Medical Rhetoric Special Issue CFS

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Present Tense: A Journal of Rhetoric in Society is recruiting submissions on medical, gender, and body rhetorics for publication in a special issue. In the last 20 years, scholars in the humanities have focused on the way medicine conceptualizes and treats bodies and how bodies increasingly incorporate technology. Rhetoricians such as Heifferon, Segal, and Zerbe have explored the discursive and material implications of medical practices, arguing that these practices have cultural as well as material roots and that the humanities have a stake in medical discourse alongside the sciences.

Present Tense would like to expand these fruitful arguments and investigations by discussing current developments in public health, medicine, and aesthetics in order to delineate issues of persuasion, politics, and power. We invite both multimedia and text-based submissions for this special issue. Because scholars in medical rhetoric examine many media, including MRI scans, x-ray films, and audio of doctor-patient interaction, this special issue of Present Tense seeks to include these forms of multimedia scholarship. (Research involving human subjects and informed consent must receive Institutional Review Board approval prior to submission.)

Priority deadline for the special issue is January 6, 2012. Submission topics include but are not limited to:

Healthcare research and industryHow do medical research and bioethics influence the body and gender? How do healthcare regulations and companies, including the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) and the pharmaceutical and insurance industries, affect how we interact with medicine, the body, and gender? In what way do these regulations and organizations perform politics?

Healthcare practiceHow do we understand non-Western approaches to medicine through the lens of body and gender? What role does medical education play in understanding bodies and gender? What role do pandemics/epidemics play in society?

TechnologyHow do prosthetics, medical technologies, and medical procedures mediate medicine, the body, and/or gender? How do war technologies affect the treatment of bodies? What role do medical ethics play in medical technology?

Aesthetics – How do artwork installations, for example BodyWorlds, influence how we understand art, medicine, bodies, gender, and medical ethics? How does space interact with and represent medicine, the body, and/or gender? What ethics are involved in plastic surgery? What is the relationship between plastic surgery and identity, gender, and/or the tourism industry?

Veterinary medicine – How does veterinary medicine intersect with medicine, bodies, and/or genders? What role does veterinary medicine play in understanding medical rhetoric and human medicine?

Power relations – How do studies of disabilities help society understand medicine, the body, and gender and vice versa? How are traditionally marginalized and disempowered populations, including racial minorities, the elderly, LGBT communities, and women, included or excluded from the medical community? What role do religious communities play in medicine, the body, and/or gender?

Present Tense: A Journal of Rhetoric in Society is a peer-reviewed, blind-refereed, online journal dedicated to exploring contemporary social, cultural, political, and economic issues through a rhetorical lens. In addition to examining these subjects as found in written, oral and visual texts, we wish to provide a forum for calls to action in academia, education and national policy. Seeking to address current or presently unfolding issues, we publish short articles ranging from 2,000 to 2,500 words, the length of a conference paper.


Special Issue Guest Editors

Steve Bernhardt, University of Delaware

Scott Graham, University of British Columbia

Barbara A. Heifferon, Louisiana State University

Karen Kopelson, University of Louisville

Dora Ramirez-Dhoore, Boise State University

J. Blake Scott, University of Central Florida

Judy Z. Segal, University of British Columbia

Denise Valdés, Syracuse University

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