Submit abstract by clicking here

Abstract Deadline: April 22nd 2018


Within Anthropology, creative methods have been emerging as useful and engaging tools for conducting research about health, illness and the body. From innovative and experimental uses of film and media to participatory arts research, methods once reserved for the arts have taken on new relevance as anthropological tools to gather ethnographic data and present findings. Furthermore, creative arts research methods open up new ways of involving research participants and communities in the research process, challenging the roles of research(ers) and interlocutors and definitions of knowledge production.

This conference seeks to instigate discussions about how the creative process and its methods have been useful – or not – in researching topics in medical anthropology. Our aim is not a discussion of anthropological theories of the art and the image, but instead ask:

  • How do medical anthropology researchers craft creative methodological tools to better understand experiences of illness and well-ness, the body and beyond?
  • What are the challenges and successes associated with utilizing creative skills in research and production? Or as early career researchers within the broader context of academia?
  • How do creative and collaborative methods affect the relationships between researcher, research participants, and communities?
  • Do collaborative and participatory methods invite an activist model to research? If so, what are its promises and pitfalls?
  • And finally, what can medical anthropology as a field gain from said approaches?

We enthusiastically invite contributions that explore these and other questions in relation to the use of creative methods in medical anthropology. Possible topics include but are not limited to the interplay between medical anthropological goals and attentions, ethnographic film and multimedia, drawing and visual field notes, exhibitions and museum curation, public art and installations, participatory arts research methods, architecture and design, performance and theater, and storytelling and fiction. We also invite creative presentations of research findings that showcase its creative methodological approaches and findings.

We invite you to submit an abstract of 300 words maximum, and three keywords at the link below (we will not accept abstracts via email.) After the notification of acceptance you will be requested to submit your material six weeks prior to the meeting (details below).

Submit abstract by clicking here

Abstract Deadline: April 22nd 2018

Notification of Acceptance: April 30th 2018

Deadline for presentation submission: August 22th 2018


Format of the meeting

As in previous years, the MAYS meeting will have a peer-review structure to provide an opportunity for all attendees to receive feedback and engage with one another’s work. Accepted applicants will be organised into parallel group sessions. These sessions will include 15-minute presentations and 20 minutes of discussions. Presentations will be made in a ‘presenter tandems’ fashion – in that another attendee will present your paper to the session group, and you will be asked to present your tandem partner’s paper in return. Feedback will given by all session group participants.


The meeting will also offer workshops with anthropologists that have employed creative methods in research about health, illness and well-being. The workshops are aimed at providing practical insights into the use of creative methods. Further information about the workshops and a keynote lecture will follow in due time.


In accordance with this years’ theme, we invite contributions in various forms and formats such as:

  • papers (max. 5000 words)
  • research proposals, research reports etc. (max. 5000 words)
  • poetry, creative nonfiction
  • photographry, paintings, drawings
  • short films
  • songs, music and other kinds of audio material
  • recordings of or live performances

Regardless of the type of contribution, you should be able to provide a majority portion of your material digitally to your tandem partner six week in advance of the Meeting, so that your they can prepare their feedback. In cases of non text based presentation, please add a short comment (max. 2 pages) to any non-text based contributions illustrating the context of the material, and/or questions you would like to discuss.
Registration Fee

There will be a small registration fee of 10 EUR to cover the costs of coffee breaks and lunch, which will be provided at both days of the conference. The fee is to be paid in cash upon arrival.


We look forward to welcoming you to Berlin!

MAYS Coordinators ( 

Ursula Probst, Institute for Social and Cultural Anthropology, Freie Universität Berlin

Lilian Kennedy, Department of Social Anthropology, University of Edinburgh

One thought on “MAYS 2018 Annual Meeting Announced!

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