A Narrative Future for Health Care
Launch of the International Network for Narrative Medicine
Co-Sponsored by the Centre for the Humanities and Health at King’s College London and The Program in Narrative Medicine, Columbia University, New York

June 19-21, 2013
At King’s Guy’s Hospital Campus, London

Humanities scholars, social scientists and clinicians are learning to write and read clinical discourse in ways that take account of developing narratological thinking in literature, philosophy and ethics. They have started to recognize and describe narrative impulse, shape, and techniques in clinical conversations, observations and illness-related life-writings of patients, care-givers and writers. Narrative medicine has emerged from elements of literary theory, cultural studies, creative writing and artistic practice, disability studies, narrative ethics, and history of medicine, which intersect with the professional disciplines of nursing, social work, medicine, and the psychotherapies.

Conference Objectives:

1. To convene broad international interest in the place of narrative knowledge and practices in health care
2. To expand our appreciation of the role of creativity in the care of the sick
3. To focus on global narrative health care futures
4. To sharpen and critique narrative concepts in relation to clinical practices and training methods
5. To examine current goals in teaching, research, and clinical care
6. To articulate the risks of narrative practices in health care
7. To strategize means of influencing mainstream clinical institutions
8. To raise the visibility of narrative concepts and methods in health care policy discourse
9. To interrogate how Illness Narrative should be theorized
10. To situate Narrative Medicine in the context of other clinical and scientific developments such as ‘Personalised Medicine’.

Confirmed Keynote Speakers:

Catherine Belling
Havi Carel
Arthur Frank
Ann Jurecic
John Launer

Call for papers:

Paper abstracts are solicited from conference attendees for inclusion in break-out parallel sessions. Topics of interest include but are not limited to:

  • Fortifying clinical practice with narrative methods
  • Illness narratives in practice
  • Life writing, health, and social care
  • Social justice, health, and narrativity
  • Teaching close reading and creative writing in health care schools
  • Narrative medicine responses to trauma
  • Visual representations of illness and care
  • The limits of representing illness
  • Health policy implications of the narrative jolt in health
  • Narrative ethics
  • The neuroscience of narrative acts.

Submission of abstracts: Abstracts should be no more than 400 words and sent to Julia Howse by 5th January 2013. Please include a title, and the topic from the above list which your abstract addresses. We welcome and encourage papers from researchers and practitioners from scientific, clinical, humanities, disabilities studies, health service and policy backgrounds, as well from writers and artists. Abstracts should be submitted in a Times Roman typeface size 12.

Please contact Julia Howse if you have any questions regarding the conference or the submission of abstracts.


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