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Association for Medical Humanities Annual international conference 2022
in collaboration with the IAS, UCL
13th – 16th September 2022 (1.30 – 6.30 pm each day)

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 wellbeing
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
• Role of the arts in responding to the health/climate
• 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 Anthony Costello,
Dr Nick Watts (Chief Sustainability Officer, NHS England), Invisible
Flock and the Land Body Ecologies Team at the Wellcome Hub,
Prof James Wilson, and artists Dr Onya McCausland, Dr Harold
Offeh, Christine and Margaret Wertheim, Prof Dryden Goodwin
and dancer Anusha Subramanyam (

Registration for this event will open on Friday 1st July 2022

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
£10.00 (HC) Students external to UCL/Unwaged/low-income

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 14th Sept, 2 – 7pm)
£15.00 extra: Networking Event at IAS, UCL, Live Talk & Workshop
with refreshments
(Thursday 15th Sept, 5 – 8pm)
(See separate document for student poster abstracts and
creative prizes)
Deadline for submission of abstracts:
11.59 pm on Sunday 17th July 2022
Notification of successful submissions:
By Tuesday 2nd August 2022

• 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

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

Download the full PDF here


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

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