Friday, 25 September 2015

Conference: Theorizing the Body in Health and Medicine - 26-27 Nov. 2015 - Maastricht, NL

Theorizing the Body in Health and Medicine
2-days workshop
26-27 November 2015
Maastricht University
For most health and medical professionals “the body” functions as a taken for granted entry point for analyzing, imaging, screening, diagnosing, curing, caring, nursing, training, and feeding people. It is also often considered as different from, and even opposed to, “the psyche” which results in sharp distinctions between somatic and mental illnesses. This biomedical idea of the body and its alleged mental counterpart has been put into question by both social constructivist oriented theories and phenomenological oriented theories. Where the first underline that the meaning of the body is intrinsically related to cultural, social and economic context, and to power relations within the health care system, the latter explain in what sense people’s lived body experiences diverge from medical conceptions of soma and psyche. While these two theoretical approaches are both crucial for reflecting on the meaning of the body in health and medicine, they are often seen as opposing and even mutually exclusive. The aim of this workshop is to explore the meaning of the body at the intersection of these two approaches. To this purpose we will discuss topical issues in contemporary health and medicine and examine how social and cultural contexts are decisive for the labeling of bodies in terms of being healthy, sick, disabled or enhanced, while simultaneously taking seriously the individual, material, and experienced body of patients and health seekers.

Thursday November 269.00-9.45 Registration + coffee tea
9..45 Opening address
10.-11: Invited speaker: Lisa Blackman, Goldsmith College, London
Embodying Voice Hearing: Challenges and Tensions
11.-11.45: Ben Belek, Cambridge University
The Sensitive Body: Articulating autistic bodies, embodying autistic articulations
11.45-12.30: Ian Tucker, University of East London
Medication bodies: Affection, distress and social media
12.30-13.30 Lunch break
13.30-14.30: Invited speaker: Kevin Aho, Florida Gulf Coast University
A Hermeneutics of the Body and Place in Health and Illness
14.30-15.15: Ana Koncul, Telemark University College
Cultural Marginalization and Constructions of Differently Able Bodies
15.15-30 Break
15.30-1615 Jonathan Mitchell, University College Dublin
Atypical Morphology and the Normative Limits of Ability and Function
16.15-1700 Else Vogel, University of Amsterdam
Practicing embodiment: Handling shifting bodily configurations through obesity surgery
17.00 Drinks
Friday November 27
9.30-10.30 Invited speaker: Stefan van Geelen, University Medical Center Utrecht
Somatic symptom disorders and embodiment in psychosomatics and psychiatry
10.30-11.15 Karin Eli, University of Oxford & Anna Lavis, University of Brimingham
Body and Being in Anorexia: Experiential Intersection of Culture, Medicine and the Senses
11.15-30 Break
11.30-12.00 Kaisu Koski , University of Tampere – video screening: Not to scale at all
12-13 Lunch
13-14 Invited speaker: Kristin Zeiler, Linköping University
On the Making of Altruistic Bodily Exchanges in Medicine – Why Feminist Phenomenology and Social Constructivism Not Only Can but Preferably Should Be Combined
14.14.15 Break
14.15- 15.00 Nelly Oudshoorn, University of Twente
Technologies inside the body. Rethinking agency and vulnerability of users
15-15.45: Jaana Parvianen, University of Tampere & Ilmari Kortelainen, University of Tampere
Self-knowledge through self-tracking? A phenomenological discussion of methodologies for generating knowledge from the body in the age of health technologies
15.45-16: Break
16-17: Wrap up/general discussion

Registration is required.
To complete registration visit our site:

Registration will close 31 October.

Friday, 18 September 2015

CFP Health mobilities: Interrogating the intersection of healthcare, globalization, mobility and commodification, 2016 AAG, San Francisco

Call for Papers, AAG San Francisco, March 29 to April 2, 2016
Health mobilities: Interrogating the intersection of healthcare, globalization, mobility and commodification

Audrey BOCHATON, University Paris Ouest Nanterre La Défense, LADYSS, France  
Heidi KASPAR, University of Zurich, Switzerland

For health and wellbeing people have been travelling since time immemorial. Yet, since recently, the mobility of bodies in search of relief from suffering, a cure or prolonged life has been intensifying and diversifying. Privatization and deregulation have been transforming healthcare into a profitable industry, in formal as well as informal and legal as well as illegal settings. E.g. illicit and state regulated markets in fresh organs (Scheper-Hughes 2001, 2007), corporate hospitals conducting overseas health camps to attract foreign patients, migration and knowledge transfer in health professions, small and large scale trade in allopathic and traditional pharmaceuticals, …

Critical research has been clear and right in pointing out that neoliberal transformations in health(care) implies commodifying bodies and body parts (Cohen 2005; Parry 2015; Whittaker & Speier 2010). As the global care chain literature has been highlighting, high-income countries embody neocolonial characteristics/practices by extracting skilled healthcare personnel from low- and middle-income countries (Hochschild 2000; Pratt 1999, 2009; Walton-Roberts 2012). These practices reproduce and aggravate global socio-economic and health inequalities. However, simultaneously, new markets, technologies and flows might have the potential to improve marginalized people’s access to healthcare, such as through transnational medical travel or the use of telemedicine, and labor.

Therefore, we invite papers that discuss new forms of flows and new twists to old forms of mobilities by deploying a critical, though nuanced perspective. We welcome papers that
·     analyze circulations of material and immaterial entities and the formation of connectivity that enables these mobilities,
·     engage with shifting and/or persistent power relations,
·     discuss the entanglements of embodied practices and socio-economic contexts,
·     reflect on what kind of health, care and transfer is involved and/or at stake in transnational health mobilities.

The previous topics are not exhaustive; other proposals connected with health mobilities will be explored, too. Conceptual and empirical contributions are equally welcomed.

To submit a proposal, please send an abstract of app. 250 words to Audrey Bochaton ( and Heidi Kaspar ( before 15th October 2015.
Successful applicants will be contacted by 20th October 2015 latest, and will be expected to register and submit their abstracts online to the AAG website by 29th October 2015.  

Please refer to the AAG website ( for a schedule of registration fees which are due at online submission.

  • Cohen, Lawrence. “Operability, Bioavailability, and Exception.” In Global Assemblages. Technology, Politics, and Ethics as Anthropological Problems, edited by Aihwa Ong and Stephen J. Collier, 79–90. Malden, Oxford: Blackwell Publishing, 2005.
  • Hochschild, Arlie Russell. “Global Care Chains and Emotional Surplus Value.” In On the Edge. Living with Global Capitalism, edited by W. Hutton and Anthony Giddens, 130–46. London: Jonathan Cape, 2000.
  • Parry, Bronwyn. “Narratives of Neoliberalism: ‘clinical Labour’ in Context.” Medical Humanities 41, no. 1 (June 1, 2015): 32–37. doi:10.1136/medhum-2014-010606.
  • Pratt, Geraldine. “Circulating Sadness: Witnessing Filipina Mothers’ Stories of Family Separation.” Gender, Place and Culture. A Journal of Feminist Geography 16, no. 1 (2009): 3–22. doi:10.1080/09663690802574753.
  • Pratt, Geraldine. “From Registered Nurse to Registered Nanny: Discursive Geographies of Filipina Domestic Workers in Vancouver, B.C.” Economic Geography 75, no. 3 (July 1, 1999): 215–36. doi:10.2307/144575.
  • Scheper-Hughes, N. “The Tyranny of the Gift: Sacrificial Violence in Living Donor Transplants.” American Journal of Transplantation 7, no. 3 (2007): 507–11. doi:10.1111/j.1600-6143.2006.01679.x.
  • Scheper-Hughes, Nancy. “Bodies for Sale - Whole or in Parts.” Body & Society 7, no. 2–3 (2001): 1–8.
  • Walton-Roberts, Margaret. “Contextualizing the Global Nursing Care Chain: International Migration and the Status of Nursing in Kerala, India.” Global Networks 12, no. 2 (April 1, 2012): 175–94. doi:10.1111/j.1471-0374.2012.00346.x. 
  • Whittaker, Andrea, and Amy Speier. “‘Cycling Overseas’: Care, Commodification, and Stratification in Cross-Border Reproductive Travel.” Medical Anthropology 29, no. 4 (2010): 363–83. doi:10.1080/01459740.2010.501313.