Forthcoming events

Call for Papers! Conference: Sep. 2021. ‘SENSES IN MODERN HEALTH/CARE ENVIRONMENTS: INTERNATIONAL AND INTERDISCIPLINARY PERSPECTIVES’. Strand on ‘Mundane Materialities of Care’. Deadline 31st January 2021  For more details of the conference and how to submit see here

Past events

Artists’ Books and the Medical Humanities, an interdisciplinary symposium and workshop, accompanied by Prescriptions: an exhibition of artists’ books by Martha A. Hall and other artists

Organised by the University of Kent’s School of English and the University of New England’s Maine Women Writers Collection, with the support of the Beaney House of Art & Knowledge, Canterbury.

Funded by The Wellcome Trust

Contact: Dr Stella Bolaki, School of English,

Artists’ Books and the Medical Humanities will consist of an exhibition of artists’ books, a one-day symposium and a full-day workshop, to take place in Canterbury on 21st-22nd April 2016. Hall’s books, created from 1998 until her death in 2003, document her experiences with breast cancer and her interactions with the medical community. They use many constructions and designs that challenge the conventional book form and demand a physical reading. The symposium, which will launch Prescriptions, will explore connections between artists’ books, health/illness and medicine from interdisciplinary perspectives. It will include invited keynote presentations, panels, a poetry reading, a special preview of the exhibition and a documentary screening that features Hall.

Full programmes of the symposium and workshop and information on how to register can be found at:

Museums for Health and Well-being Conference

First national conference of the National Alliance for Museums, Health & Wellbeing

Date: Wednesday 2 March 2016
Time: 9.30am – 5pm
Location: The Whitworth, University of Manchester, Manchester

Tickets: £20 including lunch, refreshments and wine reception

The National Alliance for Museums, Health & Wellbeing is very pleased to be holding its first conference at the award-winning Whitworth Gallery in Manchester. The programme will feature speakers from the health, social care and museum sectors who will explore the contribution museums can make to health & wellbeing from a range of different perspectives.

For further information please visit or contact National Alliance Coordinator Krisztina Lackoi,

BSA Ageing, Body and Society Study Group 7th Annual Conference: Ageing and Culture

Friday 26th February

MICRA, University of ManchesterThis year the Ageing, Body and Society study group is holding its annual day conference in Manchester, in collaboration with MICRA, University of Manchester. The theme of the day is Ageing and Culture.

We are delighted to welcome a keynote address by Professor Andy Bennett (Griffith University, Brisbane, Australia) entitled ‘Music Scenes and Ageing Bodies’ and a plenary panel on Cultural Gerontology.Our aim is to bring together academics and researchers from the arts and humanities, the sociology of ageing and social gerontology to provide a critical analysis of key perspectives and debates, and consider avenues for future agendas, within the field of cultural gerontology.
Full programme and booking available at:

Materialities of Care: Encountering Health and Illness Through Objects, Artefacts, and Architecture

University of York, 16th and 17th September 2015

This was a two day event exploring how everyday artefacts (such as objects, dress, interiors and architecture) can mediate practices, identities and embodied experiences of health and illness. The event was interdisciplinary, bringing together researchers from sociology, history, archaeology, architecture, geography and museum studies. It was supported by funding from the Foundation for the Sociology of Health and Illness.

Making Medicines Digital

5 November 2015 @ LSE

2nd research Workshop of the Delivering Digital Drugs project

This workshop considers the multiple ways that medicines are rendered in digital systems, and the proximal and cumulative/emergent effects. We also explore the implications of considering medicines as ‘new technology’, and in particular the consequence of drugs becoming (by degrees) a digital technology.

Re-Imagining Toilets: Adventures into the Design of the Public Loo

27th November from 14.30 until 20.00 at Z-Arts, Manchester

Re-imagining Toilets was a FREE event marking the end of the Around the Toilet project (  Over summer we’ve invited queer, trans and disabled people to explore what makes a safe and accessible toilet space. Based on the stories, performances and artefacts created at our workshops, this event launched some of the exciting results of the project:

  1. A toilettheme game/installation* which you will all be invited to take part in.
  2. A ‘design toolkit’* to be used by architects and city planners when designing toilet spaces.
  3. A short report detailing the importance of thinking about safe and accessible toilets, which can be used in toilet activism.

*  Designed and made by a team of Masters Architecture Students as part of the Sheffield School of Architecture ‘Live Project’.

Engaging the Senses

A study day on object-based learning in higher education

When: Monday 1st February 2016

Time: 9:30am – 6pm

Where: University College London

Register here:

The study day will include a wine reception to launch ‘Engaging the Senses: Object Based Learning in Higher Education’ by HJ Chatterjee and L Hannan. The day will include interactive object handling sessions across five museums and a keynote lecture by Prof Stan Altman, from City University of New York.

Biopolitics and Psychosomatics: Participating Bodies Symposium

Cambridge University, July 8, 2016

This symposium aims to unpack the multiple contemporary connotations of the term ‘psychosomatic’ and to render them available for discussion in relation to problems of agency, responsibility, motivation, choice and self-management. This critical task is particularly urgent today, in the context of a resurgence of political rhetoric that opposes ‘shirkers’ and ‘strivers’ and that foregrounds individual responsibility, while questioning benefit entitlements and the authenticity of illnesses or disabilities.

Cosmopolitical Research and STS Track, EASST conference

EASST Conference at Barcelona
31. August-03. September 2016
Organized by Michael Schillmeier
University of Exeter, UK

The track will focus on empirical and conceptual work that address how STS can contribute to novel understandings and engagement with the non-normal, the un-common and unexpected which challenge and put at risk the conduct of everyday life practices and institutionalized orderings.

Central questions include
• How can STS contribute to caring practices for which no common solutions are available?
• Which role do non-humans, artifacts, design and technologies gain in cosmopolitical research?
• How can we imagine new coalitions between researcher and researched?
• How can a cosmopolitical perspective contribute to ‘slow science’?
• How can a cosmopolitical perspective disrupt the premises of human exceptionalism in STS?
• How can we think of cosmopolitical research as a mode of political engagement and experimentation, resistance and disruption of ‘social normalcy’?
• What are the novel spaces of cosmopolitics and how do they become visible?

Anthropology of mental health: at the intersections of transience, ‘chronicity’ and recovery

ASA 2016, University of Durham, 4-7 July 2016

Convenors: Anna Lavis (University of Birmingham) and Karin Eli (University of Oxford)

This panel turns its attention to the anthropology of mental illness and distress. It interrogates boundaries between concepts of transience, so-called ‘chronicity’ and recovery as they come into focus through ethnographic analyses of lived experience in the clinic and beyond.

For informal inquiries, please contact panel convenors Anna Lavis ( and Karin Eli (

Call for papers: First International Research Conference on the Arts and Dementia: Theory, Methodology and Evidence

9 –10 March 2017 • 28 Portland Place, London W1B1LY
Abstract submissions are invited for the first international conference on arts and dementia research.The conference will take place over two days and involve internationally known keynote speakers, paper sessions, roundtable discussions,an art exhibition curated by people with dementia, a film screening and time to explore the nearby Wellcome Collection’s Hub, Shaping Perceptions of Dementia through Art and Science,and meet their artists and researchers.The conference will be an opportunity to hear about new research and to engage in lively discussions with researchers, artists, clinicians, and people with dementia and caregivers in a beautiful location in central London convenient to cultural venues, historical sites and shopping.
Submission deadline:15 July 2016. Decisions will be communicated by 1 September.
Please send all submissions in a Word document to Professor Paul Camic:

Yorkshire Medical Sociology Group Meeting:

Healthy spaces: space, place and design for well-being

Keynote speaker: Lindsay Prior, Queen’s University Belfast

Date: 17th May 2017, 12:00 – 5:00 p.m

Location: Environment Building, ENV/005, University of York

The theme of the next Yorkshire Medical Sociology group is space, place and design in relation to health and well-being. This may include the built environment, landscapes, architectural design, and interiors.

Registration: To register, go to the BSA website here

For further information, please email, or

Event programme

Healthy spaces: space, place and design for well-being

12-12.40 pm Lunch, Environment Building Foyer
12.40-1.40 Keynote talk, Lindsay Prior, Queen’s University Belfast:Thinking about design … and implications for health research
1.40-3.05 pm Paper session 1: IDENTITIES, PLACES, PRACTICESNaomi Wood: Re-connecting with the past; identity, place and wellbeing in a Chinese community centre in the North West of England. Natalia Gerodetti & Sally Foster (Leeds Beckett University): “It just grounds you”: migrants, urban gardening and wellbeing Rahena Mossabir (Lancaster University): Out and About: Experiences of people with dementia in the wider community Lisa Procter (Manchester Metropolitan University), Jen Slater & Charlotte Jones (Sheffield Hallam University): How can a Queer/Crip New Materialism Energise Thinking about Spaces, Places and Design for Wellbeing?

 Sara MacBride-Stewart & Yi Gong & Jess Antell (Cardiff University): The health benefits of natural space for gender: an investigation of the gendered experience of nature and health in a geocaching activity in Brecon Beacons National Park using ‘walking interviews’

Tara French (Glasgow School of Art): Sanctuaries for wellbeing: reimagining asylums in everyday life3.05-3.20 pmTea, coffee and refreshments3.20-4.45 pmPaper session 2: DESIGNING HEALTHY SPACESNik Brown (University of York): Buildings and breath: the respiratory politics of cystic fibrosisGary Clapton (University of Edinburgh):Waiting Patiently? GP Surgery Waiting AreasSarah Croke (University of Manchester): Exploring therapeutic landscapes in Complementary and Alternative Medicine.Sarah Wright (University of Edinburgh): From ‘holding pen’ to a ‘space to breathe’: How affective landscapes shape experiences at a ‘walk-in’ sexual health clinic.

Matluba Khan (University of Edinburgh): Designing for well-being: the influence of a schoolyard intervention on children’s perceived motivation, exploration, peer-relation and bodily activity

 Su Golder and Darren Reed (University of York): Social media: a healthy space for patients or a researcher’s paradise?4.45 – 5 pmYorkshire Medical Sociology Group election, A.O.B


‘Buildings in the Making’: A Sociological Exploration of Architectural Design for Care

Tuesday 18th September 2018

The Hospitium, Museum Gardens, York YO30 7DR

‘Buildings in the Making’ is an interdisciplinary research symposium, and end of project conference for the study – Buildings in the Makinga sociological exploration of architecture for health and social care – funded by the UK Economic and Social Research Council (2015 – 2018). The aim of the conference is to create dialogue between sociology, anthropology, architecture and design, with a focus on architecture in health care and social care, in particular later life care. Although not health and social care professionals, architects are often employed to create settings where care takes place, and shape experiences in these contexts. While the focus of research has often been on individual buildings in use, the conference shifts the emphasis to the processes and practices of architectural design and construction, and how they shape the production of buildings for care.

Plenary speakers: Sarah Pink, Anthropologist, RMIT University, Australia

Stephen Witherford, Witherford Watson Mann Architects, UK

Ken Worpole, Writer and Social Historian, UK

Other confirmed speakers include:

Margo Annemans, Department of Architecture, KU Leuven, Belgium

Karim Hadjri, School of Architecture, University of Sheffield, UK

Catharina Nord, Department of Spatial Planning, Blekinge Institute of Technology, Sweden.

Flora Samuel,  School of Architecture, University of Reading, UK, and RIBA Vice President for Research

Dylan Tutt, School of Construction Management and Engineering, University of Reading, UK

Richard Ward, Dementia Services Development Centre (DSDC), University of Stirling, UK


We welcome poster presentations from different disciplines which relate to the conference themes – this may include: the role of the architect; design/construction for health and social care; working relationships in design and construction; architecture for later life care; age friendly/dementia friendly design. Postgraduate and early career applications are particularly encouraged. Please send an abstract of up to 200 words to and The deadline for abstracts is 31st July.

The event is free but places are limited, to reserve a place please register here 

For further information about the event please contact Chrissy Buse