Call for papers for the 1st “Art and aesthetics in health and wellness” Conference, 29-30 April 2023

Keynote Speaker: TBA

Abstract Due Date: 30 March 2023


This conference brings together academics, therapists, colour theorists, psychologists, artists and other practitioners from a wide variety of fields, for a collaborative, multidisciplinary exploration of the arts and aesthetics in healthcare contexts.  Abstracts are peer-reviewed. Themes and issues for the conference include, but are not limited to:


Stream A       Music, art, and drama in therapy and healing

Health and wellbeing are complex somatic and psychological states with subjective, cultural, aesthetic, perceptual, neurobiological and social dimensions. Music, art, video, dance, movement, theater, and music have long been used in therapy, to manage depression, relieve suffering, and return patients to wellbeing. Theoretical approaches range from cognitive-behavioral and developmental, through narrative and humanistic, to neuropsychological. Specialist applications include depression and anxiety management, trauma relief, interventions with abused, addicted, autistic children and teens,  psychological assessment and forensic applications, couple and family therapy, and clinical applications with cancer, control of movement disorders and psychomotor skill and development, pain control, PTSD, schizophrenia, dementia, palliative care. How do light, colour, architectural form, physical materials, water, spatiality and similar elements impact healthcare professionals working in hospitals and clinics, and patients visiting and using them? How are aesthetic elements cognitively processed, how do they impacts our emotions and psychology? What medical conditions impact human responses to design elements? We welcome papers on these and other aspects of the arts in healthcare, therapeutic or wellness situations and applications.


Stream B        Art education

We welcome papers in all areas of art education, including visual, graphic, plastic, decorative, musical, film, design, dramatic, dance, storytelling, and other forms. How does art help teach children and adults physical, emotional and other skills and abilities? How are the interior and the social dimensions of art education  and art as a practice integrated? What are the individual and social benefits of creativity? How do the arts provide avenues to help people manage painful life events, and achieve greater equilibrium, even happiness? We welcome experience narratives from people working in any related role or field. What was the experience like? What were the communication issues? For more information on putting together an experience narrative, please see here


Stream C          The arts and health in global contexts

In many cultures, there are historically deep and culturally rich connections between the arts and the practitioners and techniques of health and healing. These traditions persist, sometimes in classic, hybrid or contemporary forms, in many countries, and across many cultures. What historical, legal, cultural, religious and social assumptions underlie traditional practices in the intersection between the arts and medicine and/or therapies, round the world today? How have medicine, medical practitioners, therapy, illness and healing been depicted in historical documents, art history, literature and other cultural resources? How have these ideas reflected and connected to religious beliefs and practices? How have they evolved over time, and how do they connect with scientific medicine in the contemporary world?


Stream D          Data analytics, art and aesthetics

In order to explore aesthetic responses in healthcare situations, we are soliciting research cooperation from healthcare practitioners of all kinds, psychologists, social scientists, and others. These papers use data from recorded patient-practitioner interactions, and structured interview questions, and evaluate this data with sentiment analysis software. Conference participants interested in cooperating with this effort will publish papers in a journal special issue with HEDRA advisory board members.  If you are interested in this, please click here.


The conference welcomes abstracts from academics and researchers working in psychology, medical and healthcare practitioners, as well as people working in social sciences and business, and other fields. We also welcome experience narratives, case studies, and situation reports from members of the public, people working in any related field, and specialists. You can find more information on this here. Participants will be able to watch a plenary session, and participate in a live-stream roundtable, and a conference roundtable discussions.


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