CFP: [Gender Studies] "Literature and Medicine: Women in the Medical Profession"- a special issue of gender forum

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gender forum

Call for Papers for the Special Issue of Gender Forum
“Literature and Medicine: Women in the Medical Profession”

This special issue of gender forum focuses on the intersections between
medicine, literature, and gender, also taking into account the relevance of
ethnicity and class. The interest in the interface of literature and
medicine from the specific point of view of gender is triggered by the
intriguing similarities between the medical and literary disciplines. The
doctor, like the literary scholar, is faced with a text, a narrative voiced
by the patient either through language or bodily symptoms. In order to
understand this narrative, the doctor, like the scholar, needs to listen
closely, to examine the constituents of the narrative carefully, to
consider the subjectivity of the narrative, to read between the lines, and
to interpret ambiguities coded in metaphorical language. The relationship
between reader and text â€" on both levels â€" is embedded in the gender matrix
of a given context. Furthermore, Sontag’s analysis of the ways in which
illnesses are used as metaphors to express social, political, moral, or
cultural crises offers fruitful ground for discussion.
We invite papers that discuss both the situation and positions of women in
the medical world â€" for example, as patients, doctors, nurses â€" and the
representation of these situations in literature.

Possible topics include, but are not limited to, discussions of
- patient narratives
- women doctors
- doctor-patient relationships
- nursing the nation
- engendering the hospital
- women and madness
- illness as a metaphor
- the female body as subject to discourses of health, in regard to
   pregnancy and birth
   (cosmetic) surgery
   breast cancer
   food and eating habits affecting women (e.g. bulimia, anorexia, weight

Contributions by medical practitioners, scholars of medical history as well
as by scholars of literature, culture, media, history, and related
disciplines are invited.
Please send a 200-word proposal as well as a 200-word CV by March 1, 2009
to The final paper in MLA format is due on
April 30, 2009. The issue is scheduled to appear in the summer of 2009.
Articles should conform to the “gender forum” style sheet (available for
download at and should
not exceed 8,000 words in length. Please include a bio-blurb of 5 to 10
lines and an abstract of 10 to 15 lines. Use endnotes and fully documented
references at the end of the article. For further information on the
journal, please visit our homepage at
or contact us via email at

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Received on Mon Jan 19 2009 - 09:42:28 EST