Sites of Health: A Symposium on the Medical Humanities

April 26-27, 2019, Shanghai University

Scholars in the medical humanities increasingly interweave histories with the languages of globalism and futurism. Yet the scholarship remains rooted in particular sites in time. It is from these localized sites, from colonies to clinics, that scholars predominately extrapolate outward to the global perspective to explore the meanings of health and sickness, rather than the inverse framework. By conceiving of these ‘sites’ in the broadest sense, this symposium aims to explore this relationship between local and global perspectives on medicine and health.

Call for papers

This symposium aims to bring together early career scholars to create an interdisciplinary discussion upon the current state of medical humanities and its future, with a particular focus on the history of medicine. The symposium committee welcomes papers examining themes including but not limited to: global health activism, networks in health, (post)colonial health, hygienic modernity, alternative medicines, wellbeing and daily culture, health and identity, teaching medical humanities, and global health in the future. It is hoped the following questions will spark the interests of applicants:

  • What are the boundaries of the medical humanities?
  • What constitutes a site of health or ill-health?
  • How do different sites interact on a local, global and intellectual scale?
  • How might novel approaches to the history of medicine be written and taught in the future?
  • How do the medical humanities relate to other historiographies and methodologies?

Please submit a paper title and an abstract of no more than 150 words by 7 January 2019 to

Applicants will be informed by of the committee’s decision by 18 January.

The event is funded by the Wellcome Trust and is jointly organised by the David F. Musto Center for Drugs and National Security Studies and the Centre for the Social History of Health and Healthcare (CSHHH) Glasgow through the Shanghai Initiative programme.

Travel, accommodation and meals for three nights will be covered for all invited speakers.

Deadline: January 7, 2019

Posted: December 06, 2018