Health and Illness in Culture

full name / name of organization: 
Center for the Study of Languages and Cultures (CSLC), Taipei Medical University (TMU), Taiwan
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TMU Language and Culture Forum 2012: Health and Illness in Culture
Taipei Medical University, Taiwan
Friday, December 21, 2012

The "TMU Language and Culture Forum 2012: Health and Illness in Culture" invites a wide variety of topics related to representations of health and narratives in culture. Interdisciplinary proposals representing humanities and the arts (e.g., literature, history, film, visual arts) or social sciences (e.g., anthropology, cultural studies, sociology) or medical related fields (e.g., public health, nursing, medicine, pharmarcy) perspectives through historical or contemporary contexts are welcome. This one-day conference emphasizes the pursuit of understanding of health and illness and the exploration of the social and cultural contexts in which we all live in.
Subject areas might include but are not limited to:
-Stories of illness from patient and health practitioner perspectives in novels, short stories, memoirs, graphic novels, etc., discussed in larger sociocultural (ethnicity, race, gender, class), and political (health care system) contexts;

-Historical and contemporary narratives of illness in films; TV comedy, drama, reality programming; advertising; marketing; news media; web and social media;

-Historical and contemporary representations of stigmas of illness in popular culture genres; representation and misrepresentation in health professional education and practice;

-Disability narratives in literature, history, popular culture;

-Representations of health institutions or health practitioners in historical and contemporary perspectives;

-Health care reform discourse (e.g., public debate over national health insurance in electoral politics, disability rights "patient-centered" health care, medical homes, health care access, health disparities, electronic medical records);

-Pharmaceuticals and pharmaceutical industry (e.g., drug/prescription/OTC use, misuse, popular perceptions, promotion and marketing; pharmaceuticals and meanings of illness and wellness; drug development or regulation; clinical trials);

-Historical and contemporary perspectives on public health "threats";

-Historical and contemporary representations of promotion of health through such strategies as diet, exercise, personal or domestic hygiene, positive psychology;

-Historical and contemporary narratives of epidemics, pandemics, emerging and re-emerging diseases;

-Cultural representations of aging, forgetting, obesity, smoking, addictions, antibiotic resistance, radiation, cancer, life science, and general medical issues.

-Reflections on life, bio-life, biopolitics, post genomic life, posthuman and cloned lives.

Contributions from interdisciplinary and single disciplines are welcome.
Individual or full panel proposals are considered.
Please email your 250-word proposal and a CV to Chung-jen Chen at by 15 July 2012.
Proposals for complete panels with three related presentations are also welcome. Please feel free to email with enquiries.
Graduate Institute of Humanities in Medicine, TMU
College of Liberal Arts, TMU