Conferences

Tom witnessing Bill
Photograph: Jeremy Vaughan

Once Upon a Time There Was a Virus…..
Storytelling, Health and Illness

Due to unforeseen logistical conflicts, the conference has unfortunately been postponed to 2020. New dates to be released shortly.

Throughout history, people have felt a need to tell each other stories about the ordinary as well as the surprising experiences of being alive, particularly in relation to health, wellbeing, illness, disease and death. Telling stories was – and still is – a way of recording and grappling with the origins, causes and prevention of illnesses and disease that surrounded them in everyday life.

These stories are increasingly being uncovered in historic diaries, journals, records and manuscripts, and now take their place alongside contemporary forms of storytelling such as blogs, vlogs, medical texts and online research. What we are discovering is that health, illness, disease and dying have and continue to be documented in all sorts of fascinating ways and using a plethora of diverse forms.

Literature offers us poetry, prose, plays, autobiographies. Art brings visual power, both moving and still, in the form of paintings, pictures, illustrations, cartoons, street art and even graffiti. From its inception, photography has told the tale of bodies recovering from war, from giving of birth, from the taking of life and all points in between. Moving pictures, film, cinematography, theatre and ballet bring dramatic performances of health and illness to public life. Music, from opera to metal, punk to electronica remembers and retells stories of just how intense the experience of health and illness can be.

Today is a great day to be sick!  Huge numbers of resources are available for people to do research, to learn about illnesses affecting others, to aid people who are calling for help or to document one’s own illness or the illnesses of others. Today is also a great time to stay healthy. Stories uncover facts about fad diets, how something as simple as washing one’s hands can cut back on the spread of influenza; that walking, fortunately, can be as healthy as running with less strain on one’s body; the avoidance of foods which cause allergies, the wider availability of nutritional foods and ingredients.

Medical ‘literacy’ is now within easy reach. Yet with it there has also been a rise of online self-diagnosis, hypochondria, the ignore-ance or bypassing of expertise and the spread of dubious or even cynical forms of information. The rise of the health ‘industry’ has spawned both helpful and dangerous influences in relation to our thirst for well being.

This inclusive interdisciplinary conference is about sharing stories and documentation of health and illness with a view to forming a selective innovative publication to engender further collaboration and discussion.

Unlike other gatherings, our event will aim to step outside traditional conference settings and offer opportunities for artists, care-givers, clinicians, photographers, practitioners, theorists, independent scholars, academics, performers, writers, and others to intermingle, providing platforms for interdisciplinary interactions that are fruitful and conducive to broadening horizons and sparking future projects, collaborations and connections. We are also carrying forward plans for the formation of The Interdisciplinary Storytelling Initiative which will create a unique platform for Storytelling as a nexus for academic, professional, business, NGO and voluntary sector activities.

We are excited to accept proposals for presentations, displays, exhibits, round tables, panels, interactive workshops and more.

We want to hear about how the fear of a disease can be misplaced and then soothed by a single photograph or song. Or how treatment and perseverance can be documented on the internet, showing the resolution of a healthy body and mind after a lengthy battle. We hope to learn how research in one country might help researchers in another resolve a sickness that has not been seen before. Or how something as simple as clean water can improve health dramatically.

Let us also hear the tales and superstitions told to warn of unhealthy practices, of potatoes growing in one’s ears and toes falling off if we are unclean. Let’s hear about promoting good health practices and talk about bodies and their function as a means of prevention rather than the pursuit of infection.

Let us also grapple with some key questions. Why are we not willing to discuss with others all the bodily functions when we are all alike and our bodies generally work the same way?  If there were more of a willingness to share the biomechanics of one’s body with others would we discover and be able to treat symptoms earlier in life? What is the link between body and mind when pursuing health and wellness?

Above all, let’s share the ways in which storytelling is enabling people to become more aware of their bodies, stay healthy or learn about new treatments for their illnesses, find support groups of all kinds, and raise their awareness of what it means to interact with others who are interested in telling those same tales.

What to Send
The aim of this interdisciplinary conference and collaborative networking event is to bring people together and encourage creative conversations in the context of a variety of formats: papers, seminars, workshops, storytelling, performances, poster presentations, panels, q&a’s, round-tables etc.

300 word proposals, presentations, abstracts and other forms of contribution and participation should be submitted by Friday 8th March 2019. Other forms of participation should be discussed in advance with the Organising Chair.

All submissions will be minimally double reviewed, under anonymous (blind) conditions, by a global panel drawn from members of the Project Development Team and the Advisory Board. In practice our procedures usually entail that by the time a proposal is accepted, it will have been triple and quadruple reviewed.

You will be notified of the panel’s decision by Friday 22nd March 2019.

If your submission is accepted for the conference, a full draft of your contribution should be submitted by Friday 12th July 2019.

Abstracts and proposals may be in Word, PDF, RTF or Notepad formats with the following information and in this order:
a) author(s), b) affiliation as you would like it to appear in the programme, c) email address, d) title of proposal, e) body of proposal, f) up to 10 keywords.

E-mails should be entitled: Storytelling Submission.

Where to Send
Abstracts should be submitted simultaneously to the Organising Chair and the Project Administrator:

Jeremy Vaughan: jeremy@progressiveconnexions.net
Project Administrator: lisbonstories@progressiveconnexions.net

Lisbon 2019 Details and Information

Registration Fees

The cost for attending the conference is £295/€335.
(Please note: in exceptional circumstances this may fluctuate depending on the £ - € exchange rate).
This includes:

~ conference registration fee
~ Book of Abstracts and Keywords
~ a discounted rate for any of the outputs emerging from the event
~ Saturday coffee/tea on arrival
~ Saturday morning coffee and biscuits
~ Saturday lunch
~ Saturday afternoon tea and biscuits
~ Saturday evening wine and drinks reception
~ drinks in the conference room
~ Sunday morning coffee and biscuits
~ Sunday lunch
~ Sunday afternoon tea and biscuits
~ drinks in the conference room
Calendar of time-lines and deadlines

Friday 8th March 2019
Proposal Submission deadline

Friday 22nd March 2019
Acceptance/Rejection notification

Friday 12th April 2019
Booking Form Submissions

Friday 26th April 2019
Invoicing Complete
Circulation of First Draft Programme

Monday 27th May 2019
Final date for payment

Friday 21st June 2019
Circulation of Revised Programme

Monday 22nd July 2019
Final programme to website and to printing.

Friday 12th July 2019
Full draft of presentation to be submitted.
The conference is being held at the Real Palácio Hotel Lisbon.

Rua Tomás Ribeiro 115
1050-228 Lisboa - Portugal
Tel: (+351) 213 199 500; Fax: (+ 351) 213 199 501

We have reserved rooms for delegates at the conference hotel on favourable terms and conditions. On having a proposal accepted for presentation at the conference, and on the completion and submission of a booking form, a special booking form will be sent to you along with instructions on how to use it in order to access these terms..

Standard Room - Singe Occupancy
€110 per night including breakfast and all taxes

Standard Room - Double/Twin Person Occupancy
€120 per night including breakfast and all taxes

Details will be sent to delegates on how to access these rates once receipt of the booking form has been confirmed.

Accommodation bookings are made directly with the hotel, not Progressive Connexions. All payments for accommodation are made directly to the hotel as well. A credit card will be required on booking.

You are free to find alternative accommodation. We are offering these arrangements as a convenience to folks who would like to be at the conference venue.
The conferences, meetings and events we organise are not single ‘one-off’ events. They are part of a continual stream of conversations, activities and projects which grow and evolve in different directions. At the conclusion of every meeting, the question needs to be considered: What happens next? After all, there is little personal, educational or professional benefit in gathering people together from around the world and sharing all sorts of fascinating conversations if nothing further is going to happen as a result!

The possible ranges of ‘outputs’ which can productively flow from our meetings is a dynamic response to the dialogues, issues and engagements that take place during the events themselves. And as our meetings are attended by folks who come from different backgrounds, contexts, professions and vocations, what people would like to see developed as a result of our time spent together will always be potentially diverse, fluid and appropriate to what took place.

One range of possible outputs involves publication as a way of continuing the work of a project. Where publishing is a possibility, it is directly referenced in the Call for Papers, Presentations and Participation. Other possible outputs may include, but are not limited to:
~ social media platforms such as Facebook pages and groups, blogs, wikis, Twitter, as vehicles for continuing dialogues, disseminating knowledge and information and bringing new people into the work of the project
~ reviews; reports; policy statements; position papers/statements; declarations of principles
~ proposals for meetings, workshops, courses, schools
~ collaboration gateways, platforms and media
~ personal and professional development opportunities: faculty development; mentoring programmes; cultural cruises; consultancies; summer schools; personal enrichment programmes

The range of outputs is dependent on how little or how much you would like to become involved. Don’t let the end of the meeting signal the end of your involvement with the project. Please get involved, bounce ideas around, think out loud – we’d love to hear about what you’d like to do and are always happy to talk about what is possible.
Payment Process
Participants must complete the online booking form by Friday 24th November 2017 at the latest.
After the deadline has expired, an invoice will be drawn up and sent to you; the invoice will contain all the necessary information for you to pay by bank transfer, cheque, Paypal or credit card.
The invoice must be settled by Monday 27th May 2019.

It is the responsibility of delegates to ensure that payment is made by this date. Failure to receive payment will result in your booking being cancelled.

Payment Methods
There are a number of ways payment can be made.

Cheque
Payment can be made by cheque, in GBP (£ sterling) only and must be drawn against a bank with headquarters in the United Kingdom. Cheque’s should be made payable to ‘Progressive Connexions’ and sent, with a copy of the booking form, to:

Dr Rob Fisher
Progressive Connexions
Priory House
149b Wroslyn Road
Freeland
Oxfordshire. OX29 8HR
United Kingdom

We cannot and will not accept cheques made payable in currencies other than GBP Sterling.

Bank Transfer Payment may be made using bank transfer. There will be an option to pay in either GBP (£ Sterling) or Euro (€). Full details to enable a bank transfer are made available on your conference invoice. If paying by this method, you must agree to pay all charges at the sending and receiving banks.

By Invoice
You may request that an invoice be sent to you which you may forward to your institution. It is your responsibility to ensure that the invoice is paid before the payment deadline.

Online
Your invoice will include a link to pay through a secure and encrypted online payment system. Please click the link to use this method. Please also be aware that credit card charges apply.

Credit Card
Payment may also be made using credit card. We cannot accept American Express or Discovery as a form of payment.

Paypal
Payment may also be made using Paypal. If paying by this method please send us the email account connected with your Paypal account and we will forward you a request for payment.

IMPORTANT
We strongly recommend that all delegates take out some form of travel or other insurance in relation any and all travel arrangements or accommodation booked in regard to the conference. This should include cancellation insurance in the event of unforeseen or unexpected circumstances.

All fees are payable in advance. No delegate will be permitted entry to the conference if an invoice is still unpaid.

What’s so Special About Progressive Connexions Events?
A fresh, friendly, dynamic format – at Progressive Connexions we are dedicated to breaking away from the stuffy, old-fashion conference formats, where endless presentations are read aloud off PowerPoints. We work to bring you an interactive format, where exchange of experience and information is alternated with captivating workshops, engaging debates and round tables, time set aside for getting to know each other and for discussing common future projects and initiatives, all in a warm, relaxed, egalitarian atmosphere.

A chance to network with international professionals – the beauty of our interdisciplinary events is that they bring together professionals from all over the world and from various fields of activity, all joined together by a shared passion. Not only will the exchange of experience, knowledge and stories be extremely valuable in itself, but we seek to create lasting, ever-growing communities around our projects, which will become a valuable resource for those belonging to them.

A chance to be part of constructing change – There is only one thing we love as much as promoting knowledge: promoting real, lasting social change by encouraging our participants to take collective action, under whichever form is most suited to their needs and expertise (policy proposals, measuring instruments, research projects, educational materials, etc.) We will support all such actions in the aftermath of the event as well, providing a platform for further discussions, advice from the experts on our Project Advisory Team and various other tools and intellectual resources, as needed.

An opportunity to discuss things that matter to you – Our events are not only about discussing how things work in the respective field, but also about how people work in that field – what are the struggles, problems and solutions professionals have found in their line of work, what are the areas where better communication among specialists is needed and how the interdisciplinary approach can help bridge those gaps and help provide answers to questions from specific areas of activity.

An unforgettable experience – When participating in a Progressive Connexions event, there is a good chance you will make some long-time friends. Our group sizes are intimate, our venues are comfortable and relaxing and our event locations are suited to the history and culture of the event.

Ethos
Progressive Connexions believes it is a mark of personal courtesy and professional respect to your colleagues that all delegates should attend for the full duration of the meeting. If you are unable to make this commitment, please do not submit an abstract or proposal for presentation.

Please note: Progressive Connexions is a not-for-profit network and we are not in a position to be able to assist with conference travel or subsistence, nor can we offer discounts off published rates and fees.

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