Call for papers for the 1st “Sickness and health in the digital humanities”, 5-6 May 2022

Keynote Speaker: Christina DeCoursey

Abstract Due Date: 6 April 2022


This conference brings together academics, researchers, educators 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:           Language, health, illness and care

Linguistics research is a foundational area of the digital humanities. We welcome papers exploring the language of illness, recovery, health, wellbeing, dying and death, and the application of corpus linguistic methods to understanding topics in humanities texts representing our experiences of illness and health, and the provision of care. Papers could explore language as an element of information, communication and care, language complexity in healthcare contexts, medical translation, medical terminology, dictionaries and databases, linguistic interoperability in cross-platform digital communication, language in the practice of healthcare, language as a barrier to access, language and hegemony in healthcare.


Stream B:           Representing Illness

Every one of us experiences weakness, illness, and death. Language and the language, visual, and other arts have traditionally been used to make sense of these experiences. We welcome papers analysing historical voices representing the experiences of illness, and speaking for the ill, the dead, communities of illness and practitioners of care. Papers could consider the different ways people and cultures have understood humanities’ physical and mental afflictions, and how they have represented them in linguistic genres, visual arts, music, media imagery (print, tv, film, manga etc), in any language or culture. Papers could investigate how illnesses have been understood as madness, sorcery, divination, or criminality, and been responded to with ritual, punishment, empathy, confinement and medication. Papers could examine the interactions of concepts and attributions of health and illness with cultures, contexts and identities.


Stream C:           Text analysis

Humanity has suffered injuries, trauma, mental illness, psychosis, diseases, conditions, disorders, disabilities and epidemics throughout its history. Many texts record how people have met these challenges, singly or collectively, and recovered, or witnessed them and provided care. Some of the experiences recorded have been positive, some even transcending desperate circumstances. Other record sorrow, exclusion, misunderstanding, mistreatment and persecution. Papers might explore any of these experiences, of suffering, ill health, recovery, the provision of care, and death, in any form of literature, across contexts and cultures, in any language, and as applied to oral and written texts of any kind. Papers might also address method or methodological issues, such as data tagging and indexing, analytic software and tools, opinion mining, QDA, topic modelling and language variation, stylistic and stylometric issues.


Stream D:           Data analytics and the pandemic

In order to find out how the pandemic is impacting students, we are soliciting papers from educators. These papers ask use structured interviews, and evaluate the 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, educators, researchers and others working on linguistics, digital humanities, healthcare and healthcare communication, caregivers, clinicians and doctors working in any medical field, clinical, hospital and medical administrators, people working in interprofessional fields, medical educators, nurses, pharmacists, physical therapists, psychologists and others. Participants will be able to watch a plenary session, and participate in a live-stream roundtable, and a conference roundtable discussions.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This website uses cookies and similar tracking technologies. By clicking 'Accept' you agree to the use of cookies and all similar technologies. By continuing without clicking ‘Accept’, you agree to the use of cookies and all similar technologies.