Literature and Pathology, May 22-24 2009

full name / name of organization: 
University of California, Davis
contact email: 

CFP: "Literature and Pathology," UC Davis
University of California, Davis Medical Center (Sacramento, CA)
May 22-24, 2009
Deadline: April 5th, 2009

Keynote Speakers:
Professor Bettyann Kevles (Yale, History).
Professor Mark Micale (University of Illinois, History).

We invite paper proposals for a conference on "Literature and Pathology." This conference is a venue for productive interdisciplinary discussions of the representations and narrations of pathology in literature. This conference emphasizes genuine interdisciplinarity, bringing the perspectives of scholars from the sciences, the social sciences and the humanities to bear on textual manifestations of illness. Texts under scrutiny may include fiction, film, poetry, pathography, or cultural documents such as case studies, political tracts or advertisements.

Questions to be addressed may include:
1. How do authors translate illness into written narrative?
2. What are the stakes of examining literary representations of pathology from scientific as well as symbolic perspectives?
3. In what ways and to what ends do texts pathologize "the Other"?
4. How are texts, or practices of reading, depicted as pathological/ contagious?

Possible paper topics include:
Altered states
Imaging the body
Food and Pathology
Drugs and cures
Chronic Pain

Abstracts of no more than 250 words should be submitted with a one page CV either electronically in the body of an email or as an attachment in .doc or .pdf format by April 5th, 2009 to