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.

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  • 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.
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  • 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.