Wednesday 25th May – Friday 27th May 2011
Call for Papers
Pain and the body’s vulnerability to it are inevitable aspects of the experience of all sentient beings. Pain is universally feared. Many, if not all, fields of human activity have the potential to occasion pain – and much of what we do as individuals and/or collectivities involves our efforts to prevent, ameliorate, cure or avoid pain. Nonetheless, despite the unpleasantness and sometimes the agony of the experience of pain, we are also capable of enduring it. Depending on the context, we may do so willingly.
Yet there is also the dark side of pain: humans are capable of inflicting it and at times do so intentionally, for gain or enjoyment; they can also injure and hurt other beings through carelessness and disregard of their needs and comfort.
This interdisciplinary conference provides a forum for inquiry into the vicissitudes of pain: its nature and existential significance, and the many ways in which pain plays a part in our lives. Of concern, too, are the biological, social and interpersonal circumstances within which our reactions to pain occur.
The following themes are suggested as guides to the formulation of topics for papers and workshops:
1. The Nature and Evolution of Pain
2. Elaborations on Pain – in science, history, philosophy, literature and drama, art
3. Inflicting pain – torture, sadism, self-harm, neglect and disregard
4. Animals and pain – in nature and in culture
5. Pain through the life-cycle– variations on the theme from birth to death
7. Perspectives on pain – patients’ and professionals’
8. Narratives of pain and palliation– managing, succeeding, failing to alleviate pain
9. Practices, philosophies and dilemmas of pain relief– personal, professional, cultural, economic, political (macro and micro)
10. Pain and Communication – expressing pain, understanding pain, describing pain, pain as metaphor, silences about pain
Papers will be considered on any related theme.
The Steering Group particularly welcomes the submission of pre-formed panel proposals. Papers will also be considered on any related theme. 300 word abstracts should be submitted by Friday 10th December 2010. If an abstract is accepted for the conference, a full draft paper should be submitted by Friday 1st April 2011. Abstracts should be submitted simultaneously to both Organising Chairs; abstracts may be in Word, WordPerfect, or RTF formats with the following information and in this order:
a) author(s), b) affiliation, c) email address, d) title of abstract, e) body of abstract
E-mails should be entitled: PAIN Abstract Submission.
Please use plain text (Times Roman 12) and abstain from using footnotes and any special formatting, characters or emphasis (such as bold, italics or underline). We acknowledge receipt and answer to all paper proposals submitted. If you do not receive a reply from us in a week you should assume we did not receive your proposal; it might be lost in cyberspace! We suggest, then, to look for an alternative electronic route or resend.
School if Social Science and International Studies The University of New South Wales, Sydney, NSW, Australia
Nursing/Theology and Religious Studies
University of San Francisco
San Francisco, USA
The conference is part of the Making Sense Of: Hub series of ongoing research and publications projects conferences, run within the Probing the Boundaries domain which aims to bring together people from different areas and interests to share ideas and explore innovative and challenging routes of intellectual and academic exploration.
All papers accepted for and presented at the conference will be eligible for publication in an ISBN eBook. Selected papers may be developed for publication in a themed hard copy volume.
For further details about the project please visit:
For further details about the conference please visit:
Dr Rob Fisher
Priory House, Wroslyn Road, Freeland, Oxfordshire. OX29 8HR
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