Literature and the Healing Arts/Medicine (11/1/06; CEA, April 5-7, 2018)

deadline for submissions: 
November 1, 2017
full name / name of organization: 
Jill Kinkade/College English Association
contact email: 

Call for Papers for a Special Topics Panel on
"Literature and the Healing Arts / Literature and Medicine" at the 2018
College English Association (CEA) Conference—April 5th to April 7, 2018, at the Hilton, St. Petersburg Bayfront, 333 First Street South, Saint Petersburg, Florida.

The College English Association, a gathering of scholar-teachers in English studies welcomes submissions of proposals on the general Conference theme, OR new submissions on the topic of this special session "Literature and the Healing Arts" for our 49th annual conference. Submit your proposal at

CEA invites proposals from academics in all areas of literature, language, film, composition, pedagogy, and creative, professional, and technical writing. We are especially interested in presentations that build bridges between and among texts, disciplines, people, cultures, media, languages, and generations.

The primary conference theme for 2018 is ”Bridges” and we are using as a focal point these lines by the pre-eminent American poet, Walt Whitman:


And you O my soul where you stand,

Surrounded, detached, in measureless oceans of space,

Ceaselessly musing, venturing, throwing,

Seeking the spheres to connect them,

Till the bridge you will need be form’d …


For this annual meeting we, at College English Association, ask you to join us in exploring the many bridges that connect places, texts, communities, words and ideas.

Special Topic

This special topic cfp seeks paper proposals exploring the theme of bridges within the area of literature and the healing arts. The healing arts encompass a wide variety of human activities, including medicine, nursing, psychology, social work, alternative therapies, and faith healing. Possible topics may include the bridges between health and sickness, life and death, physician and patient, mind and body, science and the humanities, faith and medicine. What types of bridges are crossed or created as patients and healers pursue mental and physical health? What types of illness experiences or healing arts exist on the margins of our society, and how are they represented in literature? Potential papers may also explore creating medical narratives as a form of therapy, that is, writing as a healing art. How do we “bridge” our health and our art?

For your proposal, you might consider the healing arts and:

  • Bridges between disciplines, languages, or generations
  • Bridges between races, classes, cultures, regions, genders, or sexualities.
  • Cultural or ideological bridges in literary, scholarly, or theoretical works
  • The bridge as construct, form, metaphor, motif, or icon
  • Connections between text and images or sound
  • Bridges between theory and practice, reading and writing, writer and audience
  • Building bridges between teaching and scholarship; faculty and administrators; professors and students
  • Bridges as physical artifacts and symbols of industry and technology
  • Digital humanities as a bridge between worlds
  • What bridges connect, support, and pass over

We also welcome full panel proposals fitting the above panel topic.

General Program

In addition to our conference theme, we also welcome proposals in any and all of the areas English and writing departments encompass.  We also solicit papers on all areas that influence our lives as academics as well as those that address the profession broadly.

Online Submissions

Proposals should be submitted electronically through our conference management database housed at the following web address:

Electronic submissions open August 15 and close on November 1, 2017.  Proposals should be between 250 and 500 words in length and should include a title.  Please note that only one proposal may be submitted per participant.  Notifications of proposal status will be sent in early December.

Submitting electronically involves creating a user ID, then using that ID to log in – this time to a welcome page.  A link then will be provided for submitting your proposal.

A Special Invitation to Graduate Students

Graduate students are encouraged to submit their conference presentation for the CEA Outstanding Graduate Student Paper Award, which carries a small prize. Information on how to submit that paper will be sent to accepted panelists after the membership deadline.  Those who wish to participate are asked to identify themselves as graduate students in their proposals to facilitate the award process.

Join the College English Association

All presenters must join CEA by January 1, 2018 to appear on the program.  To join or to find out more information about the organization and conference, please see the CEA website at

Connect with CEA

  • via Email:
  • via Facebook: www. EnglishAssociation
  • via Twitter:

Sincerely Yours,

Jill Kinkade

Instructor in English

University of Southern Indiana