HCI and the Body: Reimagining Women’s Health
A Special Issue for ACM Transactions on Human-Computer Interaction (ToCHI)
Special Issue Editors: Madeline Balaam (KTH Royal Institute of Technology), Shaowen Bardzell (Indiana University), Lone Koefoed Hansen (University of Aarhus), Teresa Almeida (IT University of Copenhagen).
Contact: Madeline Balaam ([log in to unmask]<mailto:[log in to unmask]>)
Deadline for Abstract Submissions: April 5th, 2019
In the HCI community we have seen an increasing exploration of technology in relation to the female body and women’s health. Much of this work had explored the role that technology can play in supporting transitions to, and experiences of motherhood. Such a focus reflects the wider approach of commercial technologies to the female body - that related to reproductive health. In the last five years research focus in relation to women’s health has broadened, entering into more intimate, taboo, and politically charged topics. This has included the design and evaluation of tools for enabling intimate anatomical knowledge, through to explorations of digital approaches to advocating for changes in policy relating to women’s health issues (from topics such as breastfeeding, parental leave through to abortion rights). These advances in the multiple experiences, voices and concerns of the female body and women’s health not only trouble the kinds of methods we have available for doing design and for evaluating our design work, but also define and redefine the limits of the technologies and interactions we create. So much of women’s health involves concern about parts of the body and topics which are normally highly personal, off-limits. The placement and uses of digital materials and technologies may be orientated or inserted in relation to the body in ways which the HCI community has rarely explored. Questions remain about how we as a community can best approach the body and women’s health in ways which are appropriate, inclusive, while also contributing to the improvement of women’s health experiences at a global level. We ask also how such new possibilities can be deployed, the risks of these deployments, as well as the means by which these interactions can be evaluated not just at an individual level, but also at the socio-cultural and political levels which are widely understood as constructing and limiting women’s health experiences.
This special issue aims to provide an inclusive perspective, acknowledging that biology alone does not dictate gender, and that the female experience is more than menstruation, pregnancy and motherhood. We wish to highlight the ways in which the digital intersects with the female experience, roadmap opportunities for digital technologies within women’s health, as well as provide critical and speculative perspectives on what technology means and could mean within this context.
Articles might contribute to this special issue in the following ways:
Scoping reviews and evaluations of existing women’s health technologies (including for example the self-sampling for HPV, menstrual tracking applications, technologies for sexual wellbeing, menopause awareness and management, etc.)
Ethnographies and/or interaction criticism that unpack women’s health experiences and digital re-presentations of the female body
Theoretical revisitations of the relationships between the body and digital technologies scoped to women’s health
Applications and designs (including critical and speculative) which respond to a full spectrum of women’s health experiences
Activism, advocacy and/or more general politics associated with worldwide access and experiences of women’s health
Design methods and processes which engage with, respond to, and reimagine the body in women’s health
For more information please see: http://tochi.acm.org/hci-and-the-body/
Madeline, Shaowen, Lone and Teresa
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