Science Fiction and the Medical Humanities
University of Glasgow
Supported by the Wellcome Trust
Monday 4 July 2016 08:45-18:00


Keynote Speakers:
Dr Luna Dolezal, University of Durham & Trinity College Dublin
Professor Daniel Pick, Birkbeck, University of London
Professor Patrick Parrinder, University of Reading

Organizing Committee: Gavin Miller and Anna McFarlane

The Wellcome Trust-funded Science Fiction and the Medical Humanities project is pleased to announce its concluding conference. Science fiction is a fertile ground for the imagining of biomedical advances: technologies such as cloning, prosthetics, and rejuvenation are frequently encountered in science-fiction storytelling. Science fiction also offers alternative ideals of health and wellbeing, and imagines new forms of disease and suffering.

In this conference we will explore issues of health, illness, and medicine in science-fiction narratives within a variety of media (written word, graphic novel, videogame, theatre, dance, film and television, etc.). We are also particularly interested in exploring the biomedical ‘technoscientific imaginary’: the culturally-embedded imagining of futures enabled by technoscientific innovation: how far does the biomedical technoscientific imaginary permeate the everyday and expert worlds of modern medicine and healthcare?

Keynote Speakers:

Dr Luna Dolezal, from the University of Durham and Trinity College Dublin, is the author of The Body and Shame: Phenomenology, Feminism, and the Socially Shaped Body (2015). She also writes on posthumanism, pregnancy, and disability and organised a conference in 2014 entitled ‘The Future of the Body: Phenomenology, Medicine and the (Post)Human’.

Professor Daniel Pick comes to us from Birkbeck University of London and is the principal investigator for the Wellcome Trust-funded  project ‘Hidden Persuaders: Brainwashing, Culture, Clinical Knowledge and the Cold War Human Sciences, 1950-1990’ which explores narratives of brainwashing in the Cold War era. He is also the author of The Pursuit of the Nazi Mind (2012).

Professor Patrick Parrinder is Professor Emeritus of the University of Reading. He has written widely on literature since 1880, particularly focusing on science fiction and utopian literature. His most recent book is Utopian Literature and Science: From the Scientific Revolution to Brave New World and Beyond which explores themes such as genetics and the singularity in utopian fiction.

Schedule Outline

8:45-9:30 Registration and coffee

9:30-18:00 Conference

18:00 Conference dinner