CFP: Health and Disease in Popular Culture

2019 Popular and American Culture Association meeting
Wardman Park Marriot, Washington DC
April 17-20, 2019
Stichtag: 01.10.2018

The „Health and Disease in Popular Culture“ area for the 2019 Popular and American Culture Association meeting in Washington DC invites proposals related to the portrayal of health, illness, and health care in the discourses of popular and American culture. Proposals representing perspectives in the humanities and the arts (e.g., film, history, literature, visual arts), social sciences (e.g., anthropology, cultural studies, sociology), and mass media (e.g., print or electronic journalism) in historical or contemporary contexts are welcome. Proposals should clearly establish what connections the presenter intend to draw between their chosen topic and popular and American culture.

Subject areas might include but are not limited to:

  • Narratives of illness told from the perspective of patient and/or provider in contemporary pop culture media: fiction, poetry, graphic fiction, memoir, television, film etc.
  • Discourses of patient education and/or advocacy—magazines, websites, discussion boards, tv doctors, social media
  • Intersections and missed connections: improving lay and expert communication about illness and wellness
  • Narrative in/about/as medicine
  • The health humanities—what is the discipline? What can it do? How? What’s the connection with popular culture?
  • The problematic representation of illness narrative in popular culture (quests, battles, wins, losses, survivors, victims—and the construction of the patient-as-subject)
  • The construction of medical knowledge and beliefs about illness through the discourses of popular culture: medical melodrama, reality programs, social media, direct-to-consumer advertising, journalism, advertorials, the internet
  • Public health initiatives, patient education, threats, and risk in popular culture
  • The representation of global health issues and the globalization of disease in popular discourses
  • The Disciplines of Damage, a special roundtable panel that would look at the basis of disciplines such as Psychology, Disability Studies, and Health and Disease (Health Humanities/Sciences) how they intersect with each other, and how they impact and are impacted upon, or negotiate society and its institutions.

Proposal abstracts (max 300 words) must be submitted online at the PCAACA website at: Individual and full panel proposals are considered. For full panel proposals (generally four persons) please include titles and abstracts for all participants.

You might consider these panels as well:
Psychology and Popular Culture (Eric Greene, Area Chair;
Disabilities Studies (Claude Desmarais, Area Chair,

Contact Info:
Dr. Carol-Ann Farkas
Professor of English
School of Arts and Sciences
MCPHS University
179 Longwood Avenue
Boston, MA 02115

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