Call for papers for British Society of Aesthetics conference

Dr Dieter Declercq, Lecturer in Film and Media, Dr Michael Newall, Senior Lecturer in History of Art and Professor Nicola Shaughnessy, Professor of Performance in the Department of Drama and Theatre, are organising a conference sponsored by the British Society of Aesthetics and with the support of the Aesthetics Research Centre The conference theme is  ‘Art, Aesthetics, and the Medical and Health Humanities’ and will be hosted by the School of Arts from Friday 7 February to Sunday 9 February 2020.

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.

The keynote talks will be delivered by Professor Rita Charon (Columbia University), Professor Paul Crawford (University of Nottingham), Professor Sheila Lintott (Bucknell University), and Professor Jenefer Robinson (University of Cincinnati), alongside confirmed responses from Dr Julie Anderson (University of Kent), Dr Stella Bolaki (University of Kent), Dr Eileen John (University of Warwick) and Professor Matthew Kieran (University of Leeds).

The organisers invite proposals for paper presentations that explore the connections between art, Analytic Aesthetics and the Medical and Health Humanities. The conference supports a broad understanding of art and aesthetics, ranging from fine art to popular media and the aesthetics of everyday life. Similarly, the organisers encourage exploration of a broad range of contributions that the arts can make to health and wellbeing, including in the delivery of healthcare, the education of healthcare professionals, as well as the advancement of health and wellbeing in the broadest sense. Topics of interest include, but are not limited to:

  • Narratives, storytelling and narrative medicine
  • (The decline of) empathy in healthcare
  • The role or place of imagination, emotion or sensory perception in healthcare
  • Art, aesthetics and disability
  • Health in relation to other values of art
  • Art and aesthetics in healthcare education
  • Comedy, humour, health and wellbeing
  • Graphic medicine

Proposals are invited in two formats:

  1. 20-minute presentations (with 10 minutes for Q&A). These are traditional research papers. Please submit an abstract of up to 500 words for blind review.
  2. 5-minute ‘reverse presentations’ (with 10 minutes for audience response). These are designed for presenters to pitch a new research topic which they consider of interest to both Analytic Aesthetics and the Medical and Health Humanities. This format is designed to give presenters suggestions and ideas about how their topic can be tackled from the perspective of both disciplines. Please submit an abstract of up to 300 words for blind review.

Submissions should be prepared for blind review, accompanied by a cover sheet, attached as a separate file, and should include the author’s name(s), email(s), institutional affiliation(s), and the title of the abstract.

Please send proposals to aestheticsandhealth@kent.ac.uk by Sunday 1 September 2019. Please also use this email address for any queries you may have.