CFP: ‘British Society of Aesthetics Conference: Art, Aesthetics, and the Medical and Health Humanities’, Kent, 7-9 February 2020

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Date: 7–9 February 2020

Location:University of Kent, Canterbury, UK

Closing Date for Proposals: 1 September 2019

The Aesthetics Research Centre at The University of Kent invites abstracts for:

British Society of Aesthetics Conference: Art, Aesthetics, and the Medical and Health Humanities

7–9 February 2020, University of Kent, Canterbury, UK.

This 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.

Keynote speakers:

RITA CHARON, Professor of Medicine (Columbia University)

PAUL CRAWFORD, Professor of Health Humanities (University of Nottingham)

SHEILA LINTOTT, Professor of Philosophy (Bucknell University)

JENEFER ROBINSON, Professor Emerita of Philosophy (University of Cincinnati)

Commentators and respondents:

JULIE ANDERSON, Reader in History (University of Kent)

STELLA BOLAKI, Reader in American Literature and Medical Humanities (University of Kent)

EILEEN JOHN, Reader in Philosophy (University of Warwick)

MATTHEW KIERAN, Professor of Philosophy (University of Leeds)


We invite proposals for paper presentations that explore the connections between art, Analytic Aesthetics and the Medical and Health Humanities. We support a broad understanding of art and aesthetics, ranging from fine art to popular media and the aesthetics of everyday life. Similarly, we 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

We invite proposals for 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 by 1 September 2019. Please also use this email address for any queries you may have.

Conference organisers: Dr Dieter Declercq, Dr Michael Newall and Professor Nicola Shaughnessy

We are grateful to the British Society of Aesthetics for supporting this event.

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