Call for Manuscripts for Edited Volume

from NCIS member Kathryn Burrows

Working Title: Medical Technology and the Social: How Medical Technology is Impacting Social relations, Institutions, and Beliefs about what is Normal

Lexington Books,
A Division of Rowman & Littlefield Publishers, Inc.

Edited by Kathryn Burrows, PhD (Portland State University)
Medical technology is not a product of modernity, as is often assumed: as early as 950 BC, Egyptians were using wooden and leather prosthetics for missing toes. For at least 3000 years, humans have invented tools, devices, and products for the advancement of health, medicine, and wellness. However, we could perhaps date the modern revolution of medical technology to Jenner’s invention of vaccines in 1798, the use of surgical lighting beginning in the 1850’s, or Roentgen’s discovery of X-rays in 1895. More recently, advanced medical technology, such as imaging technology like fMRIs, cochlear implants and other prosthetics, IVF and other reproductive technologies, and, most recently, the use of AI in medicine and surgery, have transformed not only medicine, but also the social world and institutions in which we live. Prenatal ultrasounds now can tell expectant parents the sex of their unborn child, changing the experience of pregnancy; advanced surgery can now perform gender-affirming surgery altering not only a person’s appearance, but their very identity; Telehealth has expanded access to healthcare to homebound or rural patients; and 3D printing has enabled the production of customized organs and limbs. In addition to these technologies, advances in pharmacology have allowed some people with profound psychiatric disorders such as schizophrenia to work, have families, and live “normal” lives, and have given people with conditions as diverse as diabetes and ALS a longer life span. And, across all these technological inventions, the question of “what is normal” lingers; is it “normal” to have access to prosthetic blades that can enhance physical performance; is it “normal” to take 15-30 pills a day to manage chronic diseases; is it “normal” to have a pig heart transplanted into a human body?
The hope of this volume is to solicit manuscripts that examine the social impacts of medical technology, ranging from the impact of technology on the individual, to impacts on institutions and the trend toward broad social change. We invite manuscripts from a wide range of social scientists (ABD or PhD) from anthropology, computational social science, economics, history, media and communication studies, political science, public policy, and sociology. The list of potential topics is almost limitless, but could include the following:
• How imaging technologies have changed the way we view the body and the self
• How technology has changed the definition of “abled” and “disabled”
• Political and legal controversies over medical technologies
• The difference between “enhancement” and “fix”
• The relationship between medical technology and normality
• The scientific invention process of new technologies or pharmaceuticals, and how politics and big money play a role in this process
• How technology is changing the definitions of illness and wellness
• How and why people decide to use advanced or experimental medical technologies
• Institutional or change because of medical technology
• The change in the medical professions, including medical training and professionalization, because of technology
• The relationship between medical technology researchers, funders, and industry
• The socio-technical history of medical technologies
• Social movements organized for the purpose of supporting or opposing medical technologies, including vaccines or abortion
• How political groups engage in advocacy against or in support of new technologies

Chapter Parameters:
Rowman & Littlefield Publishers (R&L) uses the Chicago Manual of Style, 17th ed., and Merriam-Webster’s Collegiate Dictionary, 11th ed., as style and spelling guides.
Completed chapters should be 20-30 pages, double-spaced, 12-point font.
Please send a CV, your proposed title, and a 500-word abstract of proposed content to by September 30, 2022. Please acknowledge in the email your willingness to adhere to the timeline below:
Proposal Email: September 30, 2022
Acceptance Notification: October 31, 2022
Completed Chapters Submitted: January 31, 2022
Peer Review Feedback: March 1, 2023
Revisions: June 1, 2023
Editorial Work: July-August 2023
Full Manuscript Sent to Lexington Books: September 2023

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