An dieser Stelle präsentieren wir ausgewählte Veranstaltungen aus dem interdisziplinären Arbeitsfeld Ethnologie und Medizin.

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Vergangene Veranstaltungen


05. Dez 2019

WORKSHOP - Kinship, Chronic Illness and Responsibility of Care


*Date:* December 5, 2019, Edinburgh Centre for Medical Anthropology, Social
Anthropology, University of Edinburgh
*Discussants:*  Janet Carsten, Jacob Copeman and Ian Harper.
*Contact*: Emilija Zabiliūtė
*Abstract submission deadline*: September 7, 2019

Chronic illness demands extensive care in patients’ everyday lives, and
often redefines what it means to be a person, a family member and a carer.
It reorganizes subjectivities, affective and embodied intensities of
familial relations in patient’s everyday lives, and their temporalities. It
calls into attention the responsibilities of care and their
transformations. Borrowing Levinas’ notion of responsibility as an ethical
orientation of subjectivity towards the others, the workshop invites papers
to reflect on the ways in which care for chronic illness challenges,
reinforces and shapes the modes, practices and ethics of kinship and
relatedness. The concept of responsibility here serves to interrogate the
ethical orientations of intimacy, relationality and its infinity, and
obligation in lives of families with chronic conditions. It also allows to
explore how families navigate the normative moral and medical regimes
eliciting responsibilities amidst chronic suffering.
This call invites participants to contribute with papers drawing on
ethnographic fieldworks across diverse regions and settings, both in the
Global North and the Global South. The participants will be asked to
circulate the papers in advance. Please submit your abstract of no more
than 400 words to Emilija Zabiliūtė (
<>) by September 7, 2019.

Participants' travel/accommodation costs will be partially covered.
More information:

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02. Dez - 05. Dez 2019

PANEL - What do they value? Anthropological perspectives on health-related professions


Papers are invited for a panel at the Australian Anthropological Society’s
annual conference, related to ethnographic perspectives of the
health-related professions. The panel seeks to explore how/why medical and
healthcare professionals give the advice that they give; and how/why do
they make the decisions that they make about diagnoses and treatment
possibilities, especially when medical knowledges are both increasingly
contested and rapidly changing?

Short abstract:

How and why do medical professionals give the advice that they give? This panel seeks to explore the professions of medicine and healthcare, unpacking the values held by the various fields that influence individual health-care providers' decision-making, diagnosis and treatment activities.

Long abstract:

Although anthropologists have been adding value in studies of institutions and organisations since the Hawthorne Studies in the 1930s, there has been significantly less anthropological work done on the cultures that develop in professions. This panel invites anthropologists and anthropology-adjacent researchers to reflect on the culture/s of the medical and healthcare professions, in a bid to try to understand how and why those cultures have emerged as they have. What are the changes to medical, health and wellness theory; the changes to the way medicine and health is taught; the changing moral and ethical considerations throughout society/ies, and/or; the technological innovations that have influenced the norms and values held in contemporary healthcare landscapes? What are the intersections between the individual professional identities of healthcare providers and the emergent culture of their professions? Although papers are invited from multiple perspectives, across a broad range of subfields within medicine and health, and from any geographical location or cultural frame of reference, the panel will ultimately seek to explore the questions: how and why do medical and healthcare professionals give the advice that they give? How and why do they make the decisions that they make about diagnoses and treatment possibilities when medical knowledges are both increasingly contested and rapidly changing?

Papers from outside the Australian context are encouraged. For more
details, see the AAS website:

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08. Nov 2019

STUDY DAY - Medical Anthropology & Disability Ethnographic perspectives


The Medical Anthropology & Disability group (MA&D) invites proposals for 20-minute papers as part of a study day on medical anthropology and disability to be held on November 8, 2019, at the University of Perugia (Italy), Department of Philosophy, Social, Human and Formation Sciences (FISSUF). Papers may be delivered in Italian or in English. We would like to collect contributions about the results of theoretical and ethnographic reflections on the topic. To propose your contribution, you are asked to send the title and an abstract of the proposal (max. 250 words) to the e-mail address by September 20, 2019. Confirmation of acceptance of the proposal will be sent by October 1, 2019. Abstracts should probe issues related to disability, on the basis of the questions arising here below.

The MA&D group developed from the meeting of men and women researching in an anthropological framework about the subject of disability, after the 2nd National Convention of the Italian Society of Medical Anthropology (SIAM) held in Perugia in June 2018, entitled “An anthropology for understanding, for acting, for being engaged: The lesson of Tullio Seppilli”. Through study and research, the group intends to enhance the space of action of anthropological theory and practice within the field of disability. The perspectives of medical anthropology that we pursue do not have the intention of re-medicalizing or anthropo-medicalizing the issue of disability, but instead evoke a critical-political anthropology of the body, which is dialogical and experimental, focused on the processes of embodiment of well-being and, therefore, of health. Disability emerges as a “field”, in terms of a space of mutual recognition between social actors, and also as a contested ground regulated by relations of force. We highlight the unnatural and historically determined nature of disability. Ethnographic practice allows us to connect the most intimate experiences of “disabling” conditions with public and institutional discourses; to analyze the local effects of global processes, such as the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD) by United Nations, and the documents of international agencies; to question categories such as “vulnerability”, “marginality” and above all “functioning” and “ability”.

The group’s scientific works, in their plurality, are united by the common thread of a critical and de-essentializing ethnographic gaze, attentive to the politics of disablement of some categories of social actors and those of recognition. They aim at unveiling embodied skills and denaturalize rhetorics of empowerment, autonomy and independence in contemporary neo-liberal societies. They range from the study of developmental devices to that of active citizenship practices, from the experiences of the body in its continuous relationship with the context in which it finds itself, in the infinite possibilities opened up by insurgent practices. In the perspective outlined here, the MA&D group engages in “research with operational goals aimed at establishing self-awareness and liberation processes” (Tullio Seppilli).

The AM&D group consists of: Virginia De Silva (coordinator), Fabrizio Loce-Mandes, Massimiliano Minelli, Francesca Pistone, Giovanni Pizza, Andrea F. Ravenda, Nicoletta Sciarrino.

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07. Nov - 08. Nov 2019

SYMPOSIUM - Testing Women, Testing the Fetus 20th Anniversary Symposium


Keynote: Professor Rayna Rapp
Host: Dr Lucy Lowe (University of Edinburgh) and Professor Khiara M. Bridges (UC Berkeley)

7th – 8th November 2019
Edinburgh Centre for Medical Anthropology
University of Edinburgh

This year marks twenty years since the publication of Professor Rayna Rapp's seminal monograph Testing Women, Testing the Fetus: The Social Impact of Amniocentesis in America. This ethnography, an award-winning classic text of feminist and medical anthropology, has inspired a generation of scholars working on reproduction, disability, genetics, bioethics, and parenting. This monograph takes us to the complex intersection of intimate family relationships, cutting-edge medical technology, race, genetic counselling, and obstetric care, underscored by classic anthropological concerns with kinship and inheritance. Rapp's question, 'What does scientific literacy mean in a culture as deeply stratified as our own?' is perhaps even more pertinent in 2019 than it was in 1999.

Reproductive technologies have developed apace in the two decades since this ground-breaking ethnography was published, as transnational scientific communities continually produce new frontiers in reproductive science and genetic technology. This period of medical advancement has been fostered in shifting spaces of reproductive politics. Laws on access to contraceptives, abortion, and assisted reproductive technologies have remained the most visible, but by no means the entirety of reproductive politics, where we continue to witness 'the intersection of personal pain and national politics.' The theoretical challenges in Testing Women continue to be relevant. Where can we locate 'moral pioneers' in contemporary medical settings? How can we make ethnographic research speak to both anthropological and medical communities?

This symposium will draw together scholars inspired by Testing Women, Testing the Fetus to explore its continued theoretical contribution in present and future research. We invite abstracts (250 words max) that speak to the themes, theories, and methodological challenges presented by Professor Rapp's work. Please send them to<> and<> by 4th September 2019.

Dr Lucy Lowe
Director, Edinburgh Centre for Medical Anthropology

University of Edinburgh
15a George Square

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19. Sep - 20. Sep 2019

WORKSHOP - Arts of Caring, Arts of Knowing. A workshop on Dementia and Knowledge Practices



Dementia is often portrayed as the emblematic figure of morbid living in one’s later years, entailing substantial human costs to countries, societies, families and individuals” (WHO, 2017). Despite many ongoing efforts to prevent, manage, and cure dementia through biomedical means, dementia remains as a condition that is to be endured and lived with/through. At the same time, we are observing the flourishing of different forms of knowledges about living with dementia and creative engagements with dementia that aim to improve what might be called “qualities of life” of people that are affected by dementia. The notion of quality of life is also constantly challenged, negotiated, and rethought in these knowledge practices. As such, dementia offers us generative opportunities to renew our attention to the ways we know, care, and live, thereby revitalizing critical, imaginative and creative engagements with people with dementia.

Whereas the dominant discourse considers dementia as an irreversible loss of personhood, people with dementia and their carers strive to seek new possibilities of living differently with dementia. Putting together rich empirical researches in dementia care, the workshop Arts of Caring, Arts of Knowing: Dementia and Knowledge Practices aims to explore the generative potentials of dementia that urge and inspire us to rethink, imagine, tweak, improvise our ways of knowing, caring, and living as well as our analytic concepts and methods in humanities and social sciences.

The two-day workshop challenges the prevalent imaginaries about dementia in particular and older age in general that are shaped in specific politico-economic and socio-cultural contexts, not least since these make it difficult for us to creatively imagine and engage with the life with/in dementia. We invite participants from diverse disciplines who are documenting and producing alternative discourses, practices, and imaginaries about dementia, and asking questions about what it means, is and takes to live a “good” life as humans. We hope the workshop to be a venue for conceptual, practical, and methodological innovations in dementia and dementia care research throughout the world.

We seek papers that engage with the following questions, but not limited to:

  • Everyday experiments in dementia care both in informal and formal care settings
  • Production and circulation of caregiver knowledge on dementia care
  • Relationships between biomedical knowledge and caregiver knowledge on dementia
  • Mattering of “quality of life” of people with dementia and their carers in different contexts
  • Historical changes in dementia-related policies and their ethical and political implications
  • Innovative and creative engagements with dementia

If you are interested, please submit an abstract (250 words max.) including 3-5 keywords and a paper title to Jieun Lee ( and Laura Louise Heinsen ( by May 1, 2019. Due to space limitations, selected participants will be notified by mid-May, 2019. Participants will be asked to submit a short paper by the end of August, which will then be circulated among participants and discussed during the workshop. The workshop will take place in September 19-20, 2019 in Copenhagen.

The workshop is a part of the ERC funded project “The Vitality of Disease – Quality of Life in the Making” (


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