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


  • 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  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 for more information.


BSA Pre-Conference Postgraduate Forum: Disability Panels, Newcastle

Date: Monday 9th April 2018

Location: Northumbria University, Newcastle

British Sociological Association (BSA) Postgraduate Forum Pre-Conference Day:

‘Personal and Practical Challenges: Becoming a Member of the Academic Community’

The British Sociological Association’s Postgraduate Forum holds an annual pre-conference day every year before the annual BSA conference at the same venue. They have put together the programme for this years events and are now accepting registration. While it is organised by sociologists, it has a cross disciplinary relevance for all post graduate qualitative social scientists (including those in disability studies) as it explores the academic contexts they will be researching and working in.

This event is centred on the theme of personal and practical problems faces during PG study and will draw from the core themes of the main BSA Annual Conference. It will focus on PG community, solidarity, equality and intersectionality.

Prof. Peter Hopkins, Newcastle

Prof. Peter Hopkins’ research draws attention to the ways in which various forms of discrimination and marginalisation shape people’s lives. He has previously served as the Academic Director of the ESRC North Doctoral Training Centre and as the Postgraduate Director for the School of Geogrephy, Politics and Sociology.

Prof. Yvette Taylor, Strathclyde

Prof. Yvette Taylor is the author of Feeling Academic int he NeoLiberal University: Feminist Flights, Fights and Failures (2018). Her research explores the areas of inequality, class, religion, gender and sexuality.

Dr Kim Allan, Leeds

Dr Kim Allen’s talk will tie together both the practical and personal challenges postgraduates face. She will focus on academic identity and community as well as discussing attending and speaking at conferences.

Postgraduate Panel Discussion

Our panellists will discuss a range of personal challenges they have faced during tehir PhDs, including disability, race and motherhood. Along with the panel, attendees are invited to reflect, and the panel will take questions from the audience.

Setting up a Student Sociology Journal: Challenges and Opportunities

The Sheffield Student Journal for Sociology will be hosting a workshop covering the very practical challenges postgraduates face in relation to writing and publishing and provide useful tips.


BSA member day rate: £20

Non-member day rate: £40

For more information on the event you can email or visit


CFP, Panel Proposal: ‘Food as medicine: biosocialities of eating in health and illness’, Oxford

Date: 18th – 21st Sept. 2018

Location: University of Oxford

Deadline: 15th April 2018

Paper proposals are now invited for the panel ‘Food as medicine: biosocialities of eating in health and illness’, which will take place at the Association of Social Anthropologists of the UK and Commonwealth (ASA) conference, at the University of Oxford, 18-21 September 2018 (ASA18).

Entanglements of health, illness, and eating offer a critical lens onto the social, material, and imagined dimensions of gastro-politics. Imbalanced diets, lack of appetite, ‘overindulgence’, food contamination, and malnutrition are among the iniquitous aspects of eating implicated in the diagnosis of disorder, disease, and their concomitant marginalized biosocialities. In turn, food is also reconfigured as medicine; it is used in the restoration of health and the management of chronic conditions, as well as to resocialise marginalized bodies and identities into bio-political realignment with social hierarchy, citizenship, responsibility, and choice.

This panel examines food-as-medicine at the convergence of material, intangible, social, imagined, and biological aspects of healing. The papers will consider medicalized transformations of intimacy, commensality, and power in feeding and eating. They will trace experiential liminalities of ‘recovery’ through feeding spaces and technologies, elucidating contradictions and reconfigurations of agency/disempowerment, body sovereignty, and liability in processes of healing through food. Representing diverse ethnographic foci and locales, analyses will theorise food as medicine as experienced by people with neurological conditions, people who have had bariatric/metabolic surgery, and people with eating disorders and other mental health conditions, among others. Together, these accounts will emphasize the intangible, haptic, and biopolitical dimensions of food as medicine, interrogating how ‘recovery’ may be induced through forced, relearned, assisted, and measured forms of ingestion. Alongside their papers, panellists will present items that experientially convey textures and temporalities of food-as-medicine, including meal replacements, timers, scales, and measuring cups, highlighting the sensory aspects of these medicalized materialities.

The deadline for paper proposals is 20th April 2018. Please submit your paper proposal through the panel page.

For informal inquiries, please contact panel convenors Heather HowardNarelle WarrenAnna Lavis, and Karin Eli.

CFP: ‘Mind Reading 2018 – Mental Health and the Written Word’, Birmingham

Date: 18th – 19th June 20818

Location: University of Brimingham

‘Mind Reading 2018 – Mental Health and the Written Word’ is the second in this medical humanities series to ask a series of questions:

Do clinicians and patients speak the same language? How might we bridge the evident gaps in communication? How can we use narrative to foster clinical relationships? Or to care for the carers? How does illness impact upon our sense of self?

This two-day programme of talks and workshops is a collaboration between the University of BirminghamUCD Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, and the Diseases of Modern Life and Constructing Scientific Communities Projects at St Anne’s College, Oxford. Together we seek to explore productive interactions between narrative and mental health both historically and in the present day. Bringing together psychologists, psychiatrists, GPs, service users, and historians of literature and medicine, we will investigate the patient experience through the prism of literature and personal narrative to inform patient-centred care and practice, and focus on ways in which literature might be beneficial in cases of burnout and sympathy fatigue.

Confirmed speakers include:

The conference programme is available here: Mind Reading Programme

Registration is now open and can be booked here.

CFP: ‘Storytelling as a Way of Bridging Cultural Divides’, York

Date: 9am-2pm, 6th June 2018

Location: Humanities Research Centre, University of York, Heslington, York

Deadline: 15th May 2018

A workshop on “Storytelling as a Way of Bridging Cultural Divides” is being organised by Christa Knellwolf King, Associate Professor of English literature at Sultan Qaboos University, Oman, and an Honorary Visiting Fellow at the University of York.

The theme of this interdisciplinary workshop is inspired by recent studies which have shown that fictional and factual narratives profoundly affect the minds of readers: they evoke empathy, stimulate reader identification, and forge relationships between readers, characters, and the cultural communities on which they are modelled. Stories are an absolutely crucial aspect of human experience, and the process of creating an active response can have many positive effects. Storytelling can be used to integrate oral memories of communities into the lived experience of the present; it can provide the basis for respectful relationships between local inhabitants and the visitors to heritage sites; and last but not least, it can provide a dialogue space in conflict zones. Here is a great opportunity for the humanities to design projects that “use” stories as a means of generating openness to otherness.

The workshop explores the many positive effects of engaging creatively with stories, told in written and oral form, and in film as well as other media. It invites its participants to create initiatives that apply the principles of experience design in order to engender understanding and respect for cultural differences, without attempting to control audience responses. A further aim of the workshop is to initiate an interdisciplinary research project between the UK and the Middle East. Contributions are invited from colleagues working in the fields of literature, film and media studies, linguistics, cultural heritage, tourism, history, translation, development studies, peace studies, and related disciplines.

Please email a proposal of 200-300 words to Christa Knellwolf King by 15th May 2018. Please also feel free to send comments and suggestions.

“Going to the Dogs”?: A Workshop Series on Research at the Intersection of Disability and Animal Studies, Leeds

Date: 10am-4pm, Friday 13th April 2018

Location: Centre for Medical Humanities at the University of Leeds (School of English, 6­­–10 Cavendish Road)

Workshop No. 2

Following the success of the first “Going to the Dogs” event on 19 February 2018 (find out more here and discussion stemming from the event here), the Centre for Medical Humanities at the University of Leeds (School of English, 6­­–10 Cavendish Road) will be hosting a follow-up workshop on Friday 13 April 2018 from 10am to 4pm.

This second workshop will feature the following talks:

  • Rachael Gillibrand (Institute for Medieval Studies, University of Leeds), TBC;
  • Ryan Sweet (School of English and Leeds Humanities Research Institute, University of Leeds), “Wooden-Limbed Livestock and Prostheticised Pets: Prostheses for Animals in the Nineteenth-Century Periodical Press”;
  • Neil Pemberton (Centre for the History of Science, Technology and Medicine, University of Manchester), “Stroking with Words: Caress and the Making of Guide-Dog-Human Partnership in 1930s America”;
  • Andy Flack (Department of History, University of Bristol), “Why Look at Animals’ Eyes?: Historicising Understandings of Extra-Visual Perception among Nocturnal Animals”;
  • Justyna Włodarczyk (Department of American Literature, University of Warsaw), “Dogs at Work or Scam Alert? The Cultural and Social Context of the Controversy over Emotional Support Animals in the US”.

If you would like to register for FREE, please email the event organiser, Ryan Sweet ( When writing to Ryan, please inform him of any accessibility needs that you have so that he can ensure that the event is fully inclusive.

Tea, coffee, lunch, and other refreshments will be provided.

Also associated: 

Animals in Disability Art

An evening with Jenni-Juulia Wallinheimo-Heimonen

Related to the “Going to the Dogs” workshop series, from 7pm to 9pm on Thursday 12 April 2018 the Finnish conceptual and textile artist Jenni-Juulia Wallinheimo-Heimonen will be performing, presenting, and explaining her recent disability art that incorporates animals at TheTetley.
To find out more and to register (again for FREE), please visit the Eventbrite page.
If you have any questions, please write to Ryan Sweet (

Exhibition: ‘The Heart of the Matter’, Newcastle

Dates: 24th March – 6th May 2018

Location: Newcastle

The Heart of the Matter is an exhibition about to launch in Newcastle upon Tyne at the Great North Museum: Hancock. It brings together art and medicine to reflect on the human heart. The heart can symbolise romantic love and the centre of human emotion, but it is also the engine room of our body and an intricate piece of machinery.

Through artworks inspired by patients with heart conditions, their families and clinicians, the exhibition invites you to discover the extraordinary nature and complexity of this organ.

The Heart of The Matter began with a collaboration between artist Sofie Layton and bioengineer Giovanni Biglino. In 2017, they brought together patients with heart conditions at Great Ormond Street Hospital for Children in London, the Bristol Heart Institute and the Adult Congenital & Paediatric Heart Unit of Newcastle’s Freeman Hospital to look at the heart emotionally and metaphorically in workshops with scientists, artists, students, and nurses.

Conversations and stories from these workshops in turn inspired artworks that offer insight into the heart’s beauty, fragility and resilience, using scientific and artistic methods. Medical 3D printing and topographical maps describe cardiovascular anatomy; digital animation responds to medical imaging; and other abstracted stories are given form in printed textiles, sound installations and sculpture.

The Heart of The Matter was conceived by artist Sofie Layton and bioengineer Giovanni Biglino, and developed with health psychologist Jo Wray. The work is produced by Susie Hall (GOSH Arts), Nicky Petto and Anna Ledgard in association with Artsadmin, and is supported by the Wellcome Trust, the Blavatnik Family Foundation, Above&Beyond, Great Ormond Street Hospital Children’s Charity and using public funding by the National Lottery through Arts Council England. With thanks to RapidformRCA and 3D Life Print.

Find out more online on the exhibition website.


Registration: ‘Writing Recoveries: International Conference for Writing Interventions for Mental Health’, Glasgow

Date: 3pm, Wed 21st March – 5pm Friday 23rd March 2018

Location: Level 5, Sir Alywn William Building, University of Glasgow, G12 8RZ

What is the relationship between Creative Writing and Mental Illness? How can creative writing provide a route to recovery for sufferers of mental illness?

Dr Carolyn Jess-Cooke from University of Glasgow leads this three-day international exploration of research in the field of creative writing in therapeutic contexts. Writer and illustrator Debi Gliori will discuss her new book, NIGHT SHIFT, an illustrated book on depression, in the University Chapel on Wed 21st March at 6pm (see this coverage in Stylist of her stunning approach). Two distinguished experts, Professor Joshua M. Smyth (Opening Up by Writing It Down) and James Withey (The Recovery Letters) will be giving keynote addresses on the morning of 22nd and 23rd March.

Tickets are free but limited: book your place now hereIf you cannot participate in person but would like to receive a weblink to engage in live streamed events and/or receive podcasts, please email Carolyn Jess-Cooke at

Other invited participants include: Jay Griffiths, author of Tristimania; Dr Sophie Nicholls, Lecturer in Creative Writing at Teeside University; author Stephanie Butland (Lost for Words); Claire Williamson, Director of the ‘Creative Writing for Therapeutic Purposes’ MSc programme at the Metanoia Institute; Lapidus Chair Clare Scott.

Funded by the British Academy/Leverhulme Trust.

Follow on Twitter! @writedepression

CFP: Emerging and New Researchers in the Geographies of Health and Impairment Conference 2018, Bristol

Location: University of Bristol

Date: 18th – 19th June 2018

Deadline: 16th April 2018.

Papers are invited for 19th ENRGHI Conference, a two-day event organised by and for post-graduates and early career researchers, with generous support from the RGS (with IBG) Geographies of Health and Wellbeing Research Group (GHWRG). This longstanding conference offers a supportive environment to showcase research; providing valuable opportunities for networking, research feedback and discussion with researchers and students who have a shared interest in geographies of health, wellbeing, and impairment.

Attracting an international audience, the conference welcomes abstracts from individuals involved in health or wellbeing research within social, geographical, and/or environmental contexts. We invite submissions from both those working within and outside of geography as a discipline. The 2018 conference will take place on the 18th and 19th June 2018, hosted by the University of Bristol.

Conference papers can be based on work-in-progress or completed work. PhD students are encouraged to focus on a particular study aspect, such as a specific method, a literature review, or one aspect of empirical findings, rather than trying to cover their whole project.

The scope of the conference is broad in order to reflect the diversity of topics and research approaches utilised within the field of health, wellbeing, and impairment. Topics covered in previous conferences have included:

  • Health inequalities, environmental justice, and equity
  • Therapeutic landscapes, green/blue and ‘enabling’ spaces
  • Health and wellbeing through the life course
  • Mental health, everyday life, disability, and stigma
  • Migration, mobilities, and health
  • Health-related behaviours and practices
  • Health-care delivery and access to services
  • Health, mapping, and spatial analysis
  • Health and health care in the Developing World

Additional topics of interest could include but are by no means limited to:

  • Health tourism
  • Healthy ‘norms’, socio-cultural dynamics, and moral judgements
  • Traditional medicine and healing
  • Environmental exposures and risk perception
  • Innovative methods for exploring geographies of health and impairment

Guidelines for Submissions:

Abstracts should be no longer than 250 words. Please also provide the title, author(s), and affiliation. Oral presentations will be 10 minutes, followed by five minutes of discussion. Posters should be A0 in size and there will be designated time slots for poster presentations during the conference. Please state whether you are interested in doing a presentation, poster and/or chairing a session. Abstracts should be emailed to the organisers with the subject title as ENRGHI CfP by Monday 16th April 2018.

Prizes for the best presentations will be nominated by delegates and awarded at the end of the conference. Details of registration and travel bursaries will be made available in March on the ENRGHI 2018 website.