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De-Centring Cultural Studies (2013), Ed. by Patricia Bastida Rodríguez et al.






Chuck Palahniuk: Fight Club, Invisible Monsters, Choke (2013). Ed. by Francisco Collado.




T. S. Eliot & Salvador Espriu (2013), Didac Llorens Cubedo.




Ana Manzanas & Jesús Benito, Cities, Borders and Spaces in Intercultural American Literature and Film





Call For Papers for XII SAAS Conference

"'Fear Narratives' and their Role/Use in the United States"

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7) "Fear of Illness, Hope in Recovery: Visions and Spaces of Malady in North American Literature and Culture"
Panel Chair: Isabel Durán Giménez-Rico, Universidad Complutense de Madrid
E-mail: idurangi@ucm.es  


The burgeoning interdisciplinary field known as the "Medical Humanities"—which explores human health and disease through the methods and materials of the creative arts and humanities—is one of the most compelling areas of research in the past few decades, especially in the US, something evidenced in the increase of graduate programs, professional training opportunities, career paths, conferences and academic journals (Medical Journal's Medical Humanities, Intima: A Journal of Narrative Medicine, Journal of Medical Humanities, Literature and Medicine, or Arts and Health).

The Medical Humanities provides an interdisciplinary and interprofessional approach to researching and understanding the profound effects of disease on patients, health professionals, and the social world in which they live and work. Unlike the medical sciences, the medical humanities—which include narrative medicine, (auto)pathographies, cultural studies, ethics, philosophy and the arts (literature, film, visual arts), among others—focus more on making sense of the sick and of various maladies (cancer, AIDS, mental disorders, Alzheimer, infectious and neurological diseases…) than on measuring scientific parameters.

Becoming seriously ill, Arthur Frank ascertains, is a call for stories and artistic representation in at least two senses. (1) The first is that stories have to repair the damage that illness has done to the ill person's sense of where s/he is in life, and where s/he may be going. Stories are a way of redrawing life maps and finding new destinations. (2) The second call for stories is literal and immediate: people want to know what is happening to the ill person. Illness stories are told in conditions of fatigue, uncertainty, sometimes pain, and always fear that turn the ill person into what Ronald Dworkin describes as a "narrative wreck."

The proposed panel is intended to explore various representations of illness in American literature, the visual arts and cultural manifestations that challenge a reductionist and fragmented view of medicine that takes little account of the unique aspects of a patient's life, and/or that protest against the social injustice of a global health system that manifests enormous health disparities and is often underpinned by discriminatory policies and practices. Likewise, the panel may include papers on spaces of illness (hospitals, wards, old people's homes, etc.).




Abstracts of Proposals are to be e-mailed directly to the chair of the selected panel using this form. The deadline for submitting abstracts is October 15, 2020. Panel chairs are expected to accept/reject proposals and have panels set up by November 15.


Non-members of SAAS (of all nationalities) are welcome to participate in the conference, but will be required to pay membership dues for one year as well as the conference registration fee. Members of ASA (American Studies Association), AISNA (Associazione Italiana di Studi Nor-Americani), APEAA (Portuguese Association for Anglo-American Studies) and HELAAS (Hellenic Association for American Studies) need only pay the conference registration fee.

Further guideliness for participants can be found here.



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