CFP: Comics and Medicine: The Ways We Work (August 16-18, 2018, Vermont)

Call for Papers: Comics and Medicine: The Ways We Work

August 16-18, 2018; White River Junction, Vermont

Via Dr Ian Williams, Graphic Medicine

 

This year’s Comics and Medicine Conference invites participants to share and reflect upon how graphic medicine works.

In the context of health and its relationship to comics, “work” can refer to a number of activities: the work of medical and related professionals; the functioning of our bodies and minds; the creation or study of artistic and educational materials; the study of the archive or images/texts; work with reader communities; and the organization of collaborative community health efforts. The spaces in which “work” takes place provide another point of reflection: public healthcare centers, classrooms, home studios, private clinics, libraries, and bedsides.

In this relatively new interdisciplinary field, we hope to document and refine—from our various perspectives and experiences—the territory where cartooning and health care intersect.

We invite the submission of a wide variety of abstracts focusing on health, medicine, and comics in any form (e.g. graphic novels and memoir, comic strips, manga, mini comics, webcomics) that examine or showcase topics including, but not limited to:

 • the use of comics and cartooning for clinical interventions and teaching

• navigating institutional headwinds

• addressing time constraints to creative work

• professional development and engagement with graphic medicine

• access to funding sources

• establishing productive collaborative relationships

• planning and completing graphic medicine projects

• engaging communities of care

• work in the context of disability justice and advocacy

• representing the ‘work’ of bodies with relation to diagnosis and treatment

• unseen labor in treatment and care

• spaces of creative production

• creative labor and the tools of graphic medicine

• outcome and efficacy research

 

Presentation Formats – please read closely as these descriptions have changed.

  • Lightning talks: These 5-minute presentations should provide an engaging and concentrated synopsis of new, ongoing, or completed scholarly, creative, or professional work in Graphic Medicine. This format is designed with the promotion of sustained conversation in mind. 
  • Oral presentations: These 15-20 minute presentations are largely for collaborative,interdisciplinary, or other work that requires and engages a longer presentation format.
  • Panel discussions: These 90-minute interviews or presentations by a panel of speakers are meant to address a single topic from a variety of perspectives.
  • Workshops: These 90-minute, hands-on, activity-driven sessions are for participants who wish to obtain particular skills with regard to comics. Suggested topics include, but are not limited to:
  • drawing for health 101
  • accessing personal stories
  • comics and storytelling
  • mini-comic tutorial

Proposal abstracts should not exceed 300 words and may be submitted in Word or PDF format. Please include the following information in this order:

• author(s)
• affiliation
• email address
• phone number
• title of abstract
• body of abstract
• sample images or web links to work being discussed (if applicable)
• presentation format preference (see options above)
• equipment needed (e.g. AV projection, whiteboard, easel, etc.)

Proposals should be submitted by January 30, 2018 to: graphic.medicine.conference@gmail.com

Abstracts will be peer-reviewed by an interdisciplinary selection committee. Notification of acceptance or rejection will be completed by the week of March 15. While we cannot guarantee that presenters will receive their first choice of presentation format, we will attempt to honor preferences, and we will acknowledge the receipt of all proposals.

Please note: Presenters are responsible for costs associated with their session (e.g. handouts and supplies) and personal expenses (travel, hotel, and registration fees). All presenters must register for the conference. Discounted rates and some limited scholarships will be available for students, artists, and others in need.

Via Dr Ian Williams, Graphic Medicine

HCID Research Seminar: Making Parables of Care

Simon Grennan, Disposession

HCID Research Seminar: Making Parables of Care – Presenting creative responses to dementia care in comic book form

Friday 17 November 2017, 1:00-1:50 PM, A214

Dr Simon Grennan (University of Chester) will present at the HCID Research Seminar series at City, University of London (College Building, Room A214) tomorrow Friday 17 November at 1pm.

All welcome. If you are not a member of City, University of London and would like to join us for this seminar, please contact Katerina.Bourazeri@city.ac.uk for further details.

This seminar will discuss the practical rationale, theorisation and production of Parables of Care, a new 16-page colour comic book, which presents creative responses to dementia care, as told by carers, derived from a group of existing case studies available at http://carenshare.city.ac.uk.

Parables of Care is an impact project of the Centre for HCID, City, University of London, the University of Chester and Douglas College, Canada. Distributed as free hard copies and a free download to carers and those engaged in debates about dementia care, the book investigates the ways in which specific habits of reading comics can be activated in order to engage readers emotionally, as well as informatively, concerning the challenges of caring for people with dementia.

Full info at https://blogs.city.ac.uk/parablesofcare/2017/11/16/hcid-research-seminar-making-parables-of-care-presenting-creative-responses-to-dementia-care-in-comic-book-form

https://www.city.ac.uk/events/2017/november/hcid-research-seminar-making-parables-of-care-presenting-creative-responses-to-dementia-care-in-comic-book-form

If you are not a member of City, University of London and would like to join us for this seminar, please contact Katerina.Bourazeri@city.ac.uk for further details.

Parables of Care can be downloaded as a PDF file, under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License, from City Research Online: http://openaccess.city.ac.uk/18245/.

If you live in the UK you can request printed copies at no cost here.

Interviewed by Abi Roper re: Parables of Care

Dr Abi Roper is a Research Fellow at City, University of London. She is a speech and language therapist and researcher passionate about technology use within atypical speech & language populations.

Recently Abi asked me some questions about working on Parables of Care for the project’s blog. I have copied and pasted the original post below.


Parables of Care: A Q&A with Ernesto Priego

by Abi Roper

This post was originally published at the Parables of Care blog on 26 October 2017 at https://blogs.city.ac.uk/parablesofcare/2017/10/26/parables-of-care-a-qa-with-ernesto-priego/. If at some point in the future links to embedded media appear broken it is because the source post may have been changed location or is undergoing maintenance.

 

Dr Ernesto Priego
Dr Ernesto Priego, City, University of London

 

Ernesto Priego is a lecturer at the Centre for Human-Computer Interaction Design at City, University of London and the Editor of The Comics Grid: Journal of Comics Scholarship.

Ernesto worked in partnership with Dr Simon Grennan of the University of Chester, Dr Peter Wilkins of Douglas College, Vancouver, Canada, an NHS Trust, and colleages from HCID, leading the team to produce Parables of Care.

I asked Ernesto some questions about working on Parables of Care.

 

As a speech and language therapist researcher, I work with people who have aphasia and may have difficulty in reading large amounts of written text. People with dementia can experience similar challenges. What do you think the comics format offers that other mediums might not?

Ernesto Priego: My view is that comics are a unique medium because they often rely on a unique, complementary combination of writing, still graphic images and other components of visual communication. There are, of course, comics that are very wordy—they employ a lot (and I mean a lot) of written text. And there are, of course, comics that include almost no text at all (titles, indicia, series names are also written text). Unlike animation, video, TV or cinema, most comics, particularly printed ones, allow users / readers to linger on the comics page. Comics are therefore, in their own way, a very ‘mindful’ medium, as they often rely on a type of hyper awareness of concrete and abstract constraints, of context.

In most comics, time passes through different vehicles so to speak: through the time of the written text, the time represented through layout (panel size and arrangement and the placement of characters, backgrounds, props, narrative components), the time represented through panels in sequence and the gap between them, and the time it takes each reader to read or navigate the comic itself. So comics are a very complex medium indeed, but at the same time they give users a freedom to linger and to interpret information in a way that synchronic media such as music, video, TV or film do not allow them to.

Rather than just a question of comics being able to present ideas without the need for many words, in this case we think of comics as a medium that can actually evoke the kind of de-structured and re-structured experience of time that is akin to dementia but also to illness, ageing and caring in general (Paco Roca’s Wrinkles does this very well).

 Illustration from Wrinkles, a graphic novel by Paco Roca (© Knockabout Comics, 2015) Illustration from Wrinkles, a graphic novel by Paco Roca (© Knockabout Comics, 2015)
Illustration from Wrinkles, a graphic novel by Paco Roca. © Knockabout Comics, 2015

In many cases, people with dementia, as well as their carers, experience a time which is ‘out of joint’ (Hamlet, that tragic hero…). The fragmentary yet sequential structure of the comics in Parables of Care seeks to communicate and empathise with this experience, and in this way it attempts to share a way of experiencing the world.

I’m more familiar with comics being used to tell stories of superheroes. How are Care’N’Share stories similar and/or different to these more traditional comics narratives?

EP: That’s a very good question. For many people the term ‘comics’ means ‘superheroes’. Comics are much more than superheroes but in the case of the Care’N’Share stories the analogy achieves the status of poetic justice. Peter said in the previous Q&A that the Care’N’Share caregiver-storytellers are poets. This is true. Your question makes me think that they are similar to Romantic poets, and in this sense to heroes. Caregiving is heroic because it is a journey, and the hero’s journey is both motivated and defined by a sense of ethics, a thirst for justice and order, and fate or destiny. I also think people with dementia are poets: they see the world in a way that forces the carer and other people to realign their way of seeing things. Like the poet, they often see things that others don’t. The carer is a poet-hero because they need to learn to interpret that poetry and engage in creative endeavour themselves.

The best superhero comics, in my mind, are not about invincible heroes but about vulnerable folk that are somewhat different: their ‘superpowers’ lie in their difference and in their ability to find solutions to problems for the betterment of their communities. (Think of Peter Parker, for example). There is a lot of doubt, anxiety and pain in the hero’s journey.

Peter Parker takes care of his aunt May after she suffers a heart attack. In Stan Lee (w), Steve Ditko (p), Sam Rosen (l), The Amazing Spider-Man, Vol 1, No. 17, October 1964.
Peter Parker cares for his aunt May after she suffers a heart attack. In Stan Lee (writer), Steve Ditko (artist), Sam Rosen (letterer), The Amazing Spider-Man, Vol 1, No. 17, October 1964. © Marvel Comics
 John Keats, by Joseph Severn, 1821-1823 - NPG 58 - © National Portrait Gallery, London
John Keats, by Joseph Severn, 1821-1823 – NPG 58 – © National Portrait Gallery, London

 

The caregiver-storytellers of Care’N’Share however do not see themselves as heroes, but what they do is heroic, it requires a sacrifice and a determination that is only possible when our deepest fears are defeated and our inner super powers come to the fore. I have the uttermost respect for dementia carers/caregivers. The stories they share are lessons to us all on our duty to our fellow human beings on how to empathise with what is often completely incomprehensible and find solutions that are respectful, loving and fair.

So it’s important to say that to me the beauty of ‘Graphic Medicine’ is that it’s not about idealisation or about fitting into generic narrative structures and archetypes. It’s about the personal journey, the vulnerabilities that make us human, and discovering the ways in which we can overcome serious challenges.

 

 

http://carenshare.city.ac.uk/

 

What have you learnt about dementia through your experience in creating Parables of Care?

EP: I am still learning a lot. The statistics alone provide sufficient evidence that dementia is one of the key public health and social challenges of today, not just in the UK but around the world. Working in this project required having an open mind about what we could achieve and be willing to accept that our contribution would be relativelly small but potentially impactful on some level.

To come back to my previous answer I think all of us working in the project learnt that a lot is achievable in terms of health care of incurable conditions if there is tolerance, empathy, creativity and imagination. In general working in adapting the stories forced us to attempt walking in the carers’ shoes. Susan Sontag wrote a beautiful book discussing the im-possibility of experiencing the pain of others through photography. I hope Parables of Care can contribute to share the experience of dementia care in a respectful and sensitive way.

Where else might comics be applied in healthcare? Where do you want to go next?

EP: Ah, that is the question! Short answer: almost everywhere. We believe that comics can be brilliant health information resources. And I think that Health Informatics and Graphic Medicine are a match made in heaven. We are already working on that next step. I am definitely interested in developing more work that explicitly connects the dots between graphic narrative and User-Centred Design and Interaction Design. I won’t say more for the time being. Watch this space!

Dr Abi Roper is a Research Fellow at City, University of London. She is a speech and language therapist and researcher passionate about technology use within atypical speech & language populations.

Parables of Care can be downloaded as a PDF file, under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License, from City Research Online: http://openaccess.city.ac.uk/18245/.

If you live in the UK you can request printed copies at no cost here.

This post was originally published at the Parables of Care blog on 26 October 2017 at https://blogs.city.ac.uk/parablesofcare/2017/10/26/parables-of-care-a-qa-with-ernesto-priego/. If at some point in the future links to embedded media appear broken it is because the source post may have been changed location or is undergoing maintenance.

Parables of Care: A Comic About Dementia Care, Available for Free

Parables of Care unboxed

I am very pleased that Parables of Care. Creative Responses to Dementia Care, as Told by Carers is now available. It is a 16-page publication presenting true stories of creative responses to dementia care, as told by carers.

  • Parables of Care can be downloaded as a PDF file, under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License, from City Research Online: http://openaccess.city.ac.uk/18245/.
  • If you live in the UK you can request printed copies at no cost here.

The stories were adapted from a group of over 100 case studies available at http://carenshare.city.ac.uk.

Parables of Care is a project of the Centre for Human Comuter Interaction Design, City, University of London, The University of Chester, UK, and Douglas College, Vancouver, Canada.

Parables of Care was edited and adapted by Dr Simon Grennan (University of Chester) Dr Ernesto Priego (City, University of London) and Dr Peter Wilkins (Douglas College).  Parables of Care was drawn by Dr Simon Grennan with Christopher Sperandio.

Research has shown that comics have the potential to have a positive impact on the health and quality of life of people who engage in comics reading and creation, contributing to transform attitudes, awareness and behaviour around illness and contributing to create new opportunities for empowerment and more positive behaviour (Cardiff University 2014). Parables of Care explores the potential of comics to enhance the impact of dementia care research in particular.

Parables of Care seeks to make a contribution to enhancing the public impact of the best practices in dementia care resulting from City HCID research by exploring and embracing the communicative affordances of graphic storytelling in general and graphic medicine in specific.

We hope that Parables of Care contributes to enabling stronger links between academia, dementia care practice and comics scholars and practitioners.

The response so far has been amazing. Read this review by John Freeman at the British Comics site Down the Tubes, published shortly after we announced the comic publicly.

Stay tuned for news regarding distribution points, events and more information about the project!

Parables of Care received funding from the MCSE School Impact Fund, City, University of London 2016-2017.

 

Pint of Science: Comics, Humans and Technology in the Pub! 16 May 2017

I am pleased to announce I will participate at the following Pint of Science event:

Humans and technology: in life and in death

Tuesday 16 May 2017

Doors open 6.30 PM, Event 7.00 PM – 9.30 PM

The Artillery Arms 102 Bunhill Row,
London EC1Y 8ND

Come along and live it up – it’ll be dead fun.  The function room is on the first floor, with no wheelchair access.

Technology is everywhere. Its involvement in our world changes across the lifespan. This evening will explore some of the ways researchers are applying different technologies as we age. You’ll hear how technology can be used both as we live and as we die. Expert speakers from City, University of London will introduce you to a world of smart homes, virtual rehabilitation and mobile phone autopsies – a world where online comics are being used to make sense of both life and death.

Full programme info and registration at https://pintofscience.co.uk/event/humans-and-technology-in-life-and-in-death-

Hope to see you there!

HCID Friday Seminar: Graphic Medicine – Using Comics Within the Mental Health Domain

‘No wonder my back hurts’ (Barker, M. 2013: 34). © Meg-John Barker 2013.
‘No wonder my back hurts’ (Barker, M. 2013: 34).       © Meg-John Barker 2013.

Tomorrow 20th January 2017, I will present within the Friday Seminar Series at the Centre for Human Computer Interaction Design at City, University of London.

The title of my talk is “Graphic Medicine: Using Comics as a Mental Health Information Resource”.

The seminar will be held in AG08, College Building, from 1pm – 2pm. [map]

All welcome. Bring your lunch!

 “Graphic Medicine – Using Comics Within the Mental Health Domain”

Recent literature suggests that a growing number of comics are being published on health-related topics, including aspects of mental health and social care (Williams 2012; Czerwiec et al 2015; Priego and Farthing 2016; King 2016) and that comics are increasingly being used in higher education settings as information resources. The term ‘Graphic Medicine’ denotes ‘the role that comics can play in the study and delivery of healthcare’ (Green and Myers 2010: 577; Williams (no date)).

Fairly recently, more researchers have also turned to comics creation to disseminate research findings (Priego 2016). These researchers argue that comics (print and/or online publications) can lead to a wider adoption of research and enhance educational practices, widen public engagement, and improve the possibilities for research to influence public policy. The seminar will introduce the key terminology and methodologies employed and will discuss insights from qualitative analysis of data collected from comics creators and disseminators involved in the creation and dissemination of ‘Graphic Medicine’ (Farthing & Priego 2016).

In order to contextualize this exploration of ‘Graphic Medicine’, the seminar will also provide an introduction to non-fiction comics research, and conclude with reflections on what the study and use of comics can contribute to Medical Humanities and Human Computer Interaction Design research within the mental health domain.

Hope to see some of you there!

Hashtag: #HCIDseminar

Adapting Dementia Care Best Practice Data into Comics: Enhancing Impact Through Graphic Medicine

 Illustration from Wrinkles, a graphic novel by Paco Roca (© Knockabout Comics, 2015)
Illustration from Wrinkles, a graphic novel by Paco Roca (© Knockabout Comics, 2015)

It’s been an incredibly busy year, at work and at home, in professional circles and in the wider public, political arena. As a keen advocate of blogging as a key component of scholarly communications and the research life cycle, I’ve regretted being too busy (or too exhausted) to blog more frequently. As the academic term draws to an end and we approach the Christmas holidays, I feel I have a lot of engagement and dissemination work I have to catch up with. This post is one attempt of doing so.

I am very pleased to share that this year I joined the Centre for Human-Computer Interaction Design (HCID) at City, University of London. The Centre has a strong track record of research into accessible and interactive technologies and methods for people with disabilities and to support creativity in mental health (particularly for dementia care).

My own recent collaborative research has focused on Graphic Medicine, i.e the study, design and delivery of creative, therapeutic and educational uses of graphic narratives (comics, cartoons) for mental health care provision and public engagement.

I am very pleased that my application to obtain internal funding from the School to support activities and strategies to develop impact from HCID’s previous and ongoing research on these areas was successful.  This is a modest internal award to support strategies to enhance the ‘public impact’ of recent academic outputs (2013-2016). Our proposal seeks to connect the dots between previous and ongoing work on dementia care and graphic medicine.

We will be organising knowledge exchange workshops with the participation of HCID researchers, mental health professionals, comics scholars and comics artists. The workshops will focus on the exploration, discussion, reuse and adaptation into comics of the dementia care best practice data collected and made available by the Care’N’Share project, which crowdsourced, curated and aggreagated a significant dataset of case studies of best practices for dementia care (Zachos et al, 2013; Maiden et al, 2016).

Our ongoing study on ‘Graphic Medicine’ as a Mental Health Information Resource engaged with members of the creative industries involved in the creation and publishing of comic books with mental health topics and mental health care students and professionals in partnership with the Tavistock and Portman NHS Foundation Trust (Priego & Farthing 2016, Farthing & Priego, 2016b). The research shows the need of further knowledge exchange between academics, those creating graphic medicine materials, mental health care practitioners and members of the public.

Our proposal seeks to address and respond to these findings through graphic medicine workshops and the creation of deliverables in comics (print and online) form. Initially, we will host comics workshops at City, University of London between late February and April 2017. We will focus primarly in working together to explore and discuss the Care’N’Share dataset and the different possibilities in which the data can be adapted into comics form, leading to the creation, distribution and user testing of a professional comics publication, under the artistic direction of Dr Simon Grennan. We will be sending out public and personalised invitations to participate in the workshops and to provide feedback in early 2017.

The end users will be those interested in dementia care (carers, mental health professionals, patients, relatives, members of the public interested in comics and/or mental health). They will benefit by gaining knowledge about the best practices for dementia care collected and the affordances of graphic medicine to make these practices communicated more widely and distributed in an accessible form.

Carers and people with dementia, care homes and health trusts are logical beneficiaries of enhanced impact of dementia care research, but so is society at large: it is estimated 750,000 people suffer from dementia in the UK alone. It is predicted that by 2051 dementia will affect “a third of the population either as a sufferer, relative or carer” (Zachos et al, 2013; Wimo and Prince, 2010).

Research shows that comics have the potential to have a positive impact on the health and quality of life of people who engage in comics creation (for example by participating in workshops) or reading (publications), contributing to transform attitudes, awareness and behaviour around illness and contributing to create new opportunities for empowerment and more positive behaviour (Cardiff University 2014).

Ours is a small initiative that seeks to make a contribution to enhancing the public impact of the best practice data resulting from research by exploring and embracing the communicative affordances of graphic storytelling in general and graphic medicine in specific. We hope that by enabling stronger links between academia, dementia care practice and comics scholars and practitioners, we will be taking steps in the right direction.

Apart from HCID staff, key partners whose support was essential for this proposal are Professor Neil Maiden (Cass Business School, City, University of London), Dr Simon Grennan, Anthony Farthing from the Tavistock and Portman NHS Foundation Trust, Dr Damon Herd from the Dundee Comics Creative Space and Dr Peter Wilkins and the Psychiatric Nursing Programme at Douglas College in Vancouver, Canada. Our gratitude to all of them. We cannot wait to start working together.

References

Cardiff University (2014). Improving HIV/AIDS education and support in KwaZulu-Natal through comics drawing. REF2014 Impact Case Study. Available from http://impact.ref.ac.uk/CaseStudies/CaseStudy.aspx?Id=3582. Accessed: 14 December 2016.

Zachos, K., Maiden, N., Pitts, K., Jones, S., Turner, I., Rose, M., Pudney, K. & MacManus, J. (2013). A software app to support creativity in dementia care. Paper presented at the 9th ACM Conference on Creativity & Cognition, 17-06-2013 – 20-06-2013, Sydney, Australia. http://openaccess.city.ac.uk/3837/ .

Maiden, N., Schubmann, M., McHugh, M., Lai, A.Y. & Sulley, R. (2016). Evaluating the Impact of a New Interactive Digital Solution for Collecting Care Quality In-formation for Residential Homes. Paper presented at the 30th British Human Computer Interaction Conference, 11-15 Jul 2016, Bournemouth, UK. http://openaccess.city.ac.uk/15127/.

Priego, E. & Farthing, A. (2016). ‘Graphic Medicine’ as a Mental Health Information Resource: Insights from Comics Producers. The Comics Grid: Journal of Comics Scholarship, 6, doi: 10.16995/cg.74  http://openaccess.city.ac.uk/13441/ .This research was presented at the Graphic Medicine Conference 2016, 7-9 July 2016, University of Dundee, UK.

Farthing, A. & Priego, E. (2016). Data from ‘Graphic Medicine’ as a Mental Health Information Resource: Insights from Comics Producers. Journal of Open Health Data, 4(1), e3. doi: 10.5334/ohd.25. http://openaccess.city.ac.uk/15251/ .

Wimo A. & Prince M., 2010, ‘World Alzheimer Report 2010: The Global Economic impact of Dementia. Available from http://www.alz.co.uk/research/worldreport.  Accessed: 14 December 2016.

New Publication: Data Paper. Data from Graphic Medicine… Insigths from Comics Producers

Open Health Data logo

Excited to have a new co-authored peer-reviewed publication, a data paper on the Journal of Open Health Data:

Farthing, A. & Priego, E., (2016). Data from ‘Graphic Medicine’ as a Mental Health Information Resource: Insights from Comics Producers. Open Health Data. 4(1), p.e3. DOI: http://doi.org/10.5334/ohd.25

In the paper we describe a dataset containing the full text transcripts from 15 semi-structured interviews (approximately 44,100 words) conducted during November and December 2014 with participants involved in various aspects of the process of health-related comics production. These participants are authors and publishers and their work is publicly recognised in the comics community.

An initial domain analysis of the interviews was published on 8 February 2016 as Farthing, A., & Priego, E. (2016). ‘Graphic Medicine’ as a Mental Health Information Resource: Insights from Comics Producers. The Comics Grid: Journal of Comics Scholarship, 6(1), 3. DOI: http://doi.org/10.16995/cg.74

Little by little we might see more qualitative research datasets openly available. It’s not just quantitative datasets that have reuse potential. Many thanks to for the helpful feedback and for encouraging multidisciplinary open research data description, archiving and preservation!