在醫學人文研究中，健康和疾病存於在人的身上正如善與惡存於世界。有關健康和疾病的討論或對疾病本體論的思考，其主要目的在於症狀了解和治療的（不）可能性，因為疾病可以通過一扇門進入或離開人體。希臘醫學之父希波克拉底（Hippocrates）的著作指出人的全面性疾病概念﹕自然在人體內外應是和諧平衡的，若是這種平衡和諧發生紊亂，人就會生病。自培根（Francis Bacon）以來，人類通過克服自然並控制疾病，其目的就是維持人的正常狀態，但是到了18世紀，透過病理解剖學，新的醫學觀念可以把某些損傷的器官與症狀的穩定聯繫起來，讓疾病分類學人在解剖學分析中找到活力，因此病理學自然地成為生理學的延伸。從康吉萊姆（Georges Canguilhem）的《正常與病態》（The Normal and the Pathological）的醫學哲學和生命科學的架構下重新探討正常和變態之間的弔詭關係，進而閱讀台灣與其他相關醫學哲學和生命科學的基本理念。處於人類紀的我們應如何在醫學人文的領域重新評估被傳統定義下的那些偏離正常狀況的例外狀態是否也是正常社會的一種常態，例如老化、阿茲海默症、失能和其他疾病等。本次會議以「醫療人文」為主題，邀請學界針對當前的醫學人文狀況進行反思，不但賦予文學研究的淑世功能一個新的立足點，開發台灣文學研究學者與全球學術對話的新渠道，也嘗試開拓新的醫學倫理、科技和生命等多樣性意涵。本次會議建議子題列舉如下，但不限於此：
4優生學與生殖政治（Eugenics and Reproductive Politics）
The 41st National Comparative Literature Conference
Theme: Medical Humanities in the New Millennium
Comparative Literature Association of the Republic of China
National Chiao Tung University
Date: June 22 (Saturday), 2019
National Chiao Tung University (Guang-fu Campus), Hsin-chu, Taiwan
Call for Papers
Originally a part of medical education, medical humanities emerged as an independent research area in the mid-twentieth century, and has since then become a prominent field for interdisciplinary inquiries, with its scope broadened in recent years to include the discussion of health humanities.
In the studies of medical humanities, the presence of health and disease in the human body often serves as a metaphor in which other longstanding sets of polarities, such as light and shadow, good and evil, purity and filth, the soul and the body, the sacred and the profane, are yoked together, with the clear-cut line between these seemingly opposing ideas often obscured. Diseases enter and leave the human body through both visible and invisible bodily orifices, affecting the physical and mental state of a person. Discussions about health and diseases have thus focused mainly on the im/possibility of understanding the symptoms and curing them. Hippocrates, the father of Western medicine, advocated a “holistic” concept of disease, arguing that harmony between the nature and the human body was the key to maintaining the health of the latter. Diseases, therefore, happen as the result of imbalance between the internal and external environments, as when any of the four bodily fluids, corresponding to the four seasons and the four elements, dominates the others in a human body. The natural medicine of Hippocrates and his theory of humors were perpetuated into the medieval period in Europe through the works of Galen, which shaped the intimate and inseparable relationship between disease and nature, and by extension, with devils and God, mystic experiences, and religion in medieval ideas of medicine and healing.
This medieval unity between humans and nature gradually gave way to Francis Bacon’s concept of the “mechanical” human body in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries. People during this time believed that, by overcoming nature and repairing a damaged organ, they could control diseases and maintain the normal function of the human body. The development of forensic anatomy in the eighteenth century helped to further strengthen the connection between a particular damaged organ and the alleviation of a symptom, bringing new light into disease taxonomy, rendering pathology a natural extension of physiology.
George Canguilhem’s mid-twentieth-century seminal work, Le Normal et la pathologique, examined the paradoxical relationship between the normal and the pathological under the framework of medical philosophy and biology. His philosophical exploration is a firm ground and good starting point for us to reflect on and examine relevant issues in the fields of medicine and biology: In the age of the Anthropocene, how do we redefine or re-evaluate diseases which have been traditionally categorized as exception to or deviation from the norm, such as ageing, Alzheimer’s, disability, and other diseases. Is it possible that these cases of exception and deviation could be seen as a constituent of the normal state of society?
This conference takes medical humanities as its subject, inviting scholars from around the world to reflect on the current state of this research field. In addition to creating a new point of engagement for literary studies to participate in pressing social issues, and a new channel of dialogue with global research for literary scholars in Taiwan, the conference also hopes to explore the multifaceted conjunction of medical ethics, technology, and life.
Topics may include, but are not limited to:
- medical politics and biopolitics
- medical life writing: autobiography or biography studies
- medical inequality/inequity: races, gender and classes
- eugenics and reproductive politics
- issues of aging in literary works and cultural studies
- discourse of disease
- critical disability studies
- the body, medicine and narratives
- literature and neuroscience
- graphic medicine
- narrative medicine
- medical humanities in the age of Anthropocene
We encourage individuals to submit abstracts of 300-500 words, including short CVs (name, title, affiliations, selected publications, contact information) to the committee at firstname.lastname@example.org by September 30, 2018. For pre-formed panel organizers, please submit a panel proposal of 500 words, and a Chinese abstract of 500-800 words for each paper, with the CVs of all the panel members included.
Electronic acknowledgements of submission will be sent to all submitters upon receipt of the abstract. Notifications of acceptance will be sent by October 31, 2018. Full papers for accepted abstracts should be submitted by April 30, 2019. Presenters are advised to acquire membership of the Association by May 31, 2019.
- Abstract submission deadline: September 30, 2018
- Abstract acceptance notification: October 31, 2018
- Full paper submission deadline: April 30, 2019
- Conference date: June 22, 2019