“Art, Aesthetics and Medical/Health Humanities” is a forthcoming conference sponsored by the British Society of Aesthetics and supported by the Aesthetics Research Centre. The conference will bring together Analytic Aesthetics and the Medical and Health Humanities. These disciplines share important core concerns and have much to offer one another. The medical and health humanities explore the role of the humanities – and especially the arts – in medicine, medical education and healthcare. In the process they engage with many topics that are central to analytic aesthetics, including narrative, creativity, imagination, empathy, emotion, the value of art, value interaction and sensory perception. The conference aims to stimulate conversations about the connections art and aesthetics have with medicine, medical education, healthcare and the advancement of health and wellbeing.

Please find the schedule below. Please note that the schedule may be subject to revisions closer to the start of he conference.

Abstracts can be found here: BSA Conference – Art Aesthetics and the Medical and Health Humanities – Abstract List

*Sat 8th Feb – Please note that all afternoon sessions in Aphra have moved to GLT1. The 14:00 Film installation is now in Aphra.

Friday 7th February

10:00 – 11:00  Registration opens
11:00 – 13:00  Keynote (Prof. Jenefer Robinson, “Empathy and the Novel: Does experiencing emotional empathy for characters and narrators in novels promote empathy in the actual world?”) and Response (Dr. Julie Anderson): GLT2
13:00 – 14:00  Lunch
14:00 – 15:30  Reverse Papers Session 1/Workshop 1:

Reverse Papers – GLT3:

  1. Dana Gage, MD, MS.Can the techniques of narrative medicine help?” – DOCCS NYS.
  2. Elizabeth Mitchell, MD.Will Reflective Writing Reflect Burnout During Residency?” – Associate Professor of Emergency Medicine; Boston University School of Medicine; Boston Medical Centre.
  3. James B. Wendt, MD. “The use of the role of Narrative in Hearing What the Patient Is Trying To Really Say.” – Staff Physician; Bronx VA / Adjunct Instructor; Columbia University

Workshop – Aphra:

‘Hold me in a circle of tender listening’ – listening event and discussion in the Aphra Theatre led by Amanda McDowell, PhD candidate in Fine Art, University of Kent.

‘Hold me in a circle of tender listening’ is a 50 minute sound piece in which five women speak about their experiences of the UK psychiatric institution throughout the second half of the twentieth century. The work was created using an archive of oral history video testimonies held in the British Library, originally recorded in 1999/2000. It is a response to the terrible failure of psychiatry to listen and was created out of an ethics of entanglement. The piece featured as a multichannel sound installation at the Big Anxiety Festival in Sydney in 2019.

15:30 – 16:00  Break
16:00 – 18:00  Keynote (Prof. Paul Crawford, “Minding Stories: Health Humanities and Powerful Tales”) and Response (Dr. Eileen John): GLT2
18:15 – 19:30 Cold buffet dinner
19:30 – 21:30 Playing On: Can I Help You? – Theatrical Performance at the Gulbenkian Theatre

Saturday 8th February

09:30 – 11:00  Triple Sessions 1

i. – GLT2

  1. Dr. Lottie Corr. “A picture of health: a literature review examining the integration of Graphic Medicine within medical education.” – NHS Lanarkshire.
  2. Dr. Julia Hitchcock. “Effectiveness of using art and design in Health Applications to improve Hypertension and Diabetes Health Literacy in India.” – Associate Professor of Art; Baylor University.
  3. Dr. Sandra Danilovic. “Game Design Therapoetics: Cathartic Making for Self and Society.” – Assistant Professor, Game Design and Development; Wilfrid Laurier University, Canada

ii. – GLT3

  1. Nicholas Bellacicco. “The Pedagogy of Clinical Empathy: Formation of the Physician.” – Medical Student; Baylor University.
  2. Dr. Stephen R. Latham, JD, PhD. “What is a beautiful death, and does morality demand one?” – Director, Yale Interdisciplinary Centre for Bioethics; Yale.
  3. Viktoria Lloyd-Barlow. “Autoethnography of an Inarticulate Subject: Transgressing the Neurotypical Narrative.” – PhD Candidate, School of English; University of Kent.

iii. – Aphra (Please note that this is a single 90-minute session comprised of 3 30-minute papers on the same topic.)

  1. Tom Grey (Research Fellow);
  2. Dr. Hilary Moss (Course Director, MA Music Therapy);
  3. Prof. Desmond O’Neill (Professor in Medical Gerontology). “Aesthetics and healthcare spaces: from theory to pragmatics.” – Trinity College Dublin.

11:00 – 11:30  Break
11:30 – 13:00  Reverse Papers Session 2 / Workshop 2:

Reverse Session – GLT3:

  1. Dr Niro Amin. “Doctor distress: voicing the tipping point.” – GP & Doctoral student in Medical Humanities; Birkbeck.
  2. Marjolein Uitham. “Illustrations bear comfort and relief.” – Masters Candidate, Art Education; Hanze University Groningen.
  3. Kathleen Frazier. “Sleep and Trauma: Using Graphic Medicine and Narrative Medicine Toward Trauma Informed Recovery from Disordered Sleep” – MS Candidate, Narrative Medicine; Columbia University New York.

Workshop – Lumley:

Perceiving Differently: Understanding Neurodivergence through creative practices

Professor Nicola Shaughnessy will lead this workshop, using exercises developed through her experience of working with the autistic community, arts practitioners and psychologists in her AHRC funded projects: ‘Imagining Autism’ and “Playing A/Part: exploring the experiences and identities of autistic girls through participatory arts. `The practical exercises are used with professionals in arts, health and education through the CPD programmes associated with these projects. The workshop will promote empathy and understanding of neurodivergence, ‘walking in somebody else’s shoes.’ This has been the basis for her research investigating neurodivergence, creativity and aesthetics.

13:00 – 14:00  Lunch

14:00 onward – “Dialogues of Disorder” Film Installation – Aphra

Dialogues of Disorder, a conversation with Mel

The film documentary “Dialogues of Disorder, a conversation with Mel” is a socially engaged project, which is the first in a series of short films produced by Dr Thomas Baugh and Karen Abadie, in partnership with Live-well and the NHS, and was launched in March 2019. The ongoing project explores, and supports the practical development of a new and different mode of understanding obsessive compulsive disorder and self-injury, by working directly with sufferers of these conditions, and placing participants at the core of the experience through conversations. These are recorded through film and then projected, as a process to engage the viewer.  At its core the test film screening will examine how this practice serves to strengthen the research, which currently exists in medical fields surrounding these two mental disorders, and will contribute to new methods of diagnosis, in relation to both formulation approaches and diagnostic systems. In doing so the project aims to contribute to reduction of the stigma and the miss-representation, which currently surrounds both disorders.

Dr Thomas Baugh leads Fine Art at the University of Plymouth. By making visual diagnostic and non-diagnostic discourses, which occur across clinical and societal settings Thomas’s artistic research aims to provide  alternative responses of understanding mental health that are accessible, empowering and non-stigmatising and that lead to recovery and autonomy.

Karen Abadie is in the final throes of her PhD Practice as Research project at Plymouth University where she is also a Lecturer in Fine Art.  Karen works with tender themes around mental health, loss and bereavement creating environments that call audiences to their bodies, through immersive haptic media.

This installation will be in the Aphra Theatre

14:00 – 15:30  Triple Sessions 2 //

i. – Moved to GLT1

  1. Dr. Aleksandra Glos.The art of mind-changing – solidarity in dementia care.” – Jagiellonian University in Kraków.
  2. Dr. Maria Micaela Coppola. “Down the Rabbit Hole: Tales of Nonsense and Wonder from the Land of Dementia.” – Associate Professor of English Literature; University of Trento (Italy).
  3. Dr. Avril Tynan.Layers of Forgetting: Detective Fiction and Dementia.” – University of Turku, Finland.

ii. – GLT2

  1. Sheila Grandison (East London NHS Foundation Trust and City, University of London). “Group viewing of modern and contemporary art objects in the education of mental healthcare professionals: an NHS-Tate training initiative.
  2. Dr. Rebeca Pardo Sainz. “Illness visual narratives: aesthetics and ethical questions.” – Faculty of Communication of the Universitat Internacional de Catalunya (International University of Catalunya)
  3. Dr. Virginia Dakari. “Toward an aesthetic of the unpresentable: Cancer-related performance as sublime art and an exercise in empathy.” –   Adjunct Lecturer, National and Kapodistrian University of Athens; Postdoc, Aristotle University of Thessaloniki.

iii. – GLT3

  1. Lynn Sara Lawrence, MS, MSW. “While Strolling Through Vuillard’s Garden at Vaucresson I Stumbled Upon A Family Secret.” – Columbia University, Narrative Medicine Program.
  2. Ezra Schwartz. “The Early Medical Encounter.” – M.D., C.M. Candidate and M.S., Narrative Medicine; McGill University, Faculty of Medicine Columbia University in the City of New York.
  3. Eugenia S. Kim. “Lithium Hindsight 360: Narrative, Empathy and Somatic Movement in a Virtual Reality Environment.” – PhD Candidate, City University of Hong Kong.

15:30 – 16:00  Break
16:00 – 18:00  Keynote (Prof. Sheila Lintott, “Stand-Up and Mental Health: The Myth of the Mad Comic”) and Response (Dr. Stella Bolaki): GLT2
18:15 – 20:00  Hot buffet dinner
20:00 – 22:00  Live Stand-up Comedy at the Gulbenkian Café

Sunday 9th February

09:30 – 11:00  Triple Sessions 3

i. – Aphra

  1. Gillian Shirreffs.Imagination and Storytelling: Tools to Help Navigate Life with Multiple Sclerosis.” – PhD Candidate; University of Glasgow.
  2. Dr. Pin-chia Feng. “Against Apathy: Empathetic Storytelling and Narrative Medicine in Final Exam.” – National Chiao Tung University.
  3. Dr. Claire Anscombe. “Creatively Constrained Negotiating Disability in Visual Art Production.” – University of Kent.

ii. – GLT3

  1. Penelope Lusk. The Aesthetics of Reflection: Conceptualizing Exemplary Medical Professional Identity through Writing.” – Project Associate – New York University Langone Health
  2. Dr. Chris Millard (Lecturer in the History of Medicine and Medical Humanities); Prof. Ian Sabroe (Professor of Inflammation Biology). “Clinical experience and things not said, as revealed by study of narrative.” – University of Sheffield.

iii. – GLT2

  1. Dr. Matthew Crippen (Humboldt University of Berlin); Sarah Hammad (University of Essex). “Aesthetics, Health and the Loss and Emergence of Self.
  2. Dr Ivan Nenchev (Physician); Benjamin Wilck (PhD Candidate, Philosophy). “Linguistic and Philosophical Problems with Psychiatric Metaphor Comprehension Tests.” – Charité University Medicine Berlin & Humboldt University Berlin.
  3. Kelvin Chang; Deshae Jenkins; Kate Gaines. “Opacity as Resistance: Mobilizing Opacity as a Response to the Demand for Transparency.” – MA Candidates, Narrative Medicine; Columbia University.

11:00 – 11:30  Break
11:30 – 12:30  Triple Sessions 4 – Double Session Edition!

i. – GLT3

  1. Dr. Margarita Saona. “Vital Signs: The Literary Genres of Infirmity.” – Professor of Latin American Literature; University of Illinois at Chicago.
  2. Dr. Ji-Ching Hsiung. “Arrowsmith and the Arts as Social Practices.” – Assistant professor; Chung Jen Catholic Junior College of Nursing, Health Sciences and Management.

ii. – Aphra

  1. Marianne R. Petit.Sharing Secrets: Our Hysterectomies.” – Associate Arts Professor; New York University.
  2. Nealie Tan Ngo. “The Body Issue: What Global and Historical Perspectives of the Ideal Female Body Can Teach Us About Our Own Present-day Bodies.” –  Medical Student; Yale University, University of Toledo.

12:30 – 13:30  Lunch
13:30 – 15:30  Keynote (Prof. Rita Charon, “Creative Discourse & Critical Discourse: Freedoms & Constraints”) and Response (Prof. Matthew Kieran): GLT2
15:30 – 16:30 Roundtable Discussion (Prof. Jenefer Robinson, Prof. Paul Crawford, Prof. Sheila Lintott, Prof. Rita Charon, Prof. Nicola Shaughnessy, Prof. Murray Smith): GLT2 

16:30       Conference ends


Abstracts can be found here: BSA Conference – Art Aesthetics and the Medical and Health Humanities – Abstracts