September 13, 2020
Opportunity: Call for Papers - Futures ahead (Linköping University, Sweden)

Futures ahead - Translation and collaboration between medicine, the social sciences, and the humanities

Please note the change of dates due to the Corona pandemic

New Date: June 16-18, 2021.

Location: Linköping University, Sweden

New Deadline for Abstracts: Dec 21, 2020. Please submit your abstract to:

Authors of abstracts will be notified of acceptance or rejection no later than Jan 29, 2021.

Registration opens: February 1, 2021.

Deadline for Registration: April 1, 2021.

Organized by: the Centre for Medical Humanities and Bioethics at Linköping University.


Professor Jane Macnaughton, Institute for Medical Humanities, Durham University;

Professor Jonathan Metzl, Center for Medicine, Health, and Society, Vanderbilt University;

Professor Kari Nyheim Solbrække, Institute of Health and Society, Oslo University;

Professor Kristin Zeiler, Department of Thematic Studies: Technology and Social Change, Linköping University.

About the conference - We invite researchers within the fields of the humanities, the social sciences, and medicine who are seeking to discuss the potential of collaboration, common goals and possible challenges in the field of medical humanities, broadly understood. We also welcome other stakeholders such as patients, health practitioners, and policy makers.

Why this conference? Health challenges and collaboration - Facing the rapid introduction of innovations and new techniques in biotechnology, the medical and healthcare systems are being transformed in numerous ways. The goal of personalised medicine, tailored to fit the needs of the individual patient, and a striving towards equality in health are faced by such trends as a restructuring of welfare states, the rise of health consumerism, and an increase in the number of patients suffering from complex diseases. It is also becoming increasingly possible to screen for and identify risk groups and previously unrecognised symptoms in healthy, asymptomatic populations. And the Corona pandemic raises ethical, philosophical and socio-cultural questions in need of being addressed. Further, the World Health Organization has identified multiple global health challenges including outbreaks of communicable diseases and humanitarian crises caused by environmental pollution and climate change. The call for collaboration between medicine, the social sciences and the humanities has never been stronger.

Conference topics - The research field of the medical humanities, understood broadly, encompasses the humanities and the interpretative social sciences in and of medicine. It also undertakes inquiries at the intersection of medicine, the humanities, and the social sciences. The research field commonly sets out from the premises that sociocultural, ethical, and political aspects influence the development and use of medical technologies and the production of medical knowledge, and that such technologies and knowledge production also raise sociocultural, ethical and political questions. Scholars in this field also examines experiences of illness, suffering, and bodily and functional variations, and acknowledges that such experiences can raise existential questions. They offer tools to engage with questions of meaning, subjectivity, agency, ethics, and power. These are also central themes at this conference.

Topics at the conference will include, but not be limited to:

Subjectivity, intersubjectivity and the lived experiences of embodiment, illness, pain, pregnancy, birth, and dying

Affectivity and agency

Norms, values and sociocultural assumptions about bodies, body parts, sex, race/ethnicity, gender, and specific diseases

Ethical analysis of/within medicine

Equality in healthcare

Structural discrimination within the healthcare services

The co-production of society, medicine, science, and policy making

Cultural diversity and concepts of health, disease, and illness

Knowledge production in medicine and the medical humanities

Local and global health challenges

Translation between medical research and clinical practice

Challenges and potentials in collaboration across research disciplines and professions

Reference: Futures ahead at Linköping University, Sweden.