Dynamics of Health and Medical Communication in International and Intercultural Contexts

CFP: Special Issue of Journal of Technical Writing and Communication on

Communication, Culture, and Care: Examining the Dynamics of Health and Medical Communication in International and Intercultural Contexts


Issue Editor: Kirk St.Amant, Louisiana Tech University


Proposals Due: 8 Dec. 2017


Publication Date: Fall 2018 (tentative)



Today, diseases can spread internationally faster and farther than ever before, and a range of public health challenges can “go global” quickly and easily.  Additionally, the increasingly multilingual and multicultural settings within a nation mean conveying health and medical information across cultures regularly occurs on a local level.  The challenge becomes communicating ideas of care – i.e., addressing issues of health and wellness – across different cultures, languages, and geopolitical/national contexts.  Individuals in health and medical communication therefore need to consider how factors of culture, language, and geopolitics can affect the uses of the materials they create.  Doing so involves understanding the dynamics of such factors and how to apply this knowledge effectively.  Resources that address these objectives can help health and medical communicators convey information relating to care across such complex contexts.



The purpose of this special issue is to examine the factors that affect the sharing of health and medical information with individuals from different nations and cultures.  The objective is to provide readers with both the information needed to understand how such factors affect communication expectations and strategies for addressing such factors effectively.



Topics of interest for this special issue include (but are not limited to) those that address questions such as the following:


— How can and do cultural, linguistic, and geopolitical factors affect communication practices related to health and medicine?


— How can factors of culture, language, translation, and localization (e.g., glocalization and transcreation) affect the ways we share health and medical information with others?


— How can and should we conduct research on health and medical communication to better understand different cultural expectations? (Likewise, how should we conduct such research in other cultures?)


— How can and should we collaborate with partners from other cultures and in other nations to research international and intercultural health and medical communication?


— How are different national legal systems and different cultural value systems affecting health and medical communication practices in global and local contexts?


— How do we need to re-think our research approaches, methods, and study designs to better include and represent audiences from different cultures and nations?


— How is the international spread of online media and hand-held information communication technologies affecting the collection and dissemination of health and medical information in international and intercultural contexts?


— How do different national, cultural, and linguistic concepts affect aspects of usability and user-centered design relating to health and medical information and materials?


— How do cultural, linguistic, and geopolitical factors affect how we discuss and share information about disease, illness, and public health issues on global and local levels?


— How can we effectively collaborate with individuals to share health and medical information effectively in different international and intercultural contexts?


Through examining these questions, prospective authors can advance our understanding of the dynamics affecting health and medical communication in a variety of international and intercultural settings.



Individuals should submit a 300-400 word proposal that notes

— The submitter’s name and contact email

— The title of the proposed entry

— The overall topic/focus of the proposed article

— The approach or method the proposed article will take to examine this overall topic

— The connection of the focus and approach/method to the theme of this special issue

— The methods readers can use to apply ideas to health and medical communication practices


Proposals should be submitted as a .doc file emailed to kirk.stamant@gmail.com, and the subject line of the related message should read “JTWC Proposal on Communication, Culture, and Care.”



Questions on this special issue or on prospective topics and approaches for prospective submissions should be sent to the guest editor, Kirk St.Amant, at kirk.stamant@gmail.com