About us

The Asso­ci­a­tion for Anthro­pol­o­gy and Medicine(AGEM) was found­ed in Ham­burg in 1970 and is a non-prof­it asso­ci­a­tion with legal capac­i­ty, an asso­ci­a­tion of researchers and per­sons and insti­tu­tions pro­mot­ing sci­ence. It pro­motes inter­dis­ci­pli­nary coop­er­a­tion between med­i­cine, the his­to­ry of med­i­cine, human ecol­o­gy, med­ical soci­ol­o­gy and psy­chol­o­gy, the life sci­ences and the cul­tur­al and social sci­ences, espe­cial­ly eth­nol­o­gy and folk­lore, with the aim of inten­si­fy­ing the study of all med­ical cul­tures world­wide. It does this pri­mar­i­ly by pub­lish­ing the jour­nal Curare, orga­niz­ing sci­en­tif­ic sym­posia, and col­lect­ing and doc­u­ment­ing lit­er­a­ture relat­ed to the top­ic and com­pil­ing rel­e­vant infor­ma­tion on its website.

Until 2018, the AGEM was called „Arbeits­ge­mein­schaft Eth­nomedi­zin”. How­ev­er, the term „eth­nomed­i­cine” has changed its mean­ing in pub­lic dis­course over time, and today’s com­mon asso­ci­a­tions and uses of the term no longer cor­re­spond to the inten­tions of the found­ing of the AGEM as laid down in its statutes. Instead, since about 2000, the terms „Medi­zineth­nolo­gie”, „Medi­z­inan­thro­polo­gie” and „Med­ical Anthro­pol­o­gy” have become more and more estab­lished in Ger­man-speak­ing anthro­pol­o­gy for what the AGEM already for­mu­lat­ed as its own goals and tasks in 1970. In order to avoid cor­re­spond­ing mis­un­der­stand­ings, the jour­nal „Curare”, pub­lished by AGEM, has already changed its sub­ti­tle from „Zeitschrift für Eth­nomedi­zin und tran­skul­turelle Psy­chi­a­trie” to „Zeitschrift für Medi­zineth­nolo­gie” in 2008 (for the 31st year). Also, on the AGEM web­site and in the AGEM cor­re­spon­dence, the term „eth­nomed­i­cine” was replaced by phras­es such as „inter­dis­ci­pli­nary field of eth­nol­o­gy and med­i­cine” long before the renam­ing. More­over, in the inter­na­tion­al dis­cus­sion and the inter­na­tion­al per­cep­tion of the asso­ci­a­tion, the term „eth­nomed­i­cine” as a Ger­man-lan­guage neol­o­gism (1955) eas­i­ly leads to mis­un­der­stand­ings, because the term can­not be trans­lat­ed as „eth­nomed­i­cine”. „Eth­nomed­i­cine” is under­stood espe­cial­ly in the Anglo-Amer­i­can area as a sub­field of the „Med­ical Anthro­pol­o­gy” there, which is why the AGEM has part­ly put the term „eth­nomed­i­cine” in quo­ta­tion marks in Eng­lish texts already since the 1980s. In order to do jus­tice to these devel­op­ments and to adapt the name of the asso­ci­a­tion to its com­mon prac­tice, it was decid­ed at the 2018 mem­bers’ meet­ing to rename the asso­ci­a­tion „Arbeits­ge­mein­schaft Eth­nolo­gie und Medi­zin (AGEM)”. Trans­lat­ed into Eng­lish, the name will be „Asso­ci­a­tion for Anthro­pol­o­gy and Med­i­cine (AGEM)”.