Overview: Proponents of medical humanities contend that the humanistic dimensions of medicine and health are a critical component of those disciplines; not only do these dimensions help us to understand the very nature of medicine and health, their apprehension allows caregivers to relate to their patients, to treat those patients with respect and dignity, and to provide more holistic and empathetic care. The Western Michigan University Medical Humanities Conference aims to explore a range of themes within the medical humanities, though a primary focus will be on why medical humanities matter, whether in practice or in the training of our health care professionals. A secondary focus will be on what the medical humanities are; how is it that we delimit the attendant issues?
The conference is meant to be highly interdisciplinary, drawing participants from a wide range of backgrounds, including those from both academic and medical communities. Submissions are welcome on topics that engage some facet of the medical humanities, including their importance and conceptual scope. Furthermore, we welcome submissions that engage any of the following: medical ethics, history of medicine, religious and/or spiritual perspectives on medicine, health care communication, medical anthropology, sociology of medicine, cross-cultural approaches to medicine, medicine in literature and/or poetry, musical therapy, or medicine as represented in the visual arts.
Submission Guidelines: Submissions should include name, departmental/institutional affiliation, project title, and an abstract not to exceed 500 words. Proposals should be submitted electronically by July 15—in either .doc/.docx or .pdf format—to firstname.lastname@example.org. Unless otherwise specified, all submissions will be considered for both the conference program and for the poster session; please indicate if you would prefer to be considered for only one category. Acceptances will be announced by August 1, and further details will appear on the conference website as they are available.
About Us: Under the direction of Dr. Fritz Allhoff and Mr. David Charlton, the Medical Humanities Workgroup is a new initiative on the campus of Western Michigan University, coordinating individuals from the campus and broader Kalamazoo community with interests in the humanistic dimensions of medicine and health. For more information, please see www.wmich.edu/medicalhumanities.
Our Sponsors: Bronson Healthcare Group, Office for Vice President of Research, College of Arts & Sciences, College of Fine Arts, College of Health and Human Services, Medieval Institute, Center for the Study of Ethics in Society, Soga Japan Center, University Center for the Humanities, School of Communication, School of Music, School of Nursing, Department of Comparative Religion, Department of English, Department of History, Department of Geography, Department of Philosophy, Department of Sociology.
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