2023 – Case Western Reserve & Lerner Cleveland Clinic

2023 Health Humanities
Consortium Conference

Mobilizing Selves, Transforming Structures

March 16-19, 2023
Health Education Campus, Cleveland, OH

Co-Hosted by the Department of Bioethics, School of Medicine, Case Western Reserve University and the Program in Medical Humanities, Cleveland Clinic Lerner College of Medicine

Call for Proposals

Increased recognition of structural problems—including systemic racism, the inadequate public health response to the pandemic, threats to abortion and trans rights, food insecurity, and the housing crisis— has amplified calls for collective action and structural change. These local, national, and global structural concerns often collide with the traditionally individualistic focus of healthcare and the lived experiences of health. How do individuals act, change, think, and feel in ways influenced by social structures, and how are structures in turn shaped by individual and collective action? This question has important and broad implications for the health humanities, spanning discussions of the often tense relationships between individuals and structures that influence health, illness, disability, and wellbeing. “Structure” refers to the establishment of interrelated institutions like government and the law, education, healthcare, and religious organizations that comprise a society, and which mediate human action, behavior, and belief. Institutionalized racism, ableism, ageism, gender discrimination, and other forms of injustice within structures shape individuals’ lived experiences, from their notions of personhood, to the ways they embody injustice, and the manner in which they navigate healthcare systems. In turn, both individuals and communities mobilize and seek to change and reorder the structures and institutions that govern daily life. The role that institutions and structures play in health, illness, and disability are represented across stories, the arts, and empirical data. This conference invites submissions that explore the vast and intimate interconnections between selves and structures through diverse health humanities perspectives. Potential topics include but are not limited to the following:

  • How do racism, ableism, ageism, gender discrimination, and/or classism manifest within institutions, structures, and policies, in turn affecting health and wellbeing? How can we improve the situation?
  • How do individuals and communities assemble and act in ways that shape structures and institutions which play a role in health, illness, and disability?
  • What stories do people tell about the relationships between structures and lived experiences of health, illness, healing, and disability?
  • How are structural inequities around health, wellbeing, and disability represented in the arts, entertainment, and news media?
  • How do individuals and communities navigate economic and housing instability, lack of access to healthcare and education, and other disparities as they seek to lead fulfilling and healthy lives?
  • What role do climate change and environmental justice play in health and wellbeing, and how do individuals find ways to mitigate the effects of climate change on health?
  • How are individuals socialized within institutions and structures to hold certain beliefs, values, and perspectives around health, disability, and clinical practice?
  • What pedagogical strategies can be used to educate people about the exchanges between structures, individuals, and communities in regards to health, wellbeing, disability, and illness?
  • Where are points of hope for leveraging individual experience to improve institutional and structural outcomes?

Deadline: September 30th, 2022 Extended to October 15, 2022
Expected notification date: Early December 2022

Overall conference format:

Conference will begin with an opening event on the evening of Thursday, March 16th. Presentations will be grouped into 75-minute concurrent slots, interspersed with plenaries and evening events, over Friday, Saturday, and Sunday morning. Hybrid options will be available; additional information will be forthcoming.

Submission guidelines:

We seek proposals in the form of 250-word (max) abstracts for paper presentations, creative presentations, or flash presentations, or 500-word (max) abstracts for panels, workshops, or roundtables. An individual can submit and/or participate in no more than two proposals. All presenters must register for the conference.

Details of presentation formats:
  • Flash presentations: Individual presenters will have 5 minutes to present content not previously published. If slides are used, presentations are limited to 3 slides. 5 additional minutes are allotted to a Q/A per presentation. We expect to group 7 flash presentations per 75-minute slot.
  • Paper/creative presentations: Individual presenters will have 15 minutes to present content not previously published, followed by a Q/A of approximately 10 minutes. We expect to group 3 presenters per 75-minute slot.
  • Panels: Panel presentations consist of 3-4 participants engaging a focused theme from diverse perspectives. One of the participants will also moderate and facilitate discussions among panelists and with audience members. Panel presentations will be allotted a 75-minute slot.
  • Workshops: The primary aim of a workshop is to provide instructional content in an interactive manner. They can consist of multiple presenters. Workshops will be allotted a 75-minute slot.
  • Roundtables: Roundtable sessions may contain up to eight participants, including the presider. Participants will engage in informal discussion of broad scholarly or professional questions with an emphasis on engagement between panelists and attendees. Roundtables will be allotted a 75-minute slot.

Please submit your proposal here: https://forms.gle/o6uc1CTktDe3k2a68.
For further information, please email: conference@healthhumanitiesconsortium.com