We invite researchers within the fields of the humanities, the social sciences, and medicine who are seeking to discuss the potential of collaboration, common goals and possible challenges in the field of medical humanities, broadly understood. We also welcome other stakeholders such as patients, health practitioners, and policy makers. The conference is organized by the Centre for Medical Humanities and Bioethics, Linköping University.
Why this conference? Health challenges and collaboration
Facing the rapid introduction of innovations and new techniques in biotechnology, the medical and healthcare systems are being transformed in numerous ways. The goal of personalised medicine, tailored to fit the needs of the individual patient, and a striving towards equality in health are faced by such trends as a restructuring of welfare states, the rise of health consumerism, and an increase in the number of patients suffering from complex diseases. It is also becoming increasingly possible to screen for and identify risk groups and previously unrecognised symptoms in healthy, asymptomatic populations.
Further, the Corona pandemic raises ethical, philosophical and sociocultural questions that must be addressed, and the World Health Organization has identified multiple global health challenges, including outbreaks of communicable diseases and humanitarian crises caused by environmental pollution and climate change. The call for collaboration between medicine, the social sciences and the humanities has never been stronger.
The research field of the medical humanities, understood broadly, encompasses the humanities and the interpretative social sciences in and of medicine. The field undertakes inquiries at the intersection of medicine, the humanities, and the social sciences. It sets out from the premises that sociocultural, ethical, and political aspects influence the development and use of medical technologies and the production of medical knowledge, and that such technologies and knowledge production also raise sociocultural, ethical and political questions. The field also examines experiences of illness, suffering, and bodily and functional variations, and acknowledges that such experiences can raise existential questions. It offers suitable tools to engage with questions of meaning, subjectivity, agency, ethics, and power.
Topics at the conference will include, but not be limited to:
- Subjectivity, intersubjectivity and the lived experiences of embodiment, illness, pain, pregnancy, birth, and dying
- Affectivity and agency
- Norms, values and sociocultural assumptions about bodies, body parts, sex, race/ethnicity, gender, and specific diseases
- Ethical analysis of/within medicine
- Equality in healthcare
- Structural discrimination within the healthcare services
- The co-production of society, medicine, science, and policy making
- Cultural diversity and concepts of health, disease, and illness
- Knowledge production in medicine and the medical humanities
- Local and global health challenges
- Translation between medical research and clinical practice
- Challenges and potentials in collaboration across research disciplines and professions
We invite papers that seek to contribute to the conversation on critical intersections of the humanities, the social sciences, and medicine.