CFP: Medical Humanities Conference (Pennsylvania)

Call for Proposals – Medical Humanities Consortium 10th Annual Meeting — Submission deadline: December 20, 2011

Under Construction: Hospitals, Healthcare, and the Medical Humanities, May 15-16, 2012, Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh (CHP), 4401 Penn Avenue, Pittsburgh, PA 15224

Constructing buildings, designing spaces, structuring systems, decorating rooms, adorning walls, (re)forming policy, altering practices—these are the actions inspiring the 10th annual meeting of the MHC. We invite participants to think broadly and metaphorically about these action words and about spaces in which care is provided, and to submit proposals for meeting presentations. From 2000 – 2009, the CHP undertook the design and construction of a new hospital building. Reimagining the space of the hospital, plans included multiple innovations appealing to the five senses, mind, and spirit to make delivery of healthcare to pediatric patients more humane and less distressing. Aspects of CHP’s building and services are designed to use art, music, particular scents, quiet space, and gardens—all to make provision of healthcare better for children and those who care for them. During the 2012 MHC meeting, tours and talks will reveal some of these features. Presentations are especially invited that focus on the use of music, art, story, and sensory stimulation in clinical spaces, or that build on the concepts of space, structure, and design.

How might we reimagine medical practices? How is healthcare designed and structured to work or not to work? How might we (re)form whole systems or daily practices? How do hospitals look, sound, and feel to youngsters? To our elderly or disabled community members? To medical students or experienced clinicians? What would a “Steve Jobs aesthetic” applied in healthcare look like? How can society create safe, healthy spaces, or administrators structure settings to improve communication? Does lack of time trump problems of space and place within medicine? Historically, how have hospital structures been designed to “keep people in their place?”

To submit a proposal for the meeting, complete the form on the next page and email it, along with your one-page presentation proposal/abstract (attached in Word or as a pdf), by December 20, 2011, to Janet Malis:

Presentations should be 10-15 minutes and prompt discussion. Panels and performances may span 60-75 minutes. Submissions from students at all levels and from all relevant disciplines are especially encouraged. Interdisciplinary work is welcome. All presenters must register for the conference; registration will open in January 2012. Consult the meeting website for up-to-date information:  For additional information, contact meeting co-chairs: Lisa S. Parker  or Valerie Satkoske .


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