Submit a Manuscript to the Journal

European Journal of English Studies

For a Special Issue on

Medical Objects in Illness Narratives

Abstract deadline
30 November 2024

Manuscript deadline
31 May 2025

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Special Issue Editor(s)

Polina Mackay, University of Nicosia
[email protected]

Cristina Hurtado-Botella, University of Murcia
[email protected]

Joanne ‘Bob’ Whalley, University of the Arts London
[email protected]

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Medical Objects in Illness Narratives

CFP for Volume 30 of the European Journal of English Studies to be published in 2026

 “Medical Objects in Illness Narratives”

Guest editors: Polina Mackay (University of Nicosia), Cristina Hurtado-Botella (University of Murcia), Joanne ‘Bob’ Whalley (University of the Arts London)

This special issue will explore the depiction of medical objects (speculum, needles, scan machines, surgical instruments, wheelchairs, ventilators, hospital beds, etc.) in pathographies, that is illness narratives from patients’ perspectives. We will consider both life writing and fictional pathographies in this investigation, and will seek to include essays on literature, art and film. The special issue’s main aim will be to investigate the ways in which encounters with medical objects disrupt the narrative, and how they become a useful focal point through which authors negotiate issues such as the self as a subject and/or object, embodied experience in unfamiliar medical environments, or the patient’s confrontation with new technologies.

We anticipate three major areas of interest within this overarching focus. The first of these is the encounter narrative, in which patients are confronted by, build relationships with, incorporate, or otherwise portray medical objects in their stories. The second will emphasize object theory, looking at the objectification of the patient’s body, as the process of illness and treatment moves it from the category of subject to being a part of the hospital apparatus. The third strand will focus on the disruption of narrative caused by medical objects, thinking through a narratological lens.

Possible topics include but are not limited to:

  • The affective potential of encounters with medical objects
  • Re-imagined/re-purposed medical objects (e.g. as artefacts)
  • What is gained/lost in the encounter with medical objects
  • The patient’s body as a medical object
  • Re-imagining the relationship of the doctor to the medical object
  • Medical objects and femininity/masculinity
  • Medical objects in the European context vs in other environments
  • The historical circumstances medical objects invoke and how they are negotiated/challenged (e.g. the medical object as a symbol of colonialism in (post)colonial spaces)
  • The medical object as a symbol of knowledge/power
  • Material encounters with medical objects focusing on physical contact
  • Analysis of patients’ attachments or sense of dependency on medical objects
  • Medical objects as symbols of transience
  • How futuristic medical objects are imagined in science fiction or narratives focused on AI

Submission Instructions

Full manuscript deadline: May 30, 2025.

Detailed proposals (up to 1,000 words) for full essays (7,500 or more words), or 500 words for shorter pieces (ca. 2-3,000 words) discussing a specific position as well as a short biography (max.100 words) should be sent to all of the editors by 30 November 2024:

Polina Mackay: [email protected]; Cristina Hurtado-Botella: [email protected]; Joanne ‘Bob’ Whalley: [email protected]. This issue will be part of volume 30 (2026). All inquiries regarding this issue can be sent to the three guest editors.

EJES operates in a two-stage review process.

  1. Contributors are invited to submit proposals for essays on the topic in question by 30 November 2024.
  2. Following review of the proposals by the editorial board panel, the guest editors invite the authors of short-listed proposals to submit full-length essays for review along with a list of four potential peer reviewers by the late spring of 2025.
  3. The full-length essays undergo a second round of review, and a final selection for publication is made. Selected essays are revised and then resubmitted to the guest editors in late 2025 for publication in 2026.

EJES employs Chicago Style (T&F Chicago AD) and British English conventions for spelling.

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