Events by the Medical Anthropology Network
BODIES IN TRANSITION -
POWER KNOWLEDGE AND MEDICAL ANTHROPOLOGY
EASA Medical Anthropology Network, 2017 Biennial Conference Network Meeting
5-7 July, Lisbon, Portugal
Local organization: Portuguese Anthropological Association (APA)
Venue: University of Lisbon, Institute of Social Sciences (Av. Prof. Aníbal Bettencourt, 9)
In 2017 the Biennial Conference of EASA Medical Anthropology Network will be hosted in Lisbon, Portugal, with the prospect of promoting a compact encounter with more plenaries and less parallel sessions. The purpose is to maximize the interweaving of our experiences and understandings across the different niches and orientations within medical anthropology and in exchange with neighboring fields; we hope that bringing back plenary sessions creates room for unpredicted synergies. Around 120 medical anthropologists from around the globe will meet at the University of Lisbon to debate current research and developments and discuss the field’s contribution to gain a broader and deepened understanding of the conference’s overarching topic.
We chose the ubiquitous theme of the body, qualified in its transitional, mobile, itinerant and dynamic character. We welcome panel and paper proposals addressing different understandings of transition – historical processes, colonial encounters, displacements, migrations, social mobility, cyborg and post-human transformations, environmental variances and, last but not least, the multiple dynamics of embodiment – keeping in mind the centrality of power and knowledge as meaningful and critical axes of medical anthropology approaches to body and health. In particular, the ideas of bodies and transition cannot be disjointed from the larger concept of power and knowledge. How do different powers (state, institutions, movements, individuals) and at different levels (inter and trans-national, national, local) act, interact and/or counteract in the construction of the bodies? And how may knowledge play a role in these dynamics?
Starting from the fundamental notion in medical anthropology that it is ‘good to think with the body’ we open many past, current and future fields by critically reflecting why our human body represents so many different meanings, roles, constructions, interpretations and subjectivities. Humans ‘speak’ with pregnant, aged, tortured, modified, disabled, infected and gendered as well as with beautiful, charming and well-toned bodies, but they epitomize all the pervasive nexus of culture and biology. Moreover, women’s and men’s body exerts intrinsically powerful qualities: Whether a body is healthy or ill, strong or frail, provides care or needs care – it matters in its conjunction with other bodies and minds. Nevertheless, these ascriptions and perceptions are never static and fixed attributes, their transitional and casual nature in inter- and intracultural perspective will certainly shape the conference’s theme of ‘bodies in transition’.
Panel proposals should consist of:
– Panel title, short abstract (up to 50 words), long abstract (up to 300 words)
– Name and e-mail of panel proponent with institutional affiliation
All proposals should be submitted by electronic mail to the conference secretariat: firstname.lastname@example.org
Panel proponents should note that:
– Every panel shall have one coordinator and, if needed, a co-coordinator;
– Proponents shall coordinate one panel only; they can, however, serve as co-coordinator in a second panel.
Deadline for panel proposals: February 15th, 2017.
Panel proposals will be evaluated by the Scientific Committee and the list of panels accepted will be announced on March 1st, 2017.
Download Call for Panels as PDF file > here
Annual meeting of the Network
Chair: Andrew Russell and Susanne Ådahl. Forty-one people attended this even at EASA2014 in Tallinn
Medical anthropology-themed panels at EASA2014 in Tallinn. The conference witnessed a range of these.
Encounters and Engagements: Creating New Agendas for Medical Anthropology
EASA Medical Anthropology Network / AAA Society for Medical Anthropology /
Universitat Rovira i Virgili Joint International Conference, Tarragona, Spain
June 12-15th 2013
Encounters and engagements – it is hard to imagine anthropology of any sort without them, and they are central to the practices and concerns of medical anthropology in particular. While ‘encounters’ suggests meetings and convergence, the question of when, where and on what terms an encounter takes place may raise issues of conflict, displacement and exclusion.
The consultation of clients and health professionals, patients and healers, has been of central concern to medical anthropologists, yet the domain of medical anthropology extends well beyond the encounters that occur through healing work in health settings. Encounters may involve the senses, feelings and emotions – desires, disappointments, pleasure and suffering – or they may be dispassionate, cold and clinical. Encounters can also involve quasi- or non-human agents – microbes, spirits, pharmaceuticals, medical technologies, experiments, governmental institutions, non-governmental organizations, weapons and words (amongst many others). They may be real, virtual or imagined, active or passive. And they may engender change of all sorts, leading to new identities, forms and trajectories.
By ‘engagements’, we recall the rich history of medical anthropologists’ engagement in change processes, in many different roles, in some cases collaborating with biomedical institutions to adapt their programs to social realities, in other cases engaging with recipients by giving voice to their concerns. Through such engagements with diverse actors, medical anthropologists have developed a host of new ways of doing research. It is this positionality of the medical anthropologist, and this mode of interaction with other disciplines and actors, that makes our work unique and important.