Translating Happiness: Medicine, Culture & Social Progress (CFP, Special Issue, Health, Culture & Society)

Call for Papers for a Special Issue of Health, Culture and Society:
Translating Happiness: Medicine, Culture and Social Progress

This year the General Assembly of the United Nations (UN) proclaimed March
20th the International Day of Happiness. This day is premised on
international recognition of the pursuit of happiness as a fundamental
human goal, and a means of promoting sustainable development. International
acknowledgement of the important role that happiness plays in development
is also displayed in the 2012 World Happiness Report, as well as a host of
recent changes to national social policies, community infrastructures and
health services.

This special issue of Health, Culture and Society (HCS) explores the
multiple and contested ways of knowing happiness. We are particularly
interested in research that analyzes the translations of happiness.
According to Nikolas Rose, translation provides for the possibility of
government: “In the dynamics of translation, alignments are forged between
the objectives of those wishing to govern and the personal projects of
those organizations, groups, and individuals who are the subjects of
government” (1999, p. 48). This issue aims to construct a comprehensive
picture of the important role that translations of happiness – as made to
appear in social philosophy, featured in the emerging field of positive
psychology, mapped in global happiness indexes, or communicated in concepts
such as ‘well-being’ or ‘quality of life’ – play in contemporary
understandings of the ‘human’ and ‘human development.’ Papers are sought
that explore the relations between happiness and health, and examine the
social, cultural and political contexts of medical translations of
happiness. Papers that share comparative analyses of happiness or that
adopt a critical paradigm and analyze the role of conceptions of happiness
in the diagnosis of individual and social ills and the reproduction of
inequality are especially welcome.

Potential topic areas include:

* Happiness and Disability/Disablement/Ableism
* Happiness, Health Services and Social Policy
* Politicization of Happiness (Happiness Indexes)
* Cartographies of Happiness (e.g., ‘Happiness Maps’)
* Happiness and Constructions of ‘the Human’/Humanity
* Economic Paradigms of Happiness
* Ecological Perspectives
* Happiness and National Development (e.g., Gross National Happiness and/vs. Gross National Domestic Product)
* Happiness and Imperialism/The Colonial Continuum
* Happiness and Racialization/Racism
* Happiness and Global Governance
* Happiness and Self-Governance (e.g., The Emergence of Self-Help Literature)
* Happiness and Choice/The Making of the ‘Rational Subject’
* Happiness and Disciplinary Knowledge
* Happiness and Social Order (incl.: Happiness and Social Change; Happiness and the Pathologization of Resistance)
* Genealogies of Happiness (Historical Perspectives)
* Happiness Across the Lifecycle/The Role of Happiness in ‘Positive’ or Healthy Aging
* Happiness, Identity and Community/Solidarity and Subjective Well-being
* Happiness, Gender and Sexuality
* Happiness and Patriarchy
* Happiness, Heterosexism and Homophobia
* Happiness and Spirituality
* Happiness, Leisure and Lifestyle
* The Commodification of Happiness/Happiness and Consumer Culture
* (Re)Discovering (Un)Happiness – Diagnostic Tools and their Discontents (e.g., The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, 5th Edition)
* Happiness, Resilience and Recovery
* A Poetics of Happiness/Happiness and the Art of Living
* Happiness and Desire
* Happiness and a Politics of Love
* Embodiment and Happiness Research/Phenomenological Perspectives

Interested contributors are invited to send a 250 word proposal here
no later than July 15th. Prospective contributors will be notified of
acceptance by July 30th. For accepted proposals full papers will be due
September 27th. Manuscripts submitted for inclusion in this special issue
must be in APA format, be original work and should not be under
consideration by any other journal.

Works Cited:

Rose, N. (1999). Powers of freedom: Reframing political thought. Cambridge:
Cambridge University Press.

About the Journal:

Health,Culture and Society (HCS) is an important contribution to the
medical humanities and the social history of health. It will promote
critical studies, disseminate important contemporary research and act as an
international podium for the exchange of new ideas, strategies and
practices. The journal is geared towards an inter-disciplinary approach to
issues of health, culture and society inviting contributions from a
diversity of fields. HCS will reflect the very real developments in ideas
that shape our modern understandings of health, and how cultural and social
factors are important to its paradigm. The journal encourages original and
funded research into regional developments which can impact upon the global
image of health, society and culture.

HCS is the product of initiative, research and debate centered on the
history and development of the health paradigm. The facilitation of the
University of Pittsburgh, the CNPq and the Oswaldo Cruz Foundation, as well
as the Wellcome Trust and the University of Western Santa Catarina
(UnoChapeco), made it possible to eventually bring together important and
emerging voices in the debate of health which define the new critical
perspectives, and research from the physical and social sciences. HCS
serves as a platform which has been developed to meet the contemporary
necessity for international dialogue, partnerships, collaboration,
knowledge transformation and global integration.

About Centre for Medical Humanities

Centre for Medical Humanities
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