In the present age of the Anthropocene, the extraordinary transformations of Earth’s climate are changing the biophysical conditions involved in global food production, emerging epidemics and natural disasters. There is growing concern that global environmental change will have significant adverse impacts on global patterns of disease and mortality over the next century.
Responses to recent calls for a ‘critical medical humanities’ have engaged structural issues of race, gender, and class, articulating the need for social justice and health advocacy within medicine. The challenges posed by environmental transformations and climate disruptions offer different directions for medical humanities scholars to explore. Drawing on this momentum, “Medical Humanities, Social Sciences, and the Environment” will focus on how the humanities can inform our response to the growing concerns about health and the changing global environment.
Our aim is to expand the scope of the medical humanities beyond its traditional focus on patient and doctor experiences to include planetary imaginaries grounded in the political realities of health and medicine. We invite scholars to consider ways the medical humanities can respond to the challenges of environmental change and uncertainty in order to engage more fully the ecologies of health, disease, and nature.
Paper topics may include but are not limited to:
- History and geo-politics of nature, disease, and human affairs
- The challenge of displaced populations, environmental justice, and health
- Analyses of literary/artistic representations of environmental factors in disease causation (physical, biological, social, etc), health care, and public health
Abstracts of 300-400 words are due by 06/15/2017 and should be sent by email to the conference organiser.
This conference is supported by the Ackerman Center on Medicine & Culture and Harvard Global Institute.