This interdisciplinary conference aims to support and foster collaborative work in relation to media and questions of care and well-being, focusing on care and care giving as critical concepts. Bringing together scholars from film and television studies, medical humanities, disability studies, and philosophy, we will debate how understandings of medical and social care are (and might be) positioned in relation to media and cultural studies. This would be a significant first step toward building inter-disciplinary alliances and driving forward work within the as yet under-determined field of ‘visual medical humanities’.
The specific focus of the conference and anticipated publication/s is to explore the ways in which media do more than simply represent care and caring (although representation, of course, remains an important issue). Taking a new approach, the conference will explore how media forms and media practices (the creation, exhibition and reception of media) may act as a mode of care. Thus we wish to explore how different kinds of media programming, media technologies and media practices present opportunities in which care is manifest as both an ‘attitude’ and a ‘disposition’ (Feder Kittay).
The event will underpin at least one multi-authored publication. Through this conference we will explore the politics and ethics of care-relationships and contest binary understandings of autonomy and dependency amongst individuals with cognitive and physical disabilities, carers and medical professionals. We are particularly interested in the nexus of youth (the ‘child’), age (the ‘aged’) and disability as a way of opening up alliances and challenges to popular cultural notions and representations of care and dependency.