CFP - Narrating Birth, Ageing and Death at Peking University

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The 2nd Peking University International Conference on Medical Humanities: Narrating Birth, Ageing and Death

Sponsored by the Institute for Medical Humanities at Peking University

Over the past century advances in biomedicine and the rise of secularism have profoundly changed the ways that we practise, experience, narrate, and theorise birth, ageing and death. In response to global health challenges brought about by rapid demographic shifts –– overpopulation, environmental sustainability, and healthcare expenditure –– this conference aims to explore narratives, myths, and other cultural representations of birth, ageing and death from a wide range of critical, ethical, and aesthetic perspectives to inform the development of healthcare services, economics, and policy.

Contact email:

Dates: 15-16 November 2018

Keynote Speakers include:

  • Rita Charon, Professor of Medicine and Executive Director of the Program in Narrative Medicine at Columbia University
  • Brandy Schillace, Editor-in-Chief of BMJ Medical Humanities
  • Ma Xiaowei, Director of the National Health Committee
  • Zhang Yanling, President of the Chinese Medical Doctor Association
  • Zhan Qimin, Director of Medicine and Vice President of Peking University

We welcome submissions from scholars, early-career researchers, and graduate students from a range of fields including health and medical humanities, medical anthropology, medical sociology, medical history, philosophy of medicine, medical ethics, literature, and linguistics.

Paper topics may include but are not limited to:

  • The medicalisation of birth, ageing and/or death
  • Gender and childbirth
  • Postpartum confinement in China, Japan, Korea and other cultures
  • Myths of birth, ageing, and/or death
  • Symbols and metaphors of birth, ageing, and/or death in poetry, literature, life writing, science fiction, and comics
  • Portrayals of birth, ageing, and/or death in film
  • Narrative Medicine and birth, ageing, and/or death
  • Gender, culture, and healthy ageing in different cultures
  • Physical and mental health care in ageing societies
  • Elderly care and Confucian bioethics
  • Ageing and memory
  • Palliative care in multicultural contexts
  • Hospice care
  • Traditional palliative care practises past and present
  • Death and stigma
  • Dying with dignity
  • Last rites
  • Indigenous death rituals
  • Post-mortem photography
  • Elegies and obituaries
  • Burial practises among ethnic minorities
  • Death education

Include a title, name, institutional affiliation, a short bio (100 words), email address, and a 300-word proposal.

Conference languages are Chinese, English and Japanese.

Deadline for submission: 31 July 2018 in .docx format to:

Please use the format of “Abstract+ the title of your paper” as the subject.

Selected submissions will be announced on 1 July 2018.

Conference registration fee: 1,000RMB.

For any inquiries regarding the program please contact:

Categories: CFP