of contributing authors in 2019.

We hope that the workshop discussions in September 2018 will incite resonance in speakers’ papers to result in the production of a high-quality publication. The final articles should be about 7000 words long and will be due in spring 2019.

Workshop convenors/ volume editors:

  • Irmela Marei Krüger-Fürhoff (Freie Universität Berlin)
  • Nina Schmidt (Freie Universität Berlin)
  • Sue Vice (University of Sheffield)

Please send your English-language abstract of max. 300 words by 13th May 2018 to:
i.krueger-fuerhoff@fu-berlin.de.

The workshop is organised by the PathoGraphics research team at Freie Universität Berlin, Friedrich Schlegel Graduate School of Literary Studies: www.fsgs.fu-berlin.de/pathographics.

PhD Scholarship: ‘Enabling or Disabling? Critical responses to new audio technologies in the early 20th century’, Leeds

Location: School of Philosophy, Religion & History of Science, University of Leeds

Closing Date: 5pm Friday 1st June 2018

Funder: White Rose College of the Arts and Humanities (WROCAH)

Enabling or Disabling? Critical responses to new audio technologies in the early 20th century

Supervisors: Graeme Gooday (University of Leeds), and Esme Cleall (University of Sheffield).

Our preliminary descriptor for this project is as follows; this will be developed in the first six months of the PhD award via a comprehensive, guided literature review:

New media technologies have not always brought universal benefits. Some indeed have had distinctly disabling effects on social participation and communication. This project looks at the challenges created by the new aural technologies of telephone, radio and ‘talkie’ movies that added to the soundscapes of British life for many by World War 2. While some of the blind population could access the new ‘spoken word’ culture of radio through the British Wireless for the Blind Fund founded in 1928, these aural innovations excluded Deaf people and made participation problematic for hard of hearing people. Numerous hearing aid manufacturers marketed a new generation of electronic devices as a technical fix for the challenges involved, but the experiences of many who tried to use these hearing aids, and the controversies around the advertising of them, has never been fully documented. The PhD student on this project would be invited to explore any aspects that interested them in the broader historical context of differentiated experiences of audio technologies. Available research resources include the Action on Hearing Loss Library, which holds both the archives of the National Institute for the Deaf, its records of regional Hard of Hearing Clubs and the journals of various deaf organisations. Materials on the testing and advertising of hearing aids are available at BT ArchivesThe British Post Museum and Archive and the History of Advertising Trust in Norfolk.

For further information please contact:

Application Closing Date: 5pm Friday 1 June. Interviews have been provisionally scheduled for 4 July 2018.

How to apply:

Application is in two parts. An application cannot be considered unless BOTH PARTS are complete.

You must apply for a place of study at the University of Leeds, School of Philosophy, Religion & History of Science. If you have not done this yet, you can do this here
http://www.leeds.ac.uk/info/130206/applying/91/applying_for_research_degrees

White Rose Studentship Application Form: http://bit.ly/wrocah2018nwapp
If you have any queries about completing the online application form, please contact the WRoCAH Office on networks@wrocah.ac.uk

Applicant Requirements

Applicants must:

  • Have at least a UK Upper Second Class Honours degree or equivalent. A Masters degree is desirable, or demonstration of equivalent experience.
  • Demonstrate a desire to participate fully in the ‘Electronic Soundscapes’ network and its activities.
  • Demonstrate a desire to engage with and benefit from the full WRoCAH cohort of students from across the three White Rose Universities (c. 80 students) at the same stage in their research, in a shared training and development programme.

Terms and Conditions

Each WRoCAH White Rose Networks Studentship is tenable for three years and students are expected to start in October 2018. As the coherence of the network is important, deferrals will not be permitted.

The award will provide fees at the Home/EU rate and a stipend paid at standard Research Council rates (£14,777) for the first year of study. The award is renewable for a second and third year of study subject to satisfactory academic progress according to each institution’s Policy on Research Degrees.

Successful students will also be eligible to apply to additional WRoCAH funding schemes for research support, training, student-led activities and knowledge exchange projects. All students will be required to spend one month with an external Partner organisation on a specific project to develop their employability skills.

McCarthy Award for History of Medicine Research, Royal College of Physicians of Edinburgh

Awarding Body: Royal College of Physicians of Edinburgh

Deadline: 31st August 2018

The Royal College of Physicians of Edinburgh has set up an annual award for history of medicine research, specifically focused on the history of Scottish medicine. The purpose of this award is to support and develop the study of the history of medicine in Scotland. The prize for this award is £500.

Eligibility

This award is open to all researchers in the history of medicine, or related social and cultural history fields. Researchers can be based in the United Kingdom or overseas. Please be aware that for overseas finalists, travel expenses to the event will only be paid from their point of entry into the United Kingdom.

Application and Selection Procedure

Research must be unpublished and must have been undertaken in the last 3 years. Research which has been submitted for publication will be considered, but details should be given of when and where it has been submitted, and if it has been accepted for publication. Abstracts must be based on original research in the field.

The deadline for submissions is 31 August 2018. Abstracts must be submitted in either PDF or Word format along with a completed application form and curriculum vitae. The abstract must not exceed 1000 words in length. The curriculum vitae must not exceed two sides of A4. Applicants, if chosen, must be willing to present their research on Friday 19 October 2018. This is a public event, to encourage engagement with the history of medicine in Scotland.

The Journal of the Royal College of Physicians of Edinburgh will publish the winning paper. The winner will also be asked to submit a guest blog post on their research for publication on the College’s heritage blog.
The award can only be awarded to an individual once.

The application form an be downloaded at https://www.rcpe.ac.uk/college/mccarthy-award-history-medicine-research.

Registration: ‘Representing Pain: Narrative & Fragments Symposium’, Lancaster

Location: Lancaster University

Date: 9am – 5.30pm, Friday 17th August 2018

This Symposium is part of the AHRC-funded research network Translating Chronic Painwhich is exploring challenges pain experience poses to traditional narrative representation, and the value of rethinking narrativity or embracing unconventional or fragmentary narrative forms. The symposium will explore broad debates around narrativity in medical humanities, the potential of short-form narration or unconventional forms of illness narration, the positivity imperative in illness narration, challenges of chronic pain representation, and the way ‘entanglements’ with fields such as disability studies or trauma theory may enrich critical medical humanities approaches to these questions.

Speakers include Dr Angela Woods (Durham), Dr Stella Bolaki (Kent), Dr James Berger (Yale), Dr Megan Crowley-Matoka (Northwestern), Professor Ann Jurecic (Rutgers), Professor Brendan Stone (Sheffield), and Professor Javier Moscoso (Professor of History and Philosophy of Science, Centro de Ciencias Humanas y Sociales, Spain).

This Translating Chronic Pain network brings together people living with pain, academics, and pain charities to explore how short-form creative writing may support people living with pain, raise awareness, and enhance healthcare training.

Travel and accommodation bursaries are also available for six postgraduate students or early career researchers.

For more information please visit the project website or email Sara Wasson.

Registration: 25 Years of Madness and Modernism Symposium, Durham

Location: University of Durham

Date: 11th May 2018

Madness and Modernism: Insanity in the Light of Modern Art, Literature and Thought is the magnum opus of the distinguished clinical psychologist and phenomenologist of psychopathology Louis A. Sass. Twenty-five years after its initial publication by Basic Books and then Harvard University Press, a revised edition, published by Oxford University Press in 2017, is introducing new readers to one of the most complex and compelling accounts of the phenomenology of schizophrenia and its reciprocally illuminating relationship with a modernism characterised by paradox and hyperreflexivity, self-consciousness and self-alienation.

A symposium to celebrate, interrogate and reflect upon the significance and wide-ranging influence of Madness and Modernism will be held at Priors Hall, Durham Cathedral on Friday 11 May 2018, 10.15 – 6pm. It features the following presentations:

  • Åsa Jansson (University of Durham) Melancholic Delusions and Modern Madness
  • Joel Krueger (Exeter University) Sass, Schizophrenia, and the Scaffolded Self
  • Elizabeth Barry (Warwick University) Beckett, Sass and Schizophrenia: The Assault on Ipseity
  • Matt ffytche (University of Essex) Reviewing Madness and Modernism through the lens of Outsider Writing
  • Louis Sass (Rutgers University) in conversation with Patricia Waugh (University of Durham)

The symposium is free to attend but places are limited and registration is essential here. Refreshments will be provided throughout the day, which concludes with an informal wine reception.

Please tweet about this symposium using hashtag #MadnessandModernism.

The symposium, convened by Angela Woods, is jointly hosted by Hearing the Voice and the Centre for Medical Humanities and funded by the Wellcome Trust.

CFP: Substance Use and Abuse in the Long Nineteenth Century, Edge Hill

Location: Edge Hill University, Ormskirk

Conference: 13th – 14th September 2018

Deadline: 21st May 2018

Speakers:

  • Professor Susan Zieger, University of California Riverside
  • Dr Noelle Plack, Newman University
  • Dr Douglas Small, University of Glasgow

‘The body (follow me closely here) lies at the mercy of the most omnipotent of all potentates—the Chemist.’

Wilkie Collins, The Woman in White (1859)

In The Woman in White Collins’s villainous Count Fosco expounds on the power of modern pharmacology. Fosco is speaking at the mid-point of a century wherein the body and the mind seemed increasingly easily affected by the influence of substances. From 1821 opium had allowed Thomas de Quincey to explore ‘the palimpsest of the human mind’ and navigate the dream space of the human subconscious. Ether and chloroform banished pain and facilitated new surgical innovations. Stimulants and sedatives regulated waking and sleeping and the working day in between. Reports of alcoholism, addiction and criminality appeared with increasing regularity in the periodical press and featured in the plots of new literary genres like the sensation novel and the detective story.

This two day interdisciplinary conference examines the changing roles of drugs and chemical substances in the history, literature, and medical discourses of the long nineteenth century. We invite proposals for 15-20 minute papers or panels on any aspect of the theme. Topics may include but are not limited to:

  • Addiction and excess: Alcohol, tobacco, opiates, cocaine, ether, chloroform and other compounds
  • Psychoactive substances, hallucinogenics, pharmacology
  • New drug treatments, therapies, medical technologies, pain and pain management
  • Concepts of stimulation and sedation
  • Drugs and creativity
  • Drugs and criminality
  • Substances and the media: celebrity culture, advertising,
  • Thomas de Quincey, Coleridge, Keats, Wilkie Collins, L. T. Meade Conan Doyle,
  • Novels, sensation fiction, and literature as addiction
  • Gendered representations of substance use
  • Aphrodisiacs, appetite and their suppressants
  • Substances and the military, empire, trade, war
  • Neo-Romantic or Neo-Victorian representations of substance use

Please send abstracts of no more than 300 words together with a brief bio to substance18@edgehill.ac.uk  by 21st May.

We are delighted to be able to award a number of postgraduate bursaries. If you would like to be considered for a bursary, please include a 200-word explanation about how the conference relates to your research, along with a breakdown of your expenses.

Please see our website https://substance18.wordpress.com/ for more information.