Health Is Wealth: Arkansas Philological Association UPDATE

Kay Walter's picture
October 27, 2022 to October 29, 2022
Arkansas, United States
Subject Fields: 
Composition & Rhetoric, Humanities, Languages, Literature, Teaching and Learning

Faculty and Independent Scholars from all disciplines are invited to submit abstracts of no more than 150 words describing their 15 to 20 minute proposed presentations on topics related to language(s), literature, theoretical analyses, and pedagogical applications of those subjects.

Several sessions at this year’s meeting will focus specifically on the conference theme, so abstracts addressing this idea are particularly welcome:

Health Is Wealth.

In Unto this Last, his masterpiece of social criticism, the Victorian polymath John Ruskin declares emphatically, “THERE IS NO WEALTH BUT LIFE.” The life he envisions is not a simple antonym to death as he goes on to explain, “Life, including all its powers of love, of joy, and of admiration.” This powerful act of life implies a vitality concomitant with good health. The influence Ruskin’s book had on social movers such as Mahatma Ghandi, Martin Luther King Jr, and William Morris is inspirational in the current age of pandemic endurance. From a virally-educated perspective we can see new depths in the thoughts that follow Ruskin’s most famous declaration as he expands on his idea of wealth:

That county is the richest which nourishes the greatest number of noble and happy human beings; that man is richest who, having perfected the functions of his own life to the utmost, has also the widest helpful influence, both personal, and by means of his possessions, over the lives of others.

Riches, of course, are not merely monetary. Money cannot countermand current limitations on international travel in efforts to avoid transmission of viral mutations. Concerns over home-testing availability leave even the wealthiest countries scrambling to meet their own needs. First-world countries are coming to realize that until humans are globally immune, no place is safe from the potential ravages of killer diseases. In the USA, men and women who have not been impacted by the scourge of someone in their families testing positive for SARS CoV-2 are growing increasing rare. Quarantine and isolation guideline are confusing and in flux. Protocols complicate our efforts to help our children thrive mentally, socially, and academically.

Indeed, citizens, communities, cultures, and countries go to great lengths to mitigate COVID19 outbreaks or to deny the consequences of viral spread. Health has become a means of survival. A focus on health or its absence enlightens an exploration of texts from across spans of time and throughout cultures. We invite students, faculty, and independent scholars to a reconsideration of the literary canon in terms that focus on heath as a manifestation of wealth in its broadest sense.

Suggested topics include but are not limited to the following:

• Mental health • Dental health • Illness • Chronic disease • Sniffles • Medication • Self-medication • Doctors • Nurses • Quacks • Disability • Medical equipment and devices • Prosthetics • Amputations • Telehealth topics • Scars • Death • Obesity • Dementia • STDs • Symptoms • Birth defects • Physiognomy • Eating disorders • Social anxiety • Exercise • Depression • Homeopathy • Relaxation techniques • Massage therapy • Injury • Medical insurance • Addiction • Meditation • Faith healing

Any abstracts describing papers, creative writing, pedagogical applications, and theoretical analyses of alternative philological topics are also welcome. 

Papers may be proposed as individual presentations, panel presentations, pedagogical discussions, demonstrations, or readings of original writing. Creative writers are encouraged to submit original works of not more than 10 minutes. Graduate students too are welcome. Advanced undergraduates may submit a completed paper along with a brief letter of support from a faculty sponsor who will accompany them during the presentation. 

All presenters must register for the conference which will be held in person 27-29 October 2022 at University of Arkansas at Monticello in Monticello, AR. 

Deadline for abstract submission is 9 September 2022. Include your name, postal mailing address, digital contact information, and institutional affiliation if any. Direct questions to

Contact Info: 

Dr Kay J Walter, Program Chair

Professor of English, University of Arkansas at Monticello 

Moticello, Arkansas