CFP: Language and health (Session at the 50th Annual Meeting of the Societas Linguistica Europaea), Zürich (01.11.2016)

Marina Iakushevich's picture

CfP Session Language and health

50th Annual Meeting of the Societas Linguistica Europaea, 10th - 13th September 2017, Zurich (Switzerland)

Dr. Marina Iakushevich (University of Paderborn), MA Yvonne Ilg (University of Zurich),

MA Daniel Knuchel (University of Zurich), Theresa Schnedermann (Heidelberg University)

Language is crucial in various medical contexts, in numerous challenges and in different activities in the field of health and illness: Diagnoses are based on communicative interaction between physicians and their patients; psychotherapy is based on conversation; health promotion takes place in various forms of media campaigns; lay-discourses on sickness and well-being in various internet forums have evolved into platforms where self- and lay-diagnosis are practiced; public media discourses influence our stereotypes and common knowledge on medical topics and possible treatment; and healthcare staff and patients have to deal with multilingual and multicultural challenges.

In correspondence to these various contexts, a growing number of linguistic research in the broad field of >language and health< has evolved in the last decades. This field is highly interdisciplinary (with project partners from medicine, psychology, nursing, social work, communication studies, educational sciences, health sciences) and covers a broad range of linguistic sub-disciplines (cf. e.g. Busch/Spranz-Fogasy 2015 for German literature; Harvey/Koteyko 2013 and Hamilton/Chou 2014 for English literature; Rubinelli/Camerini/Schulz 2010 for Italian literature): Conversation analysis, semantics, historical linguistics, corpus linguistics, (critical) discourse analysis, computer mediated communication studies, translation studies and intercultural linguistics.

In context of the 50th meeting of the Societas Linguistica Europaea (Zurich 10th-13th September 2017) we are submitting a proposal for a workshop called >language and health<. The workshop shall provide a platform for researchers to present on-going work in all kind of linguistic subdisciplines. In bringing together scholars from a variety of linguistic fields we aim for new insights in the broad context of language and health. Furthermore, the common research object of health communication may shed light on the functioning of language use in general. In addition, this workshop is intended to initiate a debate about the actual and preferable impact of linguistics in the aspiring field of (critical) medical humanities (cf. Greaves/Evans 2000; Viney et al. 2015; Swiss Academies of Arts and Sciences 2014). Moreover, we ask how linguistic research results can be transferred into partner disciplines, medical practice, and medical training. Therefore, we invite the submission of papers in English on all aspects of language and health including, but not limited to the following topics:

  • Interaction between patients and medical staff
  • Terminology in medical and health related context
  • Communication about health in the public sphere
  • Discursive construction of medical knowledge
  • Health literacy
  • Inter- and transdisciplinary research combining linguistics and medicine
  • Transfer of linguistic research in medical practice and medical training


Proposals (max. 300 words) for 20-minute papers in English and a short academic vita should be sent to Daniel Knuchel,, Deadline: Nov 1, 2016.



Busch, Albert/Spranz-Fogasy, Thomas (Eds.) (2015): Handbuch Sprache in der Medizin. Berlin/Boston: de Gruyter.

Harvey, Kevin/Koteyko, Nelya (2013): Exploring Health Communication. Language in Action. Abingdon: Routledge.

Hamilton, Heidi E./Chou Wen-ying Sivia Chou (Eds.) (2014): The Routledge Handbook of Language and Health Communication. Abingdon: Routledge.

Rubinelli, Sara/Camerini, Luca/Schulz, Peter (2010): Comunicazione e salute. Milano: Apogeo.

Greaves, David/Evans, Martyn (2000): Medical Humanities. In: Journal of Medical Humanities 26/1, p. 1-2, doi:10.1136/mh.26.1.1.

Viney, William/Callard, Felicity/Woods, Angela (2015): Critical medical humanities: embracing entanglement, taking risks. In: Journal of Medical Humanities 41(1), p. 2-7, doi:10.1136/medhum-2015-010692.

Swiss Academies of Arts and Sciences (2014): «Medical Humanities»: Über die Bedeutung der Geistes- und Sozialwissenschaften für die Medizinal- und Gesundheitsberufe. Download:



Diese Ankündigung wurde von H-GERMANISTIK [Constanze Baum] betreut –