Material Medicine: Objects and Bodies
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    University of Plymouth - specific locations tbc

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What is the force of clinical objects? What of the objects of care? How are they held? How have they been held through time? Clinicians, how do you warm your objects? How do patients see/imagine/experience clinical objects? What are the ethics of objects? 

In terms of critical anthropocentrism, in both medical narratives and the humanities, how are objects thought of, held in the hands, received, depicted through word and image, given ‘life’, become obsolete? And we are also interested in the other meanings of object: ‘to object’ to disagree and to ‘objectify’, and the tensions that might lie here.

"I must let my senses wander as my thought, my eyes see without looking .... Go not to the object; let it come to you." HENRY THOREAU, The Journal of Henry David Thoreau 

"It is never we who affirm or deny something of a thing; it is the thing itself that affirms or denies something of itself in us." BARUCH SPINOZA, Short Treatise II

Call for Papers

We kindly encourage you to submit a proposal for presentation addressing one or more of the below-mentioned topics for the AMH Material Objects Conference 2019. The conference reflects on medical humanities practices from the point of view of their non-human factors. 

We ask:

  • Whether medical humanities can be considered beyond typically human behaviour, expressing and reflecting the intentions and needs of human beings, but rather a point of encounter and a collaborative relation between heterogeneous elements, components or materials, like bodies, organisms and objects?
  • What kinds of objects mediate between clinical bodies and patients, between ‘health’ and ‘illness’?
  • What kind of objects speak to medical humanities narratives? How can medical humanities create, reject, liberate, or reunite objects?
  • How might concepts of the inhuman be reconciled alongside the medical object?
  • How can we ‘object’ to the use of medical tools?

(Papers from outside this call are still welcomed.)

Papers should be submitted via the above link by the extended deadline of Wednesday 1 May.

Delegate fees

Bronze (includes conference proceedings and lunches) - Early Bird: £230 (members), £280 (non-members) | Late fee: £280 (members), £330 (non-members)

Silver (as Bronze plus National Marine Aquarium meal and Plymouth Sound boat tour) - Early Bird: £285 (members), £335 (non-members) | Late fee: £335 (members),  £385 (non-members)

Gold (as Silver plus Plymouth history walking tour and Plymouth Gin Distillery tour) - Early Bird: £310 (members), £360 (non-members) | Late fee: £360 (members), £410 (non-members)

Day (conference proceedings and lunches) - Early Bird: £90 (members), £120 (non-members) | Late fee: £120 (members), £150 (non-members)

For individual artists and the unwaged please contact the organisers directly for a reduced fee.

  • Early Bird registration deadline: Wednesday 15 May 2019
  • Final registration: Tuesday 11 June 2019, 23:00


Contact for any queries.


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