CfP: Beyond Therapy: Situating art and design in healthcare contexts

Type: Call for Papers
Date: November 7, 2016
Location: United Kingdom
Subject Fields: Architecture and Architectural History, Art, Art History & Visual Studies, Fine Arts, Health and Health Care, Urban Design and Planning
CFP: “Beyond Therapy: Situating art and design in healthcare contexts”
Panel at Association of Art Historians (AAH) annual conference, 6th to 8th April 2017, Loughborough University
Deadline for Paper Proposals: 7 November 2016

Tamar Tembeck, McGill University, tamar[DOT]tembeck[AT]mcgill[DOT]ca
Mary Hunter, McGill University, mary[DOT]hunter2[AT]mcgill[DOT]ca

In Europe and North America, greater attention is being paid to the built environment in medical spaces. ‘Healthy design’ initiatives are increasingly being integrated into hospital planning, in a vision that is coherent with the WHO’s definition of health, according to which ‘mental and social well-being’ are considered in addition to ‘the absence of disease or infirmity’. Government percentage-for-art schemes and public art funding policies count amongst the initiatives that have allowed for the integration of art in hospital architecture, the commissioning of in situ works, and the establishment of artists’ residences in medical environments.

Existing studies on art and design in healthcare contexts overwhelmingly focus on accumulating evidence of their beneficial impacts on patients’ recovery and general well-being. Since the birth of hospitals in the Middle Ages, however, the integration of art has played a variety of other roles in medical spaces, ranging from providing contemplative touchstones for patients, staff, and visitors, to improving the institution’s overall image in the public eye.

This panel invites historians of art, architecture and design, as well as cultural practitioners, programmers and policymakers, to reflect upon, critique and question the forms and functions of contemporary and historical art and design practices in healthcare environments (hospitals, clinics, long-term care facilities, etc.). We are particularly interested in investigating art and design practices that are deployed outside of an explicitly therapeutic context (eg, in art therapy). Submissions pertaining to live art practices in healthcare spaces are also welcome.

Please email your paper proposals to the session convenors. Provide a title and abstract for a 25-minute paper (max 250 words). Include your name, affiliation and email. You should receive an acknowledgement of receipt of your submission within two weeks.
Contact Info: 
Tamar Tembeck, McGill University