Locations: anthropology in the academy, the workplace, and the public sphere
GAA Biannual Conference 2013
2. – 5. October at Mainz University

Call for papers
Situating medical anthropology: between the “ivory tower of science,” activist engagement, and ethical responsibility

Keynote: João Biehl (confirmed)

The situated knowledge of “science” has in the last 30 years taken center stage in anthropology, with ethnographic and anthropological ways of knowing and do-ing research having been described as being inseparably linked to sociopolitical forces and practices. This idea went hand in hand with the development of “per-spectival science” – the awareness that there is no “view from nowhere” – but that research is conditioned by the particular “cultural baggage” of the re-searcher and his/her subjectivity. That knowledge and social life forms are inter-dependent is also a well-established fact in critical medical anthropology, whichhas long been concerned with the production of knowledge in settings infused by power and authority. Furthermore, as medical anthropology deals with existential questions of suffering, health and the human body, the field has a strong tradition of applied approaches and activism. Yet, despite these insights the opposition of academia toward activist-scholars persists and those anthropologists en-gaged in applied practice are often disregarded.
We welcome proposals for papers that address aspects of the relationship of activism, attempts to do “situated research,” and academic medical anthropology, including questions about the researcher’s subjectivity and the moral and ethical challenges that medical anthropologists face in positioning themselves within and beyond the field. Furthermore, we are interested in what the ethical and applied responsibilities of medical anthropologists are in shifting landscapes of health and suffering that have become increasingly marked by dynamics of exclusion/social stratification – as well as by new opportunities for the funding of “societally meaningful” research.

Abstracts should be submitted both as a long version (200 words max.) and a short version (30 words max.). These should be emailed directly to the workshop conveners.
Deadline: 15. February 2013

workshop organized by Thamar Klein and Hansjörg Dilger (AG Medical Anthropology)



“Beyond Boundaries: Interstices in Medical Anthropology” – Conference

The present conference – in the interstice between the 10th and 20thyear of the Work Group Medical Anthropology – aims at studying in-between spaces within and beyond medical domains and phenomena. Medical Anthropology, more often than not, has focused on categorizations and boundaries within medicine and health, and sometimes on intersections, but has devoted far less attention on interstices – whether in relation to knowledge regimes, social groupings, healing practices/techniques or networks of objects.

Moving beyond binary reasoning and bounded objects, we invite discussions about what happens and who/what lives in the cracks, interstices and gaps in the structure of medical traditions. To this end, we encourage papers that explore subject matters that fall between, rather than within, familiar boundaries, such as the medical body’s appropriation in politics of (national) identity, or the fabrication of new life forms through the development and clinical implementation of new biomedical technologies. We suggest approaching interstices not as empty gaps between regions full of structure, activity and meaning, but rather as clearings that may generate new knowledge, practices as well as discourses.

organized by Bernhard Hadolt and Thamar Klein