Socioeconomic Factors and Mental Health: Past and Present (CfP, Palgrave Communications)

Socioeconomic Factors and Mental Health: Past and Present (CfP, Palgrave Communications)

Palgrave Communications – the multidisciplinary, open access journal published by Palgrave Macmillan – is currently inviting article proposals and full papers for a new research article collection. ‘Socioeconomic Factors and Mental Health: Past and Present’ will be edited by Professor Matthew Smith and Dr Lucas Richert (University of Strathclyde, UK).

This article collection will examine how the relationship between socioeconomic factors and mental health has been and is understood in an array of different places and periods. Although much of the focus of current mental health research and clinical practice is on the neurological aspects of mental illness and psychopharmacological treatment, historical research demonstrates that a wide range of factors – from vitamin deficiencies such as pellagra, and infections such as syphilis to traumatic life events – have contributed to the onset and exacerbation of mental health problems. Among all these factors, one looms largest: socioeconomic status. On the one hand, socioeconomic inequality has been long recognised as a potential cause of mental illness, as the history of mental hygiene and social psychiatry during much of the twentieth century demonstrates. On the other hand, however, the mentally ill have also historically faced much socioeconomic hardship; today, a high proportion of the homeless and incarcerated in many countries suffer from mental illness.

By exploring this topic across time and place, this collection aims to provide a historical context for today’s mental health crisis, and also to inform current mental health policy, especially attempts to prevent or alleviate mental illness through social change.

Insights on a broad spectrum of themes are welcomed, including, but not restricted to:

  • Homelessness and mental illness
  • Social psychiatry and mental hygiene
  • Community mental health
  • Forensic psychiatry
  • Race and mental health
  • Psychiatry and various economic/political systems (e.g., communism, socialism, capitalism)
  • Socioeconomic factors and child mental health
  • How health professionals deal with poverty and mental health
  • Social policy and mental health
  • Social activism and mental health

This is a rolling article collection and as such proposals and submissions will be welcome before 01 February 2018. Article proposals should be submitted to the editorial team.


CFP Rhetoric of Public Health

CFP: Rhetoric of Health and Medicine
2019 Special Issue on the
“Rhetoric of Public Health”
Public health, a widely encompassing term often used to describe ways that various stakeholders communicate about and respond to issues of health that effect large populations, tends to be centered on concerns about prevention, containment, empowerment, and advocacy in relation to disease. Increased public framing of health and medical issues has, more recently, solicited the attention of a specialized subset within the broader discipline of rhetoric. From a rhetorical standpoint, the “public” of public health can be understood as an increasingly complex and discursively constructed concept, not simply a descriptor of a target audience. Scholars working in the interdisciplinary field of Rhetoric of Health and Medicine (RHM) have begun to examine how publics challenge, support, and engage biomedical/health knowledge and practice. In doing so, a small but growing body of literature now theorizes publics as a distinct type of health community that is equipped with rhetorical tenacity.[i] The 2019 special issue of Rhetoric of Health and Medicine will extend and perhaps complicate this ongoing line of inquiry to demonstrate the value of rhetorical study for understanding and contributing to public health. This special issue of the Rhetoric of Health and Medicine seeks to build on previous work around “publics”[ii] to inaugurate a research trajectory for scholars invested in the public nature of health specifically.
The network of meaning and actions associated with the conceptualization and management of disease and wellbeing across populations, borders, and histories are what might be called the rhetoric of public health. “Rhetoric of” signifies a specific approach to the study of public health whereby scholars use a rhetorical stance—both as analytic and productive framework—to engage with broader theoretical and ethical concerns about current public health practices and the language, persuasion, power, and circulation used to enact those practices. Public health communication, policies, and practices take place in the communities and locations where people live, work, and play.  Issues in public health readily traverse national, cultural, and political divides. To do the work of public health requires a multitude of discourses—verbal, aural, visual, multimodal—delivered in any number of ways—print, online, door-to-door, community meetings, mobile—across a variety of stakeholders where the value of public health depends on the persuasive aspects and the effectiveness of those discourses and approaches.
A rhetorical orientation toward the study, practices, and communication of public health emphasizes how discursive-material forms of persuasion help to create, organize, ameliorate, challenge and fragment, those public health realities. Thus, the rhetoric of public health is principally concerned with gaining a better understanding of the conceptualization and articulation of public health as a capacious site that includes different kinds of discourses that are framed by public health exigencies and audiences.
In addition to documenting the social, cultural, economic, and political aspects of public health management across time, space, and place, contributions to this issue will directly investigate how communal realties of contemporary health citizenship expand and complicate publics theorizing for the discipline of rhetoric more generally. In an effort to speak to the actors, practices, and institutions of Public Health more directly, each contribution will also offer commentary on the ways rhetorical theory illuminates, problematizes, and ideally improves the health of various publics.
The overarching goal of this special issue will be to answer timely and important questions, such as:
Publics Theorizing
·      How can/should the ‘public’ of Public Health be theorized?
·      How do the ‘publics’ of Public Health compare to the notion of medical publics, health citizens, and other concepts as they have been employed in RHM theorizing?
·      How do communal realties of contemporary health citizenship expand and complicate publics theorizing for the discipline of rhetoric more generally?
Public Health Partnerships
·      What opportunities exist for RHM to interface with stakeholders working in Public Health? What methodologies might we employ to do so?
·      How might RHM better influence the status of public health as a set of institutional practices?
·      To which specific local and global populations can/should/does RHM work speak and why?
Problem Solving
·      How can RHM findings inform public health policies and practices?
·      What value does RHM scholarship contribute to the management of public health dilemmas, specifically?
·      How can RHM scholarship improve efforts to communicate about specific public health issues in a manner that advances the status of public health participation overall?
Public Communication and Health Literacy
·      How does persuasive communication about public health effectively circulate across space, time, and audience?
·      How can RHM scholarship enhance abilities for various stakeholders to better interpret public health messaging and act accordingly?
·      How can RHM scholars intervene into discussions concerning health literacy and publics in ways that move past readability scores, checklists, and assessments?
Consider these questions as starting points because additional ideas and angles are welcome.
This special issue will be co-edited by guest editor, Jennifer Malkowski and RHM editor Lisa Meloncon. Special issue manuscripts will undergo the same review process as regular submissions.
This issue is scheduled for 2019. Please email 500-1000 word proposals (word count does not include citations) to by December 11, 2017.
Completed manuscripts for accepted proposals will be due April 2, 2018.
Questions via email from potential contributors are welcome and encouraged to Jennifer Malkowski (
[i] Keränen, Lisa B. (Ed.). (2014). Medicine, health and publics. Special Issue of the Journal of Medical Humanities, 35, 103-239.
[ii] Ackerman, John M., & Coogan, David J. (2010). The public work of rhetoric: citizen-scholars and civic engagement. Columbia: University of South Carolina Press.
Asen, Robert. (2010). Reflections on the role of rhetoric in public policy. Special Issue of Rhetoric & Public Affairs, 13, 1-143.
Hauser, Gerard A. (1999). Vernacular voices: The rhetorics of publics and public spheres. Columbia: University of South Carolina Press, 1999.
Keränen, Lisa B. (Ed.). (2014). Medicine, health and publics. Special Issue of the Journal of Medical Humanities, 35, 103-239.

CFP: Dynamics of Health and Medical Communication in International and Intercultural Contexts

CFP: Special Issue of Journal of Technical Writing and Communication on

Communication, Culture, and Care: Examining the Dynamics of Health and Medical Communication in International and Intercultural Contexts


Issue Editor: Kirk St.Amant, Louisiana Tech University


Proposals Due: 8 Dec. 2017


Publication Date: Fall 2018 (tentative)



Today, diseases can spread internationally faster and farther than ever before, and a range of public health challenges can “go global” quickly and easily.  Additionally, the increasingly multilingual and multicultural settings within a nation mean conveying health and medical information across cultures regularly occurs on a local level.  The challenge becomes communicating ideas of care – i.e., addressing issues of health and wellness – across different cultures, languages, and geopolitical/national contexts.  Individuals in health and medical communication therefore need to consider how factors of culture, language, and geopolitics can affect the uses of the materials they create.  Doing so involves understanding the dynamics of such factors and how to apply this knowledge effectively.  Resources that address these objectives can help health and medical communicators convey information relating to care across such complex contexts.



The purpose of this special issue is to examine the factors that affect the sharing of health and medical information with individuals from different nations and cultures.  The objective is to provide readers with both the information needed to understand how such factors affect communication expectations and strategies for addressing such factors effectively.



Topics of interest for this special issue include (but are not limited to) those that address questions such as the following:


— How can and do cultural, linguistic, and geopolitical factors affect communication practices related to health and medicine?


— How can factors of culture, language, translation, and localization (e.g., glocalization and transcreation) affect the ways we share health and medical information with others?


— How can and should we conduct research on health and medical communication to better understand different cultural expectations? (Likewise, how should we conduct such research in other cultures?)


— How can and should we collaborate with partners from other cultures and in other nations to research international and intercultural health and medical communication?


— How are different national legal systems and different cultural value systems affecting health and medical communication practices in global and local contexts?


— How do we need to re-think our research approaches, methods, and study designs to better include and represent audiences from different cultures and nations?


— How is the international spread of online media and hand-held information communication technologies affecting the collection and dissemination of health and medical information in international and intercultural contexts?


— How do different national, cultural, and linguistic concepts affect aspects of usability and user-centered design relating to health and medical information and materials?


— How do cultural, linguistic, and geopolitical factors affect how we discuss and share information about disease, illness, and public health issues on global and local levels?


— How can we effectively collaborate with individuals to share health and medical information effectively in different international and intercultural contexts?


Through examining these questions, prospective authors can advance our understanding of the dynamics affecting health and medical communication in a variety of international and intercultural settings.



Individuals should submit a 300-400 word proposal that notes

— The submitter’s name and contact email

— The title of the proposed entry

— The overall topic/focus of the proposed article

— The approach or method the proposed article will take to examine this overall topic

— The connection of the focus and approach/method to the theme of this special issue

— The methods readers can use to apply ideas to health and medical communication practices


Proposals should be submitted as a .doc file emailed to, and the subject line of the related message should read “JTWC Proposal on Communication, Culture, and Care.”



Questions on this special issue or on prospective topics and approaches for prospective submissions should be sent to the guest editor, Kirk St.Amant, at


NIH Statement on Article Publication Resulting from NIH Funded Research


Notice Number: NOT-OD-18-011



To protect the credibility of published research, authors are encouraged to publish papers arising from NIH-funded research in reputable journals.


Effective communication of scientific results is an essential part of the scientific process. In support of public access to National Institutes of Health (NIH) funded research, authors are encouraged to publish their results in reputable journals. The NIH has noted an increase in the numbers of papers reported as products of NIH funding which are published in journals or by publishers that do not follow best practices promoted by professional scholarly publishing organizations. These journals and publishers typically can be identified by several attributes, including:

  • misleading pricing (e.g., lack of transparency about article processing charges);
  • failure to disclose information to authors;
  • aggressive tactics to solicit article submissions;
  • inaccurate statements about editorial board membership; and
  • misleading or suspicious peer-review processes.

Publications using such practices may call into question the credibility of the research they report.

Recommendations to identify credible journals

To help protect the credibility of papers arising from its research investment, NIH encourages its stakeholders, including grantees, contractors, intramural researchers, and librarians, to help authors:

  • Adhere to the principles of research integrity and publication ethics;
  • Identify journals that follow best practices promoted by professional scholarly publishing organizations; and
  • Avoid publishing in journals that do not have a clearly stated and rigorous peer review process.

Existing resources can assist in this process.  Guidance for researchers include:
Think Check Submit, a publishing industry resource; and
Academics and scientists: Beware of predatory journal publishers,” information from the Federal Trade Commission.

The National Library of Medicine, the NIH entity that maintains PubMed and PubMed Central, encourages publishers to follow established industry best practices including:

Please direct all inquiries to:
Office of Extramural Research

Ghost Story

If you’re in the mood for a nurse-themed ghost story, try Ellen Glasgow’s “The Shadowy Third.” As described in a brief synopsis: “In ‘The Shadowy Third’ the first-person narrator, Miss Randolph, is employed as Mrs. Maradick’s nurse by her husband Doctor Maradick. Miss Randolph comes to see Mrs. Maradick as a victim and not as a patient suffering from hallucinations, as Doctor Maradick insists. The ghost of Mrs. Maradick’s daughter, Dorothea, haunts the story and the reader is left to determine if Dorothea’s well-placed jumping rope resulted in Doctor Maradick’s accidental death.”


More on Glasgow and the story here:

Nursing Uniforms

Seniors in their final semester take a survey of American nursing’s history — Nursing’s Past as Prologue — encountering objects and documents from the Dolan Collection, including nursing uniforms of the past.

UConn Nursing Uniforms

Bookmark This: Evaluating Journal Quality

The proliferation of online open-access journals has added new complexity to the already difficult task of identifying and submitting manuscripts to journals (especially in fields where a peer-reviewed journal article is the gold standard).

This web site, prepared by Carolyn Mills (UConn Libraries), is very helpful: