Between 1660 and 1832 books such as Cheyne’s English Malady and Adair’s Essays on Fashionable Diseases created a substantial debate on the relationship between fashion and sickness, linking melancholy, the vapours, nervousness, gout, consumption and many other conditions with the elite and superior sensibility. This conference aims to include voices from both within the social and medical elite and beyond, and to look at diseases that have not previously been examined in this context and at what can be learned from ‘unfashionable’ illnesses. It also aims to consider not only diseases associated with social prestige, but also with the medical critique of fashionable luxurious lifestyles, and the debate on ‘imaginary’ diseases. The role of culture in creating, framing and spreading conceptions of fashionable disease will also be considered.
Proposals for papers and three-person panels are welcome on topics related to fashionable diseases, including:
- Patient experience
- Consumer society and the ‘medical marketplace’
- Culture (literature, music, etc) and fashionable disease
- Geographical meanings – travel literature and spa culture
- Morality, politics and medicine in critiques of fashionable lifestyles
- Satire, stigma, fashion
- ‘Imaginary’ diseases
- Class, gender, race, religion, etc
- Unfashionable diseases
We are also keen to receive proposals offering interdisciplinary and internationally comparative perspectives, or relating eighteenth-century to contemporary fashionable diseases.
Please submit abstracts (max. 250 words) and a brief biography (max 100 words) to firstname.lastname@example.org by 31st December 2013.