CFP: Global Interdisciplinary Conference: The Patient

2nd Global Conference: The Patient (Wednesday 16th May – Friday 18th May 2012, Prague, Czech Republic)

The patient occupies a liminal, unstable position, precariously situated between home and hospital, work and bed, life and death. Although attended by doctors, nurses, family and friends, her condition—particularly if it is chronic—threatens to sever her connections with the world and to exile her into that fundamental solitude owned by the sick and suffering. Immersed in a medical system that seeks optimum outcomes with zero errors, the patient receives care delivered with industrial efficiency. Advances in diagnostic and therapeutic modalities provide both cure and control of chronic illness not imagined a decade ago. The patient, then, poised to benefit on multiple fronts, should be increasingly satisfied with the medical encounter; yet many patients feel alienated or even violated by the medical system. Many health care professionals also lament weaknesses in their technology-driven profession.

What defines a quality medical encounter from the patient’s perspective? What do medical practitioners—nurses, physicians, social workers—value in their relationship with the patient? How is this relationship preserved and nurtured? What are the opportunities or perils in the physician-patient relationship? It seems timely to counteract the quantification of the patient by the health care industry and to call for a humanistic reconstitution of the patient’s experience and situation—to reconsider, rethink, and empathically re-imagine the patient in her environments, ancient and contemporary, intimate and social. We invite papers from a wide range of perspectives—humanist, medical, artistic—addressing one or more of the following topics:

  • the patient in literary contexts
  • the patient in film
  • the patient in self-help books and pathographies
  • the dying patient
  • the identity of the patient
  • from person to patient
  • the patient and communication
  • the ill and the well
  • the chronic patient
  • the caregiver
  • the quality medical encounter from the perspective of the patient
  • the quality medical encounter from the perspective of the physician
  • biomedical ethics
  • the patient in the history of medicine
  • the patient in medical anthropology and sociology
  • patient empowerment

The Steering Group particularly welcomes the submission of pre-formed panel proposals. Papers will also be considered on any related theme. 300 word abstracts should be submitted by Friday 4th November 2011. If an abstract is accepted for the conference, a full draft paper should be submitted by Friday 9th March 2012. Abstracts should be submitted simultaneously to both Organising Chairs; abstracts may be in Word, WordPerfect, or RTF formats with the following information and in this order: a) author(s), b) affiliation, c) email address, d) title of abstract, e) body of abstract, f) up to 10 keywords. E-mails should be entitled: THE PATIENT Abstract Submission. Please use plain text (Times Roman 12) and abstain from using footnotes and any special formatting, characters or emphasis (such as bold, italics or underline). Please note that a Book of Abstracts is planned for the end of the year. All accepted abstracts will be included in this publication. We acknowledge receipt and answer to all paper proposals submitted. If you do not receive a reply from us in a week you should assume we did not receive your proposal; it might be lost in cyberspace! We suggest, then, to look for an alternative electronic route or resend.

Organising Chairs: Mira Crouch, School if Social Science and International Studies The University of New South Wales, Sydney, NSW, Australia, Email: Mira Crouch | Nate Hinerman, Nursing/Theology and Religious Studies, University of San Francisco, San Francisco, USA, E-mail: Nate Hinerman | Rob Fisher, Inter-Disciplinary.Net, Priory House, Wroslyn Road, Freeland, Oxfordshire OX29 8HR, Email: Rob Fisher

The conference is part of the Persons series of ongoing research and publications projects conferences, run within the Probing the Boundaries domain which aims to bring together people from different areas and interests to share ideas and explore innovative and challenging routes of intellectual and academic exploration. All papers accepted for and presented at the conference will be eligible for publication in an ISBN eBook. Selected papers may be developed for publication in a themed hard copy volume. For further details of the project, please visit:

For further details of the conference, please visit:

Please note: Inter-Disciplinary.Net is a not-for-profit network and we are not in a position to be able to assist with conference travel or subsistence.

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