Calls for Papers: Representing Abortion

Call for papers: Representing Abortion
Edited by Rachel Alpha Johnston Hurst

Deadline for proposals: October 1, 2018

Rosalind Pollack Petchesky argued in 1987 that “feminists and other prochoice advocates have all too readily ceded the visual terrain,” abandoning the field of fetal imagery to antiabortion activists (264).  She called for new fetal images that “recontextualized the fetus” (Petchesky 1987, 287).  Such images would locate the fetus in a body (and a social context) outside of what Carol A. Stabile would later describe as “an inhospitable waste land, at war with the ‘innocent person’ within” that is a dominant theme in antiabortion discourse (1992, 179).  Recently, Shannon Stettner wrote that although there are more ordinary stories about abortion circulating as a political response to threats to abortion access, they are typically anonymous and online, and so it remains a reality that “we are still a long way from a world in which women will not feel obliged to conceal the fact that they had an abortion” (2016, 7).  Even in circumstances that support access to abortion, abortion can remain a secret: invisible and unheard.

How do we represent abortion?  What work does representing abortion do?  Can representing abortion challenge and change conventional reproductive rights understandings of abortion that circulate publicly?  Will reclaiming representations of abortion help publicly express the “things we cannot say” about abortion from a pro-choice perspective, like grief and multiple abortions (Ludlow 2008, p. 29)?  Alternatively, does taking back control of representing abortion from antiabortion activists provide a space to “celebrate” abortion as a central component of reproductive justice (Thomsen 2013, 149)?  This edited collection begins from these questions to consider how artists, writers, performers, and activists create space to make abortion visible, audible, and palpable within contexts dominated by antiabortion imagery centred on the fetus and the erasure of the person considering or undergoing abortion.  This collection will build on the recent exciting proliferation of scholarly work on abortion that investigates the history, politics, and law of abortion, as well as antiabortion movements and experiences of pregnancy loss (Haugeberg 2017; Johnstone 2017; Lind & Deveau 2017; Sanger 2017; Saurette & Gordon 2016; Smyth 2016; Stettner 2016; Stettner, Burnett, & Hay 2017; Watson 2018).  Central to the considerations in this proposed collection is the intellectual and political work that these artworks, texts, performances, and actions do and make possible.  Contemporary and historical analyses are welcomed.

Some possible topics include, but are not limited to:

  • “ordinary” stories about abortion told through a variety of media (e.g. “The Abortion Diaries Podcast” by Melissa Madera; various blogs and websites like “My Abortion. My Life”)
  • abortion memoirs (e.g. Marianne Apostolides’ Deep Salt Water; Kassi Underwood’s May Cause Love: An Unexpected Journey of Enlightenment After Abortion)
  • visual art (e.g. Laia Abril’s On Abortion; Paula Rego’s The Abortion Pastels)
  • making the abortion procedure visible, audible, and palpable in abortion support services (e.g. offering the option to view products of conception; abortion support zines)
  • activist art and performance (e.g. the Abortion Caravan in Canada; Chi Nguyen’s “5.4 MILLION AND COUNTING” quilt in Texas; Maria Campbell’s mixed media art on Prince Edward Island; Heather Ault’s travelling graphic art exhibit4000 Years for Choice; #RepealThe8th protest art in Ireland)
  • plays (e.g. Julia Samuels’ I Told My Mum I Was Going On An RE Trip; Jane Martin’s Keely and Du)
  • films (e.g. Poppy Liu’s Names of Women; Tracy Droz Tragos’ Abortion: Stories Women Tell)

To submit a proposal for inclusion in this collection, please submit a 500 word abstract, a working title, and a 100 word biographical statement to  Proposals must be received on or before October 1, 2018.  Full papers will be invited no later than November 1, 2018, and the abstracts will be used to prepare a book proposal to be submitted to refereed academic publishers.  Complete manuscripts will be due on June 1, 2019, so they can be revised by October 1, 2019 to submit to the publisher.

Lectures: Online CME in the History of Medicine, Johns Hopkins University

The Department of the History of Medicine at Johns Hopkins is proud to introduce new online Continuing Medical Education modules that provide a historical perspective on issues of relevance to clinical practice today.

For more information on these CME modules entitled “Professionalism in Historical Context” and “History of Global Health,” visit

Calls for Papers: Medical Narratives of Ill Health


Humanities special issue: “Medical Narratives of Ill Health”

The field of literature and medicine has been steadily growing over the past four decades, solidifying itself as a vital component of the medical and health humanities. The intersection of literature and medicine enriches how we view issues of health, disease, and care, particularly in how we value the individual’s narrative of health and ill health to help with diagnosis, treatment, and the relationship between the practitioner and the patient. In an attempt to wade through the difficult terrain of defining disease and health, Kenneth Boyd provides the following medical definitions (adapted from Marshall Marinker’s earlier work): “Disease […] is the pathological process, deviation from a biological norm. Illness is the patient’s experience of ill health, sometimes when no disease can be found. Sickness is the role negotiated with society” (Boyd, 1997). What Boyd reveals about these definitions is that one allows for the individual’s experience of ill health (illness), while the other two rely on others’ perceptions of ill health. Thus, he concludes, a clear definition of disease (and even sickness) is elusive: “to call something a disease is a value judgement, relatively unproblematic in cases when it is widely shared, but more contentious when people disagree about it” (Boyd, 1997). This contentious space has widened during the modern medical era (early nineteenth century to the present day), as medical reliance on technology favors an objective identification of disease. However, literary works, through both personal accounts and fictional scenarios, challenge this singular narrative of disease and ill health provided by the medical community.

For this special issue of Humanities, we seek to explore how literature from the early nineteenth century to the present day engages with and challenges modern medical authority when it comes to understanding disease, illness, and sickness. Papers for this special issue of Humanities should focus on narratives—fictional and/or non-fictional (such as medical realism, science fiction, pathographies, medical reports, etc.)—that explore the contentious space of disagreement between medicine, society, and the individual. Authors might consider topics such as: disease as metaphor; social vs. medical definitions of disease; patient agency and individual experiences of illness; challenges to medical technology’s presumed objectivity; representations of contagion and/or public health—or any other topics that relate to better understanding literary representations of disease, illness, and/or sickness.

Articles should be no more than 8000 words, inclusive of notes. The deadline for submission of articles to the guest editor is January 10, 2019: please email articles directly to Amanda M. Caleb at The deadline for final drafts is February 28, 2019, with expected puplication in early Summer 2019. Please consult the journal’s webpage for formatting instructions: 

Dr. Amanda Caleb
Guest Editor

Contact Info: Dr. Amanda M. Caleb, Misericordia University
Contact Email:

Calls for Papers: The Impact of Politics on Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights


Volume 27 Number 54, May 2019

Submission deadline 31 October 2018

RHM is compiling a themed issue to be published in May 2019 on the impact of politics on sexual and reproductive health and rights (SRHR). The purpose of the issue is to assimilate and highlight the consequences of and interconnections between political activities, systems or change on SRHR – whether at global, regional, state, or local levels, and at their intersections, especially in low- and middle-income settings.

The definition of politics is diverse and wide-ranging. Put succinctly by Lasswell in 1936, politics is about ‘who gets what, when and how’1, indicating its close association with power and influence. Politics has many facets. It can be an effective means of expanding evidence-informed action, representation, voice, agency, community engagement, co-operation, and opportunity for progressive change. Perceptions of politics can be negatively and emotionally charged; associated with ideology, dishonesty, self-interest, deceit and the unresponsiveness of institutions. Political activities and their impacts occur at different levels: they may be momentous global events, or they may take place locally, with effects at regional, national or local level. Politics may cause problems, solve them, or both, at the same time. Unintended and unforeseen consequences may result. People and population groups can be differentially affected by political actions in many ways: influencing laws and rights; determining war or peace; defining the distribution of information, wealth and health care; or shaping social cohesion2,3. Political decisions or expressions can have consequences impacting on the lives of individuals, including women and girls, and their ability to exercise and access SRHR. Institutions (such as multilateral organisations or non-government organisations) can also be affected, with changes to funding, established donor mechanisms, programmatic areas and capacity of organizations to engage with SRHR.

We live in a world of constant flux. The quickly changing political contexts of recent years have influenced SRHR discourse, access to rights, funding, services and lived experiences, and will continue to do so. In this call for papers, RHM will accept reviews, research articles, perspectives, commentaries and personal narratives which discuss and highlight positive, negative or mixed impacts of global, regional, national or local politics on SRHR. Submissions which make connections between these different levels will be of interest, for example, how global or regional politics can impact on the national and local. Papers submitted may identify political determinants of SRHR, document different forms of activism or resistance, explore interactions, trace pathways for change, or describe short term, intermediate, long term or ultimate outcomes.

Examples of relevant topics in SRHR related to contemporary political events include:

  • The shift towards right-wing and/or populist politics occurring across many countries and regions
  • The power of the #MeToo social media movement against sexual assault and harassment
  • Reinstatement of the Global Gag Rule prohibiting US funding to foreign organizations that offer abortion services or information
  • Demographic transition in China and its U-turn from a harsh one-child policy, to plans for boosting birth rates
  • The recurrence of widespread violence in Congo, with rape and sexual abuse used to intimidate in a context where lack of public services and transgressions of SRHR committed in the wake of the war in the 1990s remain unaddressed
  • The role of political activism and civil society in Senegal, with documented successes in the control of HIV/AIDS, despite its low-income status as a country
  • The rise in popularity of right wing politics in Costa Rica after the Inter-American Court of Human Rights ruled that gay marriage should be legalised
  • Protests in Iran by women against compulsory covering of their heads in public

The relevance of today’s politics on SRHR is clear, but not always well-documented. In this RHM collection, we aspire to compile and generate a diverse range of perspectives and evidence to inspire debate, inform intervention and effect change that will lead to better lives for people. Politics will determine whose SRHR are protected, when universal health care and respect for rights can be realised, and how it will be achieved.

We would like to remind potential authors of articles that in addition to our regular calls for themed papers, RHM also accepts other papers related to SRHR on an ongoing basis. Some of these may later be brought together or listed as key topics. We accept a wide range of article types, from full research reports to short personal perspectives, letters and book reviews. Please see instructions for authors at:


  1. Lasswell H. Politics: Who Gets What, When, How. London, Whittlesey House, 1936.
  2. WHO. Sexual health, human rights and the law. June 2015.
  3. Miller AM, Gruskin S, Cottingham J, Kismödi E. Sound and Fury ‒ engaging with the politics and the law of sexual rights. Reproductive Health Matters, 2015; 23: 46, 7-15, DOI: 10.1016/j.rhm.2015.11.006
Contact Email:

Jobs: Chief Curator, Dittrick Medical History Center and Museum

Chief Curator
Department: Dittrick Medical History Center and Museum
Position ID: #6800


The Dittrick Medical History Center (center) is dedicated to the study of the medical past through a distinguished collection of rare books, museum artifacts, archives, and images. The Dittrick originated as part of the Cleveland Medical Library Association (est. 1894) and today functions as an interdisciplinary study center within the College of Arts and Sciences of Case Western Reserve University.

The goal of the Dittrick Medical History Center and Museum is to promote historical scholarship in and understanding of the history of medicine and the health sciences, in order to heighten awareness and appreciation of the achievements of Case Western Reserve University in these areas. This is achieved through the collection, preservation, exhibition, and scholarly use of artifacts, books, manuscripts, and images of medical science and health care. The center supports CWRU’s active medical, undergraduate, and graduate academic programs in the history of science, technology, medicine, and medical humanities and bioethics.

The Chief Curator supervises and directs all aspects of the Dittrick Medical History Center and Museum and provides the initiative and leadership to effect the integration of the Dittrick Medical History Center into the life of CWRU, so that this unique facility is consistently a distinguished asset to the University and the community.


  • Design and oversee construction and installation of interpretive museum exhibitions, both in gallery space and online. (15%)
  • Develop the Dittrick collections through the acquisition of significant historical materials that foster understanding and appreciation of the history of medicine and the health sciences. (10%)
  • Conduct a program of scholarly research and publish results. Promote and facilitate teaching and researching at the center. Pursue scholarship in the history of medicine and medical technology. Provide professional leadership in the field of medical museology. (10%)
  • Develop work plans, evaluate needs and resources, set priorities, supervise their implementation and administration, and allocate resources for their most effective and efficient use. Plan future direction of the center. Develop, design and approve policies and procedures. (5%)
  • Provide broad oversight of departmental fiscal planning and budget. Ensure account records are maintained properly and oversee all expenses through ERP Financials. Administer agency accounts for the Friends of the Dittrick Medical History Center. Administer special projects agency account(s). (5%)
  • Supervise staff and student employees. Set goals for performance and deadlines. Organize workflow and ensure employees understand their duties or delegated tasks. Monitor employee performance and provide constructive feedback and coaching. Lead and motivate staff. (5%)
  • Oversee collection development and collection management, including documentation, conservation and storage. Provide for care, preservation, and access to collections. (5%)
  • Develop and direct a program of lectures for the Dittrick. Oversee the funding, administration, and publicity for these lectures. (5%)
  • Assume a leading role in publicizing CWRU’s legacy of achievement and innovation in biomedical science and technology, through the website, exhibits, and publications of the center, as well as a spokesperson on television and radio, and in print media. Direct the development and management of websites for the center and the Cleveland Medical Library Association. (5%)
  • Make recommendations (in association with Cleveland Health Sciences library staff) to the Cleveland Medical Library Association Board of Trustees for the expenditure of funds to enhance the Allen Memorial Medical Library and the center. (5%)
  • In collaboration with the College of Arts and Sciences’ development team, solicit and raise funds for special projects, including exhibits, room renovation, storage renovation, lectures, etc. (5%)
  • Represent CWRU at regional, national, and international meetings. (5%)
  • Establish and direct liaisons with the leadership of local, national and international medical community. Participate in the activities of various organizations; Medical Museums Association, European Association of Museums of the History of Medical Sciences, American Association of the History of Medicine, The Archiviest and Librarians in the History of the Health Sciences, and the Ohio Academy of Medical History. Serve as an ex-officio member of the Board of Trustees of the Cleveland Medical Library Association. (5%)
  • Effect and direct creative synergistic partnerships of the Dittrick with local, regional, and international institutions such as; Cleveland Institute of Art, Cleveland Museum of Natural History, the Western Reserve Historical Society, Ohio Museums Association and the Northeast Ohio Intermuseum Council. (5%)
  • Collaborate with CAS Development Office in planning and facilitating use of the Ditrrick and Allen resources for special functions, dinners, receptions, and conferences. Develop programming for alumni of the university. Provide venue for events and programs of CWRU Alumni Affairs Office and SOM Office of Alumni Affairs. Coordinate with central and CAS Development Offices in hosting fund raising receptions for the college. Solicit prospective donors. (5%)
  • Share responsibility for the physical and aesthetic development of the Allen Memorial Medical Library building. Liaise with university Plant Services and outside contractors in renovations made to the building. Oversee renovations of the Allen Memorial Library space. (5%)


Perform other duties as assigned.


Department: Contact with the Dean and Associate Dean of Development and External Relations in the College of Arts and Sciences. Daily contact with Archivist/Museum Registrar and Photographer and Image Collection Manager. Contact with various professors using the Dittrick collections.

University: Contact with the Director and librarians of the Cleveland Health Sciences Library, special events coordinator, University Library director and collection development librarian, plant services staff, SOM Director of Communications and Director of Alumni Relations, SOM administration and faculty, and staff at various university departments.

External: Contact with the Cleveland Medical Library Association Board of Trustees. Contact with Dittrick Medical History Center volunteers. Contact with museums and national scholars, donors to collections, collectors of medical antiques, granting agencies, medical/historical groups, school groups and the general public.

Students: Contact with graduate and undergraduate students.


Direct supervisory responsibility for the Archivist/Museum Registrar, the Photographer and Image Collection Manager and student employees.


Experience: 5 or more years of experience in special collections, museums, or related experience with administrative responsibilities.

Education/Licensing: PhD in History of Science, Technology or Medicine or related discipline required. Museum studies course work desired.


  • Intellectual capacity for, as well as interest in, the history of medicine as demonstrated by completion of PhD in history of science, technology or medicine.
  • Capability to translate complex information into compelling oral and written presentation, as well as museum gallery exhibitions and online exhibitions, so as to communicate effectively to internal and external audiences and constituencies.
  • Knowledge and conversancy with professional museum standards, practices, and procedures, ranging from collections management to ethical standards of the field.
  • Outstanding management and interpersonal skills; commitment to nurture and motivate staff; ensure staff have opportunities for professional development.
  • Full professional knowledge of the history of science, technology, and medicine, and their social and cultural context, with specific expertise in individual area of scholarly pursuit.
  • Knowledge of research techniques used in examining and evaluating written, pictorial, and artifactual records.
  • Skill in synthesizing and communicating the projects of research using a variety of techniques and media, and to a variety of audiences, ranging from scholarly to general public.
  • Knowledge of exhibit concepts, planning, and implementation.
  • Knowledge of issues and methods of collections documentation, storage, and conservation.
  • Knowledge of a variety of management concepts and techniques coupled with skill in managing and leading staff to implement goals and assure appropriate and equitable treatment of staff.
  • Familiarity with key software, including PastPerfect (for collections management), PowerPoint (for presentations and exhibitions), Microsoft Excel (for accounts), and PeopleSoft (Enterprise Resource Planning and Human Capital Management).
  • Reading knowledge of French or German preferred.
  • Ability to meet consistent attendance.
  • Ability to interact with colleagues, supervisors, and customers face to face.


General office working environment. No adverse conditions.


In employment, as in education, Case Western Reserve University is committed to Equal Opportunity and Diversity. Women, veterans, members of underrepresented minority groups, and individuals with disabilities are encouraged to apply.


Case Western Reserve University provides reasonable accommodations to applicants with disabilities. Applicants requiring a reasonable accommodation for any part of the application and hiring process should contact the Office of Inclusion, Diversity and Equal Opportunity at 216-368-8877 to request a reasonable accommodation. Determinations as to granting reasonable accommodations for any applicant will be made on a case-by-case basis.


CWRU offers a flexible benefits package including tuition waiver for employees and dependents; Respond in confidence, including salary history:, human resources job code #6800.

Conferences: 6th International Congress of Fez on History of medicine in Muslim Heritage

The 6th International Congress of Fez on History of medicine in Muslim Heritage
Medical faculty of Fez. University Sidi Mohammed Benabdellah, Fez, Morocco

It is with great pleasure to announce the above event which will be held during the period from 3-6 October 2018 in Fez, Morocco under the theme “History of surgery in Muslim Heritage».

For more information and abstract submission, please visit the conference website:

Grants: Spring/Summer 2018 Travel Scholarship at Bernard Beck Medical Library, Washington University

The Bernard Becker Medical Library is now accepting applications for the Archives and Rare Books Spring/Summer 2018 travel scholarship.  Researchers living more than 100 miles from St. Louis are eligible to apply for this award of up to $1,000 to help defray the costs of travel, lodging, food, and other expenses associated with using our collections.  Information about Becker Library’s archival and rare book holdings can be found at

For more information and to apply for the travel scholarship, please see the link below:

Calls for Papers: Society for the History of Navy Medicine Conference with Army Medical Department Center of History and Heritage

Over 22-25 March 2018, the Army Medical Department Center of History and Heritage and the Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences along with the Society for the History of Navy Medicine will be co-sponsoring a conference on the medical history of WWI.

It will be hosted at the U.S. Army Medical Department Center and School in San Antonio, Texas.

Presentations on all facets of naval medicine and healthcare related to the war are welcome, to include: historical understandings of navy medicine as practiced by all participants and in all geographic regions; consideration of the repercussions of the war on the practice of navy medicine; navy medicine in various campaigns; effects on the home fronts; postwar navy medical issues; navy mental health issues; the pandemic influenza; and related topics.  A special call is made for papers tied to gender and navy medicine, especially in the context of navy nurses who served in World War I.

Presentations should be 30 minutes long, and two-paper panels are welcome.  Shorter papers are welcomed as well.

A travel grant award for graduate students who wish to present papers at the conference will be offered.  Encourage graduate students to submit papers.  Any facet of naval medicine will be acceptable.

Those interested in presenting in the context of naval medicine please contact the Executive Director of the Society for the History of Navy Medicine, Dr. Annette Finley-Croswhite, Professor of History, Old Dominion University,


Please consider proposing a panel or paper for the upcoming conference in San Antonio.

We want to be present at this important conference in San Antonio, Texas, US

Contact Info: Annette Finley-Croswhite, Ph.D., Executive Director, Society for the History of Navy Medicine, Department of History, Old Dominion University, Norfolk, VA  23529-0091; Email:

Congratulations ACLS Fellows

Congratulations to AAHM members recently award American Council of Learned Societies fellowships:

Evan Ragland – ACLS Fellowship Program
Assistant Professor, History, University of Notre Dame
Experimental Life: Medicine, Science, and the Emergence of a Culture of Experiment

Tamara Venit-Shelton – Frederick Burkhardt Residential Fellowship for Recently Tenured Scholars
Associate Professor, History, Claremont McKenna College
Herbs and Roots: A History of Chinese Medicine in the United States

Adam Warren – ACLS Collaborative Research Fellowship
Associate Professor, History, University of Washington
Postmortem Cesarean Operations and the Spread of Fetal Baptism in the Spanish and Portuguese Empires