CFP: WMU Medical Humanities Conference

Conference Dates: Sept. 19-20, 2019 | Submission Deadline: May 15, 2019

The Ninth Annual Western Michigan University Medical Humanities Conference (September 19-20, 2019 in Kalamazoo, MI) is seeking abstract submissions that showcase innovative approaches to the arts, languages, and philosophies that guide society in a rapidly changing medical landscape. Medicine, as a human-centered practice that uses both traditional influences and cutting-edge technology to serve its patients, must work constantly to mitigate the tension between the abstractions that allow its practitioners to focus on addressing disease and the holistic practices that encourage patients to thrive. We are seeking presentations, workshops, and panels involving history of medicine, arts in medicine, health narratives, medical ethics, medical anthropology, religious approaches to health, health education, and conceptions of wellness, as well as multidisciplinary approaches to the medical humanities.

Abstracts will be considered in the following categories:

  • Oral Presentations: 20 minute presentations by one or two authors.
  • Panel Discussions: 60-90 minute presentations by a panel of speakers (generally 3-5). Panel discussions are expected to be interdisciplinary and explore a topic from multiple perspectives.
  • Workshops: 60-90 minute presentations with a focus on audience interaction and the creation of some artwork. Previous successful workshops have included mentored drawing, poetry writing, performance dance, etc.
  • Posters/Visual Arts: Displays of visual arts, and performances (including dance, musical theatre, etc.) are welcome.

Submission Guidelines

  • Submissions should include name, department/institution affiliation, project title, and an abstract not to exceed 500 words. Proposals should be submitted electronically by May 15 in either .doc/.docx or .pdf format to
  • Please indicate which theme the abstract falls under (e.g., philosophy/ethics, clinical practice, performance/visual arts, history, religion, conceptual or empirical research, etc.) Accepted presentations will be notified by June 1. Conference registration is required of all presenters.
  • We are committed to making the conference as accessible as possible. In order to achieve this aim, please include a separate document with your name and any access-related information you wish us to know. It will be shared solely with conference organizers.
  • Accessibility guidelines as a whole will be released shortly.

There will be special sessions dedicated to graduate and undergraduate student presentations, with prizes available for exceptional presentations.

Additional information about the conference (including registration rates, hotel accommodations, etc.), the Conference Planning Committee, WMU Homer Stryker M.D. School of Medicine Program in Medical Ethics, Humanities, & Law, and the WMU Medical Humanities Workgroup can be found at: