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3-5 June 2020
Northumbria University, Newcastle upon Tyne, UK

Northumbria University is organising a conference exploring interactivity between health and the written word, whether it be representations of medical practitioners in literature and art, or creative works written by medical people. The interdisciplinary nature of the subject invites work on cultural, economic and gender history, as well as literary, visual and
performing arts. We welcome proposals from researchers across a range of disciplines and stages of career, including early career and student scholars. Please send proposals of no more than 300 words, accompanied by a short biography, to writingdocs18@gmail.com by Friday 21st February 2020. Papers will be invited on a wide variety of relevant topics. A selection of revised papers is expected to be published as part of the project outputs.

You can download the full CFP here. Further details can be found on the event's website.

Leuven, May 18-19 2020

First keynote speaker: Prof. Angelique Richardson (University of Exeter).
Second keynote speaker to be announced later.

During the late 19th and early 20th century evolutionary theory and new insights in heredity were becoming increasingly influential in social debates. Theories of Darwin, Spencer, Lamarck and Mendel were used to address anxieties about degeneration across Europe. Eugenicists sought to improve both the individual and the nation by influencing processes of procreation and selection so as to bring about the ‘ideal’ human race. Literary authors too raised their voices in this widespread concern with private and public health, the body and the future of the race. They addressed these concerns in highbrow modernist writings, social stories, courtship plots, family sagas, bildungsroman or art novels and used eugenic discourse and biological theories in doing so. The result is, of course, not a homogeneous body of eugenic literature. To the contrary, eugenic and genetic theories were deployed, commented on and disseminated in a variety of ways. Male and female authors used eugenic theories to take radically different stances within the woman question, but women writers too were often divided as to how eugenic insights could best be used for feminist purposes.

This conference aims at a better understanding of the different ways in which eugenic theories were used to address questions related to gender and sexuality in European literature from 1880 to 1935. Eugenic theories circulated across Europe, but the reception and response by literary writers was often very different. Similarly, the woman question that emerged at the end of the 19th century, was debated in different ways in different European countries and this also shaped literature’s intervention in these debates. By bringing together these different perspectives, the conference hopes to achieve a more nuanced and comprehensive picture of the intersections between eugenics and literature around the turn of the 20th century.

We invite papers about all European literary traditions that address such questions as the following:

  • How is the new biological and genetic knowledge presented and mediated in literary texts?
  • How is the discourse of eugenics deployed in literary texts?
  • How are eugenic theories used to serve the emancipation of women in society or, conversely, how are they used to argue for traditional gendered divisions and roles?
  • How did evolution and eugenics shape feminist ideas in literature?
  • How did the use of eugenic theories change across the period?

Topics might include (but are not limited to)

  • Debates on motherhood, reproductive health, pregnancy, breast feeding, birth control, family planning and abortion
  • Representations of illness, feeblemindedness, degeneracy and insanity
  • Atavism, Hereditary diseases, family health and genetics
  • Evolution and sexual difference
  • Biological essentialism
  • Representations of women doctors and nurses
  • Depictions of female ancestry and lines of heredity
  • Degenerate masculinity and ‘fit’ manhood
  • Eugenic partner choice

This symposium is organized in the context of a large comparative research project, Literary Knowledge, 1890-1950: Modernisms and the Sciences in Europe , by the research lab MDRN at the University of Leuven in Belgium. Please send an abstract (350 words) and a short bio to Fatima Borrmann (fatima.borrmann@kuleuven.be) by 31 January 2020. The presentation of papers should not exceed 20 minutes.

Full AHRC Collaborative Doctoral Award funding for a new PhD project on eugenics, class and racism in Britain - Eugenics at the Royal Society 1860-1950 - in collaboration with the Royal Society. The PhD studentship will start in September 2020. Applicants will usually have a first degree and an MA or other professional experience. 
 
More details can be found here: https://www.sww-ahdtp.ac.uk/prospective-students/collaborative-doctoral-awards/ and application guidance can be found here: https://www.sww-ahdtp.ac.uk/prospective-students/apply/.  The deadline is Monday 27th January.  Anyone wanting to hear more about the project would be most welcome to contact Professors Angelique Richardson A.Richardson@exeter.ac.uk or David Stack d.a.stack@reading.ac.uk.

We have been asked to circulate the CFP for the 2020 ESCL/SELC Conference, to be held on 24-27 November at the University of Torino. The conference website is here!

In view of the recent university strikes in Britain, the BSLS and the conference organisers have made the decision to extend the CFP deadline for our annual conference. The new deadline is the 19th of this month! Full details of the conference, which will take place at Sheffield next year, can be found here.

The BSLS, its members, and the work they produce all suffer in various ways as a result of the casualisation, marketisation, and workload pressures against which the strike was set. If you would like to read more about the dispute, one place to start is here.

27 January 2020, Council Room, Trent Building, University of Nottingham

Emailnightingale2020@nottingham.ac.uk

Websitehttps://www.nottingham.ac.uk/Conference/fac-arts/Humanities/History/The-Home-in-History/index.aspx.aspx

Keynote speaker: Professor Jane Hamlett, Royal Holloway

CFP deadline: 22 November 2019

The University of Nottingham's AHRC-funded project 'Florence Nightingale Comes Home for 2020' (see www.florencenightingale.org) is arranging the second of a series of three thematic project workshops. Following the first successful event on nineteenth-century healthcare, this second workshop seeks to examine, from multiple disciplinary perspectives, the broad theme of 'Home' and its applicability as a prism through which to understand historical change.

'Home' is an elusive notion, lacking a permanent definition; it is a concept that is manifested through specific places and at specific times yet also transcends these. Edwin Heathcote, in The Meaning of Home (2012), wrote that homes are 'receptacles of both personal and collective memory, containers of meaning and symbol'. The history of the home unavoidably overlaps with histories of gender, work and architecture, geographies of mobility, and cultural and literary readings of concepts such as domesticity, the family, and privacy. In recent decades, these concepts have become fundamental to readings of modern social history, not least in the nineteenth century. For example, scholars use domesticity as a prism through which to investigate the history of public buildings, institutions and public spaces, alongside the Foucauldian paradigm of power and control. 

The case of Florence Nightingale demonstrates the richness and elasticity of the term ‘home’. Home for Nightingale meant variously a childhood sanctuary, a prison constraining women's energy, the object of sanitary reform, a communal place for nurses to live and study, a spiritual refuge, and the place one went to after death. These ideas will be explored in the forthcoming book Florence Nightingale At Home, to be published by Palgrave Macmillan in 2020.

While the team's focus is on nineteenth-century Britain, the workshop welcomes contributions from a range of periods and locations. Papers are invited from specialists in history, literature, geography, architecture, material culture, or other scholars with new/distinctive perspectives on the history and culture of the home.

Contributors are invited to address the following questions:

  • What has been the historical relationship between (ideas of) home and the built environment? How do changing uses of space, furniture and decoration reflect ideological/cultural/historical patterns?
  • What tensions can be observed between ideologies of domesticity on the one hand, and life in non-family based institutions on the other?
  • What has 'home' meant in such institutions as: hospitals, convents, boarding schools, asylums, military barracks, prisons, factories?
  • How have ideas of 'homeliness' been challenged/modified/subverted at different times?
  • How far is 'home' a useful concept for understanding national, cultural, or ideological histories?
  • How has home been represented and contested in literature and popular culture? To what extent have these depictions of home influenced other forms of discourse, for example health discourse?

Practical details

- An abstract of no more than 300 words along with a short (1-2 page) CV should be sent to Richard.Bates1@nottingham.ac.uk or nightingale2020@nottingham.ac.uk by Friday 22 November 2019.

- The workshop is fully funded as part of the AHRC Research Grant-funded project ‘Florence Nightingale Comes Home for 2020: an historico-literary analysis of her family life’, grant ref AH/R00014X/1. (www.florencenightingale.org)

- There will be no charge for attendance.

- Applications from PhD students and early career researchers are welcomed.

- A limited number of travel bursaries are available for travel within the UK. To apply, please include an estimate of your travel costs in your email application.

Agustí Nieto-Galan, Professor of History of Science at Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona, sends word of a new call for participation in an edited volume on Flammarion in Latin America. The full call - in Spanish - is here.

The full programme for this year's Extinctions and Rebellions symposium - to take place on Nov 16th 2019 at the University of Liverpool - can now be downloaded here!

If you'd like to attend, tickets are still available. They are free, but you need to sign up at this link.

More details about our annual symposium can be found on this page.

Tuesday 29 October, 7-8.30pm
The Royal Institution, 21 Albemarle Street, London W1S 4BS

In autumn 1933, Albert Einstein found himself living alone in an isolated holiday hut in rural England. There, he toiled peacefully at mathematics while occasionally stepping out for walks or to play his violin. But how had Einstein come to abandon his Berlin home and go ‘"on the run"? Andrew Robinson tells the story of the world’s greatest scientist and Britain for the first time, showing why Britain was the perfect refuge for Einstein from rumoured assassination by Nazi agents.

For tickets (£7-16) and more info, please click here.

Wednesday 8th and Thursday 9th April 2020

Kelvin Hall, University of Glasgow, Scotland

https://phpiglasgow.wixsite.com/website | @phpi_glasgow

Deadline for abstracts: midnight Friday 29th November 2019

Public Health, Private Illness is a two-day interdisciplinary medical humanities conference for early career researchers and postgraduate students. 

We live in a climate of public health crises. Debates rage over the future of the NHS. Vaccination has become politicised. Concerns are mounting about emerging infectious diseases and antimicrobial resistance in an age of globalisation. At the same time, new ways of conceiving of health and illness at an individual level have emerged. Neoliberal policy focuses on individual risk and lifestyle interventions. Social movements like neurodiversity, mad pride or body positivity challenge medical discourses and rework difference as identity rather than pathology. 

We want to interrogate the public/private distinction within health, medicine and wellbeing, and to examine the many and complex intersections between public health ideals and the individual experience of health, illness, body and mind. We are particularly interested in debating marginalised and non-traditional perspectives on what can sometimes be a well-trodden debate.

Alongside panels, the conference includes a number of optional and less formal sessions on the conference theme. These include: a book-making workshop; a zine handling and discussion workshop, a creative writing workshop, and museum object-handling session, and a death cafe discussion. 

We are also hosting a poetry and fiction reading event on the Wednesday evening (venue TBC). This event is open to the public and will allow us to explore creative responses to the conference theme in a more informal, non-academic context. More information to follow soon for those interested in reading their work at this event.

Keynote Speaker: Dr Chisomo Kalinga, University of Edinburgh - ‘No man is an island’: Understanding Indigenous and African perspectives of personal wellbeing within Global Health Studies

Possible topics: We are open to proposals from a variety of backgrounds and time periods from scholars whose work concerns issues of health, illness, medicine and care. This includes cultural, literary, historical, linguistic, philosophical, theological and political approaches as well as practice-based responses to the theme and humanities work from within medical and veterinary science and practice. All approaches are welcome.

Topics may include, but are not limited to:

  • public health campaigns and social health movements, including those which challenge medical discourses
  • conceptions of health, fitness and wellbeing
  • body, mind, and (inter)subjectivity
  • issues of conformism and resistance within medicine
  • health inequalities and stigma
  • nursing and other modes of care; the role of allied health care professionals
  • mental health, madness and psychological disorder
  • dying, death, hospice and end-of-life care

Abstracts: We welcome modes of presentation beyond conventional 20-minute papers including readings, performances, displays and posters as well as less formal 10-minute papers as provocations for discussion. Proposals for 20-minute papers or 10-minute provocations should include a 250-word abstract and a 100-word biography with contact information. Proposals for other formats should include a title, brief description and 100-word biography and contact details. Please do not feel constrained by the conventions of your discipline. All submissions and enquiries should be sent to PHPIGlasgow@gmail.com by midnight on Friday 29th November 2019.

Cost: This conference is free to attend. In addition, a limited number of travel bursaries are available. If you wish to be considered for a bursary, please include a 100-word justification with your proposal, outlining how you will be travelling to the conference and how attending is relevant to your studies/career. 

Venue: The conference will be held at Kelvin Hall in Glasgow’s West End, minutes away from the University of Glasgow. It is easily accessible: the Kelvin Hall travel guide includes detailed information about travel by bus, car, foot, bicycle, train and subway.

Accessibility: Kelvin Hall is fully wheelchair accessible. There is a hearing assistance system for the lecture theatre and step free access to the speaker's area. There is an onsite quiet room, a parents’ room and accessible changing room. Please view the Kelvin hall floor plan or the Accessable guide (which includes detailed information and photographs) for more information. Contact us at PHPIGlasgow@gmail.com if you would like to discuss your accessibility needs further.

Organisers: This conference is organised by the Medical Humanities ECR Group at the Medical Humanities Research Centre, University of Glasgow. It is generously funded by the University of Glasgow’s College of Arts and the British Society for Literature and Science.

Please direct any questions to PHPIGlasgow@gmail.com

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