2020 – Vanderbilt University

2020 International Health Humanities Consortium Conference
Vanderbilt University, Nashville, TN
March 26-28, 2020

Conference Theme: The Politics of Health

Conference Chair: Jonathan M. Metzl
Conference Co-Chair: Manisha Mishra 

For more information, please visit: (https://www.vanderbilt.edu//mhs/2019/06/2020hhc/)

The sixth annual Health Humanities Consortium (HHC) conference will explore the politics of health and healthcare in the context of world events and a vital 2020 election year. Health is a desired state – we all want to be healthy.  But health is increasingly a contested political state as well. Debates about who is deserving of health or healthcare intersect with questions, issues, and themes regarding matters such as race, gender, citizenship, identity, and representation that also lie at the core of the health humanities.

Potential topics that might be addressed include (but not limited to):

  • In what ways are the health humanities “political”? What are the social missions of the health humanities, and in what ways can health humanities address issues such as health equity, justice, and inclusion?
  • In our contested political age, how can health humanities promote empathy or understanding of contested points of view?
  • How can looking at representations of health in literature, film, art, or media uncover deeper understandings of the complex social meanings of health and illness?
  • What does a humanistic lens contribute to understandings of issues such as The Affordable Care Act, Medicare for all,  or the rise of identity movements that deny humanity and healthcare to “others”?
  • How can a health humanities lens be applied to present-day hot-button political topics that have profound health implications – such as guns, racism, women’s reproductive health, vaccines, ableism, addiction, or climate change?
  • How do humanistic representations of health politics differ by country, region or locale?
  • How does a focus on politics enable collaboration with disciplines such as public health, political science, sociology, anthropology, or economics?
  • What are the social and political responsibilities of practitioners/teachers/students of the health humanities in the current era?
  • How can we tie in themes and methods from the health humanities with the upcoming 2020 election?

Key Conference Dates
  • Call for Proposals (CFP) Release: July 1, 2019
  • Registration Open: August 15, 2019
  • Abstract Deadline: September 27, 2019
  • Abstract Decisions: November 20, 2019
  • Registration Deadline: January 15, 2020
  • Conference: March 26-28, 2020