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

Wir freuen uns über Veranstaltungshinweise an

Vergangene Veranstaltungen


27. Jun - 28. Jun 2019

CONFERENCE – Preparing for Physicians. The ambivalences of empowerment


Joint conference of the Collaborative Research Center 1187 Media of Cooperation and the Association for Anthropology and Medicine (AGEM)

Healing is a cooperative practice that involves multiple agents and requires negotiations of different needs and potentials. These negotiations are usually based on asymmetrical relations between healer and patient. Without specific expertise, skills, and knowledge of healing, there would be no need for consultation, and often patients are looking exactly for such an asymmetric relation to put themselves in the hands of an authority they can trust. Nevertheless, this asymmetry has often been criticized, especially in the realm of modern biomedicine and psychology, and especially in the context of chronic and rare diseases. Professional dominance (Freidson 1970) and a paternalistic imbalance in healer-patient relationships have thus led to an increasing claim for shared decision making and informed consent in order to empower the patient vis-à-vis her or his healer. The aim is to develop therapies and forms of interaction that explicitly seek to re-balance the relationship by taking into account the patients’ knowledge (as e.g. in many psychological therapies), or even trying to turn the asymmetric healer-patient relationship around and calling for full responsibility of patients themselves (e.g. in many esoteric therapies).

The Internet offers new possibilities for getting information and sharing experiences about the inefficacy or even harmfulness of popular and officially accepted therapies, on the one hand, and the efficacy of unknown and unconventional approaches, on the other, which may lead to distrust of professional or institutional authorities. Thus, patients can develop many strategies to carry out their own ideas and plans against a healer’s advice, if they disagree about the cause of the illness and the right course of treatment. Such strategies also may include simulating or neglecting specific symptoms to get a desired prescription, to avoid a specific treatment, or to get a temporary or permanent certificate of illness.

But empowerment is ambivalent. Patients are often torn between trust and suspicion, between the wish to be guided by experts and the wish to become an expert on their own, to give up or to keep responsibility for their health. Too much information can turn empowerment into confusion, and empowerment can also turn into manipulation, e.g. when pharmaceutical companies encourage patients to ask their healers for the drugs they sell (cf. Dumit 2012). Thus, empowerment is hardly straightforward. For instance, in which direction is empowerment oriented? Is it an extension of the patients’ biomedical knowledge? Or does it facilitate increasing demands from doctors, who are approached by patients who figure as consumers or customers? Does it include the right to remain a passive patient? Empowerment does not necessarily pit an autonomous patient against a dominant physician. This mélange opens up questions about the modes and means of empowerment. Who, beyond patients, has an interest in empowerment? Are Internet media engines of emancipation or sources of irritation?

After focusing on the healer’s perspectives and practices at the conference “Preparing for Patients. Learning the skills and values of healing encounters” in 2018, we now focus on the patient’s side and look for descriptions and analyses of their perspective and practices. We call for contributions that explore the ambivalences of empowerment both theoretically and empirically. We especially look for insights into the distributed nature of empowerment, the different constellations in which empowerment might be generated or reduced. Which resources are used to increase or to prevent the empowerment of patients, and which resources are used by the patients themselves? And what are the unanticipated consequences of empowerment?

Keynote: Prof. Nick Fox (University of Sheffield)

Conference language: English






Cornelius Schubert -
Ehler Voss -

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25. Jun 2019

SYMPOSIUM - The Body and the Built Environment in the Long Nineteenth Century


The period between 1750 and 1918 is widely acknowledged to have been one of dramatic societal and cultural change, not least in terms of people’s experience of the spaces in which they lived. The unparalleled urbanisation that took place over the course of the long nineteenth century necessitated new ways of existing in increasingly built up environments. The move to such locations demanded new habits, routines, and modes of movement, all of which had a discernible impact on the body. As Elizabeth Grosz points out, ‘through exercise and habitual patterns of movement, through negotiating its environment whether this be rural or urban […] [that] the body is more or less marked, constituted as appropriate, or, as the case may be, an inappropriate body for its cultural requirements’ (1994). Where, for example, the navigation of uneven rural terrain would have strengthened certain muscles, the negotiation of flat, urban streets produced a markedly different body. Beyond the purely muscular level, the countless cultural elements of the nineteenth century city also impacted in numerous ways upon the embodied subject.

This one-day interdisciplinary symposium invites papers that explore how the shifting relationship between the body and the built environment was interrogated in literature and culture of the long nineteenth century. The symposium aims to stimulate academic discussion on a range of topics relating to embodiment and architectural space in the period ranging from 1750-1920. As such, we welcome papers from those working in the fields of Literature, History, Medical Humanities, Geography, Architecture, Philosophy, Film and Media, Psychology, Modern Languages, Gender/Women’s Studies, Law, and Politics.

Paper topics might include, but are not limited to, considerations of: questions of ownership and access; health; urban planning; agoraphobia and other spatially related disorders; sensory perception; the diseased body; policing, surveillance, and public order/disorder; sanitation and pollution; and phenomenological approaches to the body and space.

Potential research questions might include:

-        In what ways did the built environment either encourage or preclude access to certain kinds of bodies in the long nineteenth century?

-        How was the relationship between the embodied subject and architectural space interrogated in literature and culture of the period?

-        What impact did scientific and medical advances in the understanding of the human body have on the construction and/or organisation of the built environment?

Please send abstracts of 250 words for 20-minute papers to: by 17 May 2019. For further details, visit:


This event is supported by the Centre for Nineteenth Century Studies, and is presented in association with the Institute for Medical Humanities at Durham University.


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11. Jun - 13. Jun 2019

SYMPOSIUM - Making Medicine in Austere Times



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11. Jun - 13. Jun 2019

SYMPOSIUM - Making Medicine in Austere Times



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07. Jun 2019

WORKSHOP - Mamacura: überliefertes Gesundheitswissen von Frauen



Einladung zum dritten Workshop der Reihe „Partizip aktiv“

Mamacura – überliefertes Gesundheitswissen von Frauen
Caroline Contentin el Masri, Gesundheits- und Krankenpflegerin und M.A.S.K.A. im

Bereich Medizinethnologie

Dr. Annette Kerckhoff, BSc Komplementärmedizin & European Master of Health Promotion

in Anwesenheit von Stadtteilmüttern

Auf der ganzen Welt helfen Frauen sich mit einer „Medizin aus der Küche“, um die Familie gesund zu erhalten und Krankheiten selbst zu behandeln oder die ärztliche Behandlung zu unterstützen. Dabei handelt es sich um einen wertvollen Wissensschatz, der zu mehr Autonomie und Gesundheitskompetenz führt.

Als Erweiterung der 2012 angefangenen Zusammenarbeit mit der Werkstatt Ethnologie Berlin und den Stadtteilmüttern von Neukölln im Rahmen der Ausstellung „Sibyllenwurz und Speisedampf“ und einer Feldforschung zum Thema Vorstellungen von „gesunder Ernährung“ sammeln wir Rezepte, prüfen sie medizinisch und - da diese Praxis auch sozial und kulturelle Aspekte der Gesunderhaltung im ganzheitlichen Sinne beeinflusst -, beforschen wir anthropologisch den Kontext ihrer Nutzung. Ziel ist, geprüfte Rezepte und weitere Informationen über das Internet weltweit für andere Frauen zur Verfügung zu stellen.

Im Workshop wollen wir uns über unsere Erfahrungen austauschen, es werden Ergebnisse der Forschung und praktische Anwendungen für den Alltag präsentiert, die in einem zweiten Schritt durch praktische Übungen (beim schönen Wetter im Freien) zusammen erweitert werden.

wann und wo?

Freitag, 7. Juni 2019, 17-20 Uhr Mehringhof Blauer Salon
(3. Aufgang, eine Etage über dem Mehringhoftheater)

Gneisenaustr. 2A 10961 Berlin

Aufgrund der praktischen Organisierung sind Voranmeldungen gerne gesehen

Eintritt frei, Spenden begrüßt Bitte auch weitersagen und weiterleiten


Vollständiges Programm der Reihe unter bzw.

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