CFP - Transatlantic Studies - Topographies of Medicine

deadline for submissions: 
February 1, 2023
full name / name of organization: 
RCC at Harvard



April 28th – 29th 2023

Real Colegio Complutense at Harvard (Cambridge, MA)

Medical humanities flourished as an interdisciplinary field of its own in the last decades, exploring human health and disease through the methods and materials of literary and cultural studies. In the words of Edmund Pellegrino, one of the founding figures of modern medical ethics, “medicine is the most humane of sciences, the most scientific of the humanities” (“Foni phronimos - An interview with Edmund D. Pellegrino”). In fact, as Rita Charon and Peter Williams would affirm, the humanities give physicians the ability “to reach to the heart of human learning about meaning, life and death” (“The Humanities and Medical Education,” 758). By analyzing what makes us ill we can shed light on what makes us thrive, by disseminating the reasons that lead us to create life, we can open spaces to dialogue on how to manage it. Medical humanities contemplate health and illness in a holistic way: finding spaces of convergence and divergence in all of them. Therefore, medical humanities respond to the necessity to understand how illness is viewed through the prism of literary works and cultural media.

At the Fifth International Conference in Transatlantic Studies: “Topographies of Medicine,” we hope to elucidate the connections between medicine and literature in Transatlantic culture and examine their points of contact and mutual influence. This conference will bring together scholars from a myriad of disciplines in the humanities working on American, Latin American, and/or European humanities studies as well as the medical field to explore the interrelationship of medicine and the humanities within their disciplines and in doing so build connections between both shores of the Atlantic. We welcome proposals for panels and individual papers that probe the encounter of medicine with literary and cultural productions.

Issues to explore include, but are not limited to:

Medical creations

Narratives of the body


Psychological illnesses

Gender, sexuality, and medicine

Spaces of treatment

Addiction and its aftermath

State control of illnesses and bodies

Deconstructing medicine: the medical genre in literature and culture

Narratives of illness and stories of sickness

From medical to literary: physicians’ accounts of illness

Narratives of death

Medical destructions

The conference will be held on April 28th and 29th at the Real Colegio Complutense at Harvard in Cambridge, Massachusetts. The official language of the conference will be English.

KEYWORDS: Literature, Humanities, American Studies, Latin American Studies, Spanish Studies, Latino Studies, Anglo-American Studies, History, Space, Medical Humanities, Medicine, Critical Discourse Studies, Media Studies, Sociolinguistics, Ideology and Language.

ABSTRACT INSTRUCTIONS Abstracts must be between 250 and 300 words. A brief bio note of approximately 150-200 words must be included. A list of 5 keywords must be included. Abstracts must be submitted to before February 1st, 2023, at midnight – United States EST.

The Executive Committee will notify applicants about the selection of submissions no later than February 15th, 2023. Formats for sessions: a) 20-minute individual paper; b) Chaired panels with three participants; c) Round tables

REGISTRATION Speakers must pay a registration fee: - Before March 15th, 2023: $80 - After March 15th, 2023: $100

Please, feel free to share this image with anybody who might be interested. We hope to see you in Cambridge in 2023. 


The Executive Committee

David Yagüe González

Cristina Pérez-Arranz