Call for Abstracts
Overview: Proponents of medical humanities contend that the humanistic
dimensions of medicine and health are a critical component of those
disciplines; not only do these dimensions help us to understand the very
nature of medicine and health, their apprehension allows caregivers to
relate to their patients, to treat those patients with respect and dignity,
and to provide more holistic and empathetic care. The Western Michigan
University Medical Humanities Conference aims to explore a range of themes
within the medical humanities, though a primary focus will be on how medical
professionals are influenced by the humanities in their daily practices.
This includes values and ethics, and extends to humanities such as music,
poetry, and so forth. We are interested in how this informs the care giver’s
practice of medicine, nursing, or other health care duties, and how it
affects patient outcomes. Proposals in any area of medical humanities are
welcome, but priority will be given to quality proposals from health care
professionals who can relate the humanities to their practices.
The conference is meant to be highly interdisciplinary, drawing participants
from a wide range of backgrounds, including those from both academic and
medical communities. Submissions are welcome on topics that engage some
facet of the medical humanities, including their importance and conceptual
scope. Furthermore, we welcome submissions that engage any of the following:
medical ethics, history of medicine, religious and/or spiritual perspectives
on medicine, health care communication, medical anthropology, sociology of
medicine, cross-cultural approaches to medicine, medicine in literature
and/or poetry, musical therapy, or medicine as represented in the visual
Submission Guidelines: Submissions should include name,
departmental/institutional affiliation, project title, and an abstract not
to exceed 500 words. Proposals should be submitted electronically by July
15 – in either .doc/.docx or .pdf format-to Medical Humanities at Western Michigan.
Acceptances will be announced by August 1, and further details will appear
on the website as they are available.
About Us: Under the direction of Dr. Fritz Allhoff and Mr. David Charlton,
the Medical Humanities Workgroup is a new initiative on the campus of
Western Michigan University, coordinating individuals from the campus and
broader Kalamazoo community with interests in the humanistic dimensions of
medicine and health. For more information, please see the website.