Calls for Papers: The Faces of Depression in Literature

The Faces of Depression in Literature

The NIMH (National Institute of Mental Health) defines depression as a common but serious mood disorder that causes severe symptoms (asthenia, anhedonia, abulia, among many others) that affect how you feel, think, and handle daily activities, such as sleeping, eating, or working. The cause is believed to be a combination of genetic, environmental, and psychological factors and affects approximately 216 million people (3% of the world’s population) mostly ranged from 20 to 30 years old. Nowadays, depression is also known for its many synonyms: clinical depression, MDD (Major Depressive Disorder), unipolar depression, unipolar disorder, depressive episode, and recurrent depressive disorder, to name a few. However, literary expressions gather the many names and faces that shaped this widespread and well-known disorder throughout history, especially when mental health treatises were scarce. Thus, it is common to find the background of modern depression linked to concepts such as the Greeks aegritude (θλίψη, aegritudo) and black bile (μέλαινα χολή, melaina chole), the Latin acedia and taedium vitae, the Renaissance tristitia and melancholia, as well as the modern ennui, spleen, mal de vivre, nausée, noia, Weltschmerz… all of which have been present in the literary works of all times.

This seminar attempts to bring together specialists and scholars in the topic from a multidisciplinary approach to explore the many literary expressions of depression over time and discuss about their approximations to current, clinical understanding of MDD, i.e., their similarities and differences, taking into account the environmental and psychological factors on which such a mental disorder depends in each historical period. Our goal is to clarify the background of depression by paying attention to its representation through literature and revalue literature itself as a means of acquiring knowledge in an interdisciplinary way.

Current ACLA guidelines specify that each ACLA member* may submit only ONE PAPER for consideration. Individuals interested in participating in this seminar are encouraged to be in touch with the organizer over the summer; paper submissions through the portal will open Sept. 1 and close Sept. 21. Seminar organizer will review all submitted papers and propose their rosters by October 5th.

* If your proposal is accepted, you must become an ACLA member ($45-195 USD, depending on your current salary) and register for the Annual Meeting ($35-195 USD, depending on your academic status) to present your paper and receive a certificate. However, you can apply for a very easy to get Travel Grant of $200 USD.

https://www.acla.org/faces-depression-literature

Calls for Papers: Representing Abortion

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

Deadline for proposals: October 1, 2018
Email: rahurst@stfx.ca

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 rahurst@stfx.ca.  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.

Calls for Papers: Medical Narratives of Ill Health

CALL FOR PAPERS

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 acaleb@misericordia.edu. 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: http://www.mdpi.com/journal/humanities/special_issues/contagion. 

Dr. Amanda Caleb
Guest Editor

Contact Info: Dr. Amanda M. Caleb, Misericordia University
Contact Email: acaleb@misericordia.edu

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

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: https://www.tandfonline.com/action/authorSubmission?journalCode=zrhm20&page=instructions

References

  1. Lasswell H. Politics: Who Gets What, When, How. London, Whittlesey House, 1936.
  2. WHO. Sexual health, human rights and the law. http://www.who.int/reproductivehealth/publications/sexual_health/sexual-health-human-rights-law/en/ 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: editorial@rhmatters.org

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, acroswhi@odu.edu

THE NEW DEADLINE IS DECEMBER 1, 2017.

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: acroswhi@odu.edu