Call for papers for the 1st “Health, illness and recovery in literature and media” conference, 7-8 May 2022

Keynote Speaker: Christina DeCoursey

Abstract Due Date: 8 April 2022


This conference brings together academics, researchers, educators, artists and others from a wide variety of fields, for a collaborative, multidisciplinary and humanistic exploration of these fundamental aspects of the human experience. All abstracts are peer-reviewed. Themes and issues for the conference include, but are not limited to:


Stream A:          Health, illness and recovery in literature and the media

Issues of health, fitness, illness and recovery are found throughout literature, film, television and other media. They shape plots and characters, print and online news stories, online debates and television programs and fanfiction. They reflect and drive social issues, mediate our self-understanding, raise ethical questions, and represent significant life experiences, problems and solutions. They are forces shaping our lifestyles and habits, social practices, debates and policy discussions. We welcome papers on topics including, but not limited to: the representation of health, fitness, illness or recovery in literature, filmic, television or media representations; the verbal and visual constituents of health, fitness, illness or recovery in those representations; any ethical, legal or social implications raised by these; the creation, depiction or problematising of issues, identities, values and understandings in these; the ways these representations shape our lifestyles, habits, practices and interactions.


Stream B:          Using literature and media to teach language

Literature and media are widely used in teaching first and second language students. We welcome papers on the use of literature and media in any aspect of language teaching, the development and benchmarking of language arts curricula, teaching critical thinking through literature and media, the contributions of linguistics to the study of literature and of literature to the study of linguistics, the use of drama and popular culture to teach language skills, the use of playable media and games to teach language skills, the connections between teaching language arts and teaching social justice, and on Language Arts pedagogy, teaching language arts virtually and online. We also welcome experience narratives from teachers. What has the experience like, teaching language arts in your context, in the pandemic? What were the problems? What were the successes?  For more information on putting together an experience narrative, please see here.


Stream C:          Pandemics in literature and media

The pandemic has been a literary and a media event, equally with its reality as a health event. It has shaped the news and also conspiracy theories, been the focus of a boom in creative writing and sharp debates about fake news, and has taken the public’s attention at every level from the local to the international. We welcome papers exploring evcery aspect of Covid-19 in literature and the media, including issues of mainstream and fringe representation, the boom in reading as a result of lockdowns, the role of media in promoting and serving as instruments of social control but also of resistance, the engagement of netizens and citizen journalists, and reception studies. We also welcome experience narratives from people working in any media role, or in any literary area. What was your personal and professional experience of the pandemic, and of representing the pandemic, like? What were the problems? For more information on putting together an experience narraitve, please see here.


Stream D:            Data analytics and the pandemic

In order to find out how the pandemic is impacting students, we are soliciting papers from teachers, lecturers and professors. These papers ask use structured interviews, and evaluate the data with content 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, educators, practitioners, researchers and others working in the humanities, social sciences, healthcare, and other fields connected to the topics the conference focuses on. 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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