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Association for Medical Humanities Annual international conference 2022 in collaboration with the IAS, UCL

Deadline for submissions: 9 am Tuesday 11th April 2023
Conference: 4th – 7th July 2023
Submissions by email to:

Following the death of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II, we had to
reschedule this conference. We are delighted to announce the
new dates and a new call for abstracts. Please apply and join us to
explore this ever more relevant topic.

The last two and a half years have exposed points of encounter between existing anxieties about climate change and environmental collapse and new crises of health and well-being in the face of the Covid pandemic. These two global concerns about the sustainability of human life have revealed ethical, political and cultural fractures and challenges, not least because of their differential impact on countries, peoples, and communities. Sustainability has different meanings in different fields. In medicine and healthcare, for instance, it is complex and multi-faceted. As a discipline, medicine has internalised its own meanings and perspectives on sustainability that would benefit from updating. By its very nature, sustainability is a relatively recent, fluid interdisciplinary field, of increasing complexity and responsive to change, with new policy developments, such as UNESCO 17 Sustainable Development Goals.

At the centre of current biopolitical concerns sits a fundamentally epistemological question, about how knowledge is formed, organised, and interrelated. It has become clear that although STEM subjects such as Science, Technology, Medicine and Healthcare were crucial to creating vaccines and other safety measures, it is SHAPE subjects such as the Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences that can explain why and how populations would welcome or refuse these. The latter offer alternative methodological approaches which foreground open questions and critical thinking, allowing a toleration of ambiguity and uncertainty rather foreclosing (possible) solutions to complex problems. In this way they are able to address sustainability in a way that the sciences on their own cannot. It is by bringing these communities of practice together that we can hope to solve the major health and climate challenges facing us.

At the heart of this moment of crisis lies a set of ecological concerns: what does the future look like in complex personal or environmental conditions? How does this change our thinking about immunity, longevity and the limits of healthcare, especially given stark contrasts between the global north and south? Importantly, as clinicians, patients, and humans whose vital dependence on nonhuman life forms has suddenly been made starkly visible, what are the lessons we can learn from the frets and fevers of a global pandemic, to think and create new futures and a new sustainability in our work, our lives, and the environments on which, we now know, they precariously depend? Further to this is the added complexity of how countries and communities form part
of our wider environment, when that environment is under threat.

What new transdisciplinarity is required, to make sure that if we fire-fight in one area of practice or learning we are not simultaneously causing a fire elsewhere? How do we, as clinicians, patients, academics and artists, understand our knowledges as inevitably interrelated, impacting on each other whether we intend them to or not, forming an implicit cultural order no matter how we fragment them into disciplines or funding streams? Bringing together both global and local perspectives on practice, in a community of trust, this conference welcomes submissions, including creative and participatory interventions on the themes of, but not limited to:

• ‘Fevers and frets’, personal and professional experiences of surviving and coming to terms with the Covid-19 pandemic
• Climate emergency and responses to the global crisis
• The intersections between medical/health humanities and environmental crisis
• The organisation of knowledge into distinct disciplinary silos such as SHAPE/STEM/STEAM
• Role of the arts in responding to the health/climate emergency
• The evolution of academic research and teaching in ways that recover advocacy and activism as core missions
• Managing uncertainty and sustainability in health and healthcare systems
• Exploring the personal and the political: rights and responsibilities, and their Implications for marginalised
communities and democratic citizenship
• Sustaining the therapeutic/clinical relationship in a time of crisis within mental health services
• Embedding sustainability in medical education, in curricula and practice

Guidelines for submissions can be found under the Conference
Deadlines tab, however for scientific abstracts (only) please follow
the conventional format: Title, Background, Aims, Method, Results,
and Conclusion.

Dr Ayesha Ahmad, Prof Helen Chatterjee, Prof Julian Ma, Dr Nick Watts (Chief Sustainability Officer, NHS England), Invisible Flock and the Land Body Ecologies Team at the Wellcome Hub, Prof James Wilson, Daniel Wilson, Dr Dhruv Gupta, Dr Rochelle Burgess, Dr Emily Baker, Dr Sarah de Leeuw and the Canadian Team, Prof
Ilan Kelman, and artists Dr Onya McCausland, Lisa Boivin, Christine Wertheim, Prof Dryden Goodwin, Dr Sarah Fortais, Hannah Fletcher, Meg Hodgson and dancer Anusha Subramanyam (

Registration for this event will open on Tues 18th April 2023

Full conference, 3 – 4 days (FC) Half conference, 1 – 2 days (HC)
Free: UCL Students and staff
£35 (FC): AMH members
£25 (HC) AMH members
£75 (FC) Non AMH members
£40 (HC) Non AMH members
£20.00 (FC) Students external to UCL/Unwaged/low-income countries
£10.00 (HC) Students external to UCL/Unwaged/low-income countries

Join the AMH community – for an annual fee of £55 – to enjoy the benefits of membership (including 4 x BMJ Med Hums journals) as well as the lower conference rates.

Add-ons for onsite events:
£8.00 extra: Student Poster and Networking Event
(Wed 5th July, 2 – 7pm)

£15.00 extra: Networking Event at IAS, UCL, Live Talk & Workshop with refreshments
(Thursday 6th July, 5 – 8pm)

(See separate document for student poster abstracts and creative prizes)

Deadline for submission of abstracts:
9 am Tuesday 11th April 2023

Notification of successful submissions:
By Tuesday 18th April 2023: applicants are encouraged to submit before the deadline as submissions will be reviewed on a rolling basis

• The text is single-spaced; uses 11-point font or larger and is no more than one side of A4
• The submission file is in Microsoft Word or PDF.
• The submission has not been previously published, nor is it under consideration by another panel.
• All URL addresses in the text are activated and ready to click.

You may use the page in any way and as creatively as you like, but for scientific abstracts (only) the following format needs to be adhered to: Title, Background, Aims, Method, Results, and Conclusion.

Conflict of Interest:
Authors must declare any financial support received or any conflict of interests on their abstract. Authors must provide full affiliation details: name, company/ organization, type of work/dept, address and email address.

Copyright Notice:
Authors/artists who submit to this conference agree to the following terms:
Authors retain copyright over their work, while allowing the conference to place this unpublished work under a Creative  Commons Attribution License, which allows others to freely access, use, and share the work, with an acknowledgement of the work’s authorship and its initial presentation at this conference.

Image: Onya McCausland, Saltburn Mine Water Treatment Scheme, 2015

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