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Existential Medical Humanities Conference 2019

Existential Medical Humanities Conference, and meeting of the National Network for Medical Humanities and Social Sciences. Arranged by the Centre for Studies in Practical Knowledge, Södertörn University.

Contemporary medicine influences the ways we think about and deal with existentially challenging situations in human life. The existentially challenging situations take place at the beginning and ending of human lives and in-between birth and death when medical diagnoses and treatments affect the way persons approach their health and identity.

However, medicine not only affects the ways we presently think about existential issues, contemporary health care is also under strong pressure to find ways to address and integrate existential issues appropriately in its practice. Health care professionals are not only dealing with malfunctioning bodies, but also with persons finding themselves in challenging life situations. They must make room for the vulnerable and suffering person and not only for his or her physical body in the clinical encounter. What is important to patients are not only medical issues in the narrow sense of diseases and diagnoses, but what their medical conditions will do to them and their lives as persons.

Keynote speakers:

Sarah Atkinson, University of Durham
Max Liljefors, Lund University

The conference is free of charge but the number of participants is limited, if you wish to attend, please send an e-mail to the secretary:

For inquiries regarding attendance, how to get to the conference venue and other practicalities, please contact the conference secretary:

12:00 - 13:00: Registration in F 11 Lounge

13:00 - 13:15: Introduction by the Conference Crew, room 1
Fredrik Svenaeus, Martin Gunnarsson and Anna Wennergren

13:15 - 14:15: Plenary Session, room 1

Chair: Fredrik Svenaeus
Sarah Atkinson: The Centrality of Experience to Medical Humanities: Critical Approaches and Situated Understanding

14:30 - 15:30: Parallel Session A, room 1

Chair: Martin Gunnarsson
Karen Abadie: Surrendering the Dissociative Mind to the Body
Thomas Baugh: Body as Object: Understanding Obsessive Compulsive Disorder through Enactment

14:30 - 15:30: Parallel Session B, room 2

Chair: Fredrik Svenaeus
Maria Josephson: Det sista halmstrået: Kalvbrässextraktet THX och cancerpatienterna
Frida Wikström: Intagnas livsberättelser och egenproducerade texter: Psykiatrihistoria i modern tid.

15:30 - 16:00 Coffee Break

16:00 - 17:30 Parallel Session C, room 1

Chair: Martin Gunnarsson
Leah Okenwa-Emegwa, et al.
: Teaching Human Rights, Equality and Equity in a Nursing Education
Baher Ibrahim: Nostalgia, Trauma, and Meaning: Changing Conceptions of Refugee Mental Health
Michael Boyden: Fashionable Diseases and Environmental Reflexivity

16:00 - 17:30 Parallel Session D, room 2

Chair: Fredrik Svenaeus
Anna Wennergren: The Phenomenon of Prenatal Diagnosis through the Perspectives and Practices of Midwifes – Wonder vs. Control
Hannah Bradby: Subjectivity, Experience and Evidence: Death Like Milk on the Doorstep
Fredrik Svenaeus: The Phenomenology of Suffering and End of Life Ethics

17:30 - 20:00 Reception in the F 11 Lounge

10:00 - 11:00: Plenary Session, room 1

Chair: Martin Gunnarsson
Max Liljefors: Aesthetic Awareness and Existential Health

11:00 - 11:30 Coffee Break

11:30 - 12:30 Parallel Session E, room 1

Chair: Fredrik Svenaeus
Adaora I Onaga: Perceptions of Human Pain as a Threat to Individual or Institutional Integrity
Jill Witney Ås, et al.: Distant Suffering in Modern Times

11:30 - 12:30: Parallel Session F, room 2

Chair: Anna Wennergren
Ulla Henell: Möte, reflektion och ansvar i arbete som sjukgymnast i neurologisk rehabilitering
Karin Syk Zackrisson: Utan tvivel är man inte klok – praktisk klokhet i en sjukgymnasts professionella möten

12:30 - 13:30 Lunch Break

13:30 - 15:00: Parallel Session G, room 1

Chair: Fredrik Svenaeus
Maria Arman, et al.: Hälsa och lidande som existentiella uttryck – studier i patientens värld
Inger Berndtsson: Existens och glipan mellan liv och värld som nödvändiga utgångspunkter för livsvärldsbaserad rehabilitering
Ulrika Lif och Helen Asklund: Den ohållbara människan bakom diagnosen: Om litterära aktiviteters värde och funktion i vård och socialt arbete

13:30 - 15:00: Parallel Session H, room 2

Chair: Anna Wennergren
Anette Wickström and Kristin Zeiler: Sending a Message, Enacting Norms: Teenagers’ Experiences of Filling in the HBSC Survey in Sweden
Ylva Gustafsson: Reflections on Fear and Alienation in Finnish Elderly Care
Martin Gunnarson, et al.: Ethico-Political Aspects of Conceptualizing Screening: The Case of Dementia

15:00 - 16:00: Summing up session with future plans for the Swedish National Network for Medical Humanities, room 1

Tid och plats

07 november 12:00 - 08 november 16:00


House F, on the eleventh floor, Södertörn University, Campus Flemingsberg, hitta hit


Arrangeras av

Centre for Studies in Practical Knowledge at the School of Culture and Education, Södertörn University



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