Medical Humanities: Health and Disease in Culture Area at PCA/ACA April 20-23, 2011

full name / name of organization: 
Jennifer Tebbe-Grossman, Popular Culture Association/American Culture Association
contact email: 

Medical Humanities: Health and Disease in Culture Area
San Antonio Marriott Rivercenter and Riverwalk Hotels
San Antonio Texas
April 20-23, 2011


The "Medical Humanities: Health and Disease in Culture" area for the 2011 Popular Culture Association/American Culture Association meeting in San Antonio, Texas examines topics related to the portrayal of health and disease in cultural discourse. Proposals representing humanities and the arts (e.g., literature, history, film, visual arts) or social sciences (e.g., anthropology, cultural studies, sociology, print or electronic journalism) perspectives in historical or contemporary contexts are welcome.

Individual or full panel proposals are considered. Subject areas might include but are not limited to:

historical and contemporary narratives of chronic illness (e.g., cancer, diabetes, Alzheimer's)

historical and contemporary narratives of infectious diseases, epidemics, pandemics (e.g., polio, malaria, tuberculosis, HIV/AIDs, the 1918 flu, H1N1 flu, Avian flu)

stories of illness from patient and health practitioner perspectives in novels, short stories, memoirs, graphic novels/ memoirs, etc., discussed in larger sociocultural (ethnicity, race, gender, class), and political (health care system) contexts

representations of the body in popular culture genres

disability narratives in literature, history, popular culture

representations of health institutions, health practitioners, or interdisciplinary/interprofessional health teams in historical and contemporary perspectives

health care reform discourse (e.g., "patient-centered" health care, disability rights, health care access, national health insurance, health disparities)

pharmaceuticals and pharmaceutical industry (e.g., use, misuse, popular perceptions, promotion and marketing, pharmaceuticals and meanings of illness and wellness, drug development or regulation)

historical and contemporary perspectives on the promotion of health through diet, exercise, personal or domestic hygiene, cosmetic procedures, public health campaigns, etc.

public health issues (e.g., access to water and safety; hunger and food safety; smoking; obesity; bedbugs, dirt and germs; antibiotic resistance; environment, place, and health

technological innovations and their relation to popular audiences (e.g., MRI and radiation access, safety, and overuse; electronic health records; disease surveillance systems)

globalization and approaches to health care (e.g., medical or dental tourism, globalization of disease, emerging or re-emerging infectious diseases)

We hope to see a panel on teaching health and disease at the San Antonio conference.

DEADLINE for proposal submissions: DECEMBER 15, 2009.
Please send abstracts of 250 words to:

Jennifer Tebbe-Grossman
Professor of Political Science and American Studies
School of Arts and Sciences
Massachusetts College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences-Boston
179 Longwood Avenue
Boston, MA 02115
Fax: 617-732-2959 or 617-732-2801
Phone: 617-732-2904