Dear MAYS members!

We’d like to welcome Anthony Rizk from the Graduate Institute of Geneva to the post of MAYS Coordinator!

Anthony will be taking over from Ursula Probst and will be co-coordinating with Francesca Cancelliere. We are very much looking forward to Anthonys contribution to the MAYS network and his ideas for the development of the network!

In case you missed it, this was his application statement:

I am from Lebanon and currently a PhD student in the Department of Anthropology and Sociology at the Graduate Institute of Geneva. I first studied medical laboratory sciences, and my research project, in the anthropology of global health and infectious disease, is an ethnography of laboratory medicine focusing on the bio-economies involved in the movement of antimicrobial resistant pathogens between laboratories in the Middle East. I am also part of a project at the Global Health Centre at the Graduate Institute of Geneva working on the political economy and global governance of pathogen and benefit sharing. Before starting a PhD, I studied antimicrobial resistance, war and healthcare in Tripoli and have written on sexuality and gender politics in Lebanon.

Coming from a region where medical anthropology is underrepresented, I am very grateful for a network like MAYS. I attended the last MAYS conference in Turin, where I met some wonderful people and benefited from learning from their experiences and sharing mine. I also joined the team that has been updating the MAYS website with information for students on medical anthropology programs worldwide, which will hopefully help connect students to medical anthropologists and relevant programs. In terms of organizational experience, I worked as a research assistant at the American University of Beirut between 2012 and 2016, during which I assisted in organizing and later co-organizing a number of conferences and meetings with epidemiologists and anthropologists. I’ve also been an organizer with several social and political activist organizations, all of which involved a careful attention to the politics and dynamics of organizing meetings and taking into consideration structural issues that affect participation (class, income, disability, gender, etc.) that I hope to pay careful attention, as much as feasibly possible, in organizing MAYS activities and the conference. At the moment at the Graduate Institute, I am working on strengthening coordination between students and faculty with the department seminar series and broadening the spectrum of speakers.

The MAYS network has expanded considerably, and I’ll work on increasing this momentum. One way to increase the participation of young scholars and students from many parts of Europe (not to mention countries bordering Europe/the Mediterranean) is to translate key parts of the MAYS websites and the activity announcements disseminated by MAYS and by continuing the last MAYS conference organizers’ decision to host the next conference outside of the main European cities. In addition to the conference, I can work on increasing MAYS’ activities and visibility by organizing public webinars with medical anthropologists. My proposal for the next MAYS meeting is to focus on organizing discussion-based groups that focus on new directions in medical anthropology, whether applied, methodological or theoretical. Depending on the interests of participants, these can include themes such as translating medical anthropology to new publics, conducting ethnography in the metropoles, what comes after the anthropology of suffering, and theory-building from the subaltern or global south.

Congratulations again, Anthony!

All the best
Francesca and Ursula

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