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„Unfolding Finitudes: Current Ethnographies of Aging, Dying and End-of-Life Care”

01. Feb­ru­ar 2024 

Megha Amrith, Vic­to­ria K. Sak­ti, Dora Sam­paio, Har­man­deep Kaur Gill and Alfon­so Otaegui about their recent­ly pub­lished edit­ed vol­ume Aspir­ing in Lat­er Life: Move­ments across Time, Space, and Gen­er­a­tions (Rut­gers Uni­ver­si­ty Press 2023)

Talk in the webi­nar series „Unfold­ing Fini­tudes: Cur­rent Ethno­gra­phies of Aging, Dying and End-of-Life Care”

1 Feb­ru­ary, 2024, 15.30–17.00 CET.

If you would like to join the webi­nar, please reg­is­ter here. You will then receive the zoom-link for the webi­nar one week in advance.

In this ses­sion Dr. Megha Amrith, Dr. Vic­to­ria K. Sak­ti, Dr. Dora Sam­paio, Dr. Har­man­deep Kaur Gill and Dr. Alfon­so Otaegui will talk about their recent­ly pub­lished edit­ed vol­ume Aspir­ing in Lat­er Life: Move­ments across Time, Space, and Gen­er­a­tions (Rut­gers Uni­ver­si­ty Press 2023)

About the book:
In our high­ly inter­con­nect­ed and glob­al­ized world, peo­ple often pur­sue their aspi­ra­tions in mul­ti­ple places. Yet in pub­lic and schol­ar­ly debates, aspi­ra­tions are often seen as the realm of younger, mobile gen­er­a­tions, since they are assumed to hold the great­est poten­tial for shap­ing the future. This vol­ume flips this per­spec­tive on its head by explor­ing how aspi­ra­tions are con­struct­ed from the van­tage point of lat­er life, and shows how they are pur­sued across time, space, and gen­er­a­tions. The aspi­ra­tions of old­er peo­ple are diverse, and relate not only to aging itself but also to plan­ning the next generation’s future, prepar­ing an „ide­al” retire­ment, search­ing for inti­ma­cy and self-real­iza­tion, and con­fronting death and after­lives. Aspir­ing in Lat­er Life brings togeth­er rich ethno­graph­ic cas­es from dif­fer­ent regions of the world, offer­ing orig­i­nal insights into how aspi­ra­tions shift over the course of life and how they are pur­sued in con­texts of translo­cal mobility.

About the authors:
Dr. Megha Amrith leads the “Age­ing in a Time of Mobil­i­ty” Research Group at the Max Planck Insti­tute for the Study of Reli­gious and Eth­nic Diver­si­ty in Göt­tin­gen, Ger­many. Her research inter­ests are on migrant labor, care, aging, inequal­i­ties, and belong­ing, with a cur­rent focus on aging migrant domes­tic work­ers in Asia. She is the author of Car­ing for Strangers: Fil­ipino Med­ical Work­ers in Asia and co-edi­tor of the vol­ume Gen­der, Work and Migration.

Dr. Vic­to­ria K. Sak­ti is a post­doc­tor­al research fel­low of the Max Planck Research Group “Age­ing in a Time of Mobil­i­ty” in Göt­tin­gen, Ger­many. She has con­duct­ed long-term research in Indone­sia and Tim­or-Leste on aging, forced dis­place­ment, (im)mobilities, vio­lence, mem­o­ry, and social repair. Her pub­li­ca­tions deal with old­er refugee expe­ri­ences, care prac­tices with­in and across bor­ders, aspi­ra­tions relat­ed to a good life and death, local idioms of dis­tress, and the tem­po­ral dimen­sions of displacement.

Dr. Dora Sam­paio is assis­tant pro­fes­sor in the Depart­ment of Human Geog­ra­phy and Spa­tial Plan­ning, Utrecht Uni­ver­si­ty. She is also a research asso­ciate with the Max Planck Research Group “Age­ing in a Time of Mobil­i­ty.” Her research inter­ests are on aging, migra­tion, transna­tion­al fam­i­lies, care, and the life course. She co-edit­ed a spe­cial issue of the jour­nal Area on aging and migra­tion. She is the author of Migra­tion, Diver­si­ty and Inequal­i­ty in Lat­er Life: Age­ing at a Cross­roads, an ethnog­ra­phy of migrants aging in the Por­tuguese islands of the Azores.

Dr. Har­man­deep Kaur Gill is a Junior Research Fel­low at Linacre Col­lege and an Asso­ciate Mem­ber of the Fac­ul­ty of Asian and Mid­dle East­ern Stud­ies, Uni­ver­si­ty of Oxford. Gill has worked with Tibetans in exile for over a decade, focus­ing on the lives of mar­gin­al­ized peo­ple. Her book man­u­script „Wait­ing at a Moun­tain Pass: Com­ing to Terms with Soli­tude, Decline, and Death in Tibetan Exile” is cur­rent­ly under pro­duc­tion with Uni­ver­si­ty of Penn­syl­va­nia Press and will be pub­lished lat­er this year.

Dr. Alfon­so Otaegui obtained his PhD in social anthro­pol­o­gy at the EHESS (France). He did research among Peru­vian migrants work­ing in San­ti­a­go, Chile, focus­ing on com­mu­nica­tive prac­tices relat­ed to aging and health care in new dig­i­tal envi­ron­ments. He also car­ried out field­work among old­er adults adopt­ing new tech­nolo­gies and par­tic­i­pat­ed in the devel­op­ment dig­i­tal lit­er­a­cy ini­tia­tives and fur­ther applied anthro­pol­o­gy projects. He is cur­rent­ly a UX Researcher in Ger­many work­ing in usabil­i­ty engi­neer­ing for med­ical devices.

About Unfold­ing Finitudes:
The Euro­pean Research Coun­cil-fund­ed Glob­al­iz­ing Pal­lia­tive Care project ( at Lei­den Uni­ver­si­ty is host­ing a three-month­ly webi­nar series that high­lights cur­rent anthro­po­log­i­cal research on care, aging and dying. Dur­ing this series, invit­ed speak­ers present their recent or ongo­ing ethno­graph­ic work in this field. Our aim is to cre­ate a plat­form for dis­cus­sion of nov­el anthro­po­log­i­cal per­spec­tives on unfold­ing fini­tudes at the end of life.

More info here