2021 – Penn State College of Medicine

We’re going virtual! We’ve extended the proposal deadline because the conference is going virtual. New deadline: October 31, 2020. We’ve already received many spectacular abstracts. If you’ve already submitted a proposal, you’re done; no need to resubmit. But if you haven’t yet, you’ve got time! Please see the information below about the conference theme and presentation modes—topics not aligned with the theme are welcome as well.

The 2021 Health Humanities Consortium International Conference will explore the theme “Crisis and Community: The Role of Health Humanities,” March 25-27, 2021.

Covid-19 has precipitated a global crisis. In the U.S., existing social inequities have become more salient as poor people and people of color suffer disproportionately. Medicine and public health are overtly politicized. In June, the U.S. erupted with social protests after the murder of George Floyd by police. Coronavirus upheavals have led to questions about the failure of pandemic planning. The racial reckoning brought attention to longstanding racism in medicine and motivated action for change. Many in the health humanities are asking, “What is our role?”

The pandemic and George Floyd’s murder thus sharpened the decades-old debate about the purpose of humanities in medicine. The Department of Humanities at Penn State College of Medicine is an apt sponsor for this conversation. Penn State College of Medicine has incorporated humanities into medical education—and humanism into medical practice—for over 50 years. In spring 2021, we will explore the contributions of health humanities to health crises and imagine the future of the humanities during recovery and renewal.

We invite presentations considering the role of health humanities and

  • pandemic pedagogies, ethics, imaginaries, technologies, and rhetorics
  • social responsibility and social justice, including issues of blame and stigma
  • expressive arts and the human condition in times of crisis
  • duty to care and duty to treat
  • moral injury to health professionals
  • present and future communities
  • health systems and human systems
  • medical education
  • navigating truth in times of crisis
  • other topics we have not yet imagined

    Tentative Schedule: Thursday (3/25): 1-5pm; Friday (3/26): 9am-1pm, 5:30-7pm; Saturday (3/27): 9am-1pm; Sunday (3/28): Virtual Coffee Networking, 9-11am. AMA PRA Category 1
    Credit(s)TM will be offered.

    Formats include individual papers (15 minutes), panels and workshops (3-4 papers or continuous presentation by a group, 90 minutes), flash presentations (5 minutes), artistic and/or media presentations (15 minutes), or choose your own adventure presentations (surprise us).

    Please send a 250-word proposal abstract as an attachment with contact information (name, affiliation, email address) to HealthHum2021@psu.edu by October 31, 2020. Notification of acceptance by early January 2021. Questions to Bernice Hausman, Chair of the Department of Humanities, Penn State College of Medicine, bhausman1@pennstatehealth.psu.edu.