As Francesca Cancelliere will step down at the end of October 2020, it is time to elect the next MAYS coordinator!
This year, we have two candidates:
– Eleni Binaki
– Magdalena Góralska
Each of the candidates provided us with information about their interests, experience, and goals for MAYS. Please read through the information they provided below and then please submit your vote for who you would like to be the next MAYS coordinator (a two-year term) and the person who will take the lead in planning the next MAYS Meeting.
The election will close on 21 October 2020.
Short synopsis of your research interests and project
My doctoral research is situated on male infertility and New Reproductive Technologies (NRTs) in the context of Medically Assisted Reproduction (MAR). I will investigate in this context the redefinition and reconceptualization of the notions of kinship, family, gender and biomedicine. My fieldwork is situated in the island of Crete in Greece, where in the context of my MSc research I also situated on male infertility, and in particular, on the social and the cultural contexts of the management of male infertility in Crete.
Experiences that speak to your eligibility for the role
As postgraduate student I participated as a member of the Organizing Committee in the 21st Panhellenic Postgraduate Intensive Seminar- Conference for PhD Candidates of the Department of Sociology on “Issues of Research Methodology in Social Sciences” at the University of Crete in Rethymnon (2015). Additionally, I like in general to plan, manage and complete goals.
What are your plans for MAYS?
First of all, the main task will be to organize in cooperation with Anthony the next annual meeting. There are many suggestions regarding the main idea for the next meeting in the context of medical anthropology such as the methodological challenges in the fieldwork of medical anthropology, the notion of evidence in medical anthropology, the impact of COVID-19 in anthropology and especially in medical anthropology and the participatory observation in the health sector. It will also be interesting a workshop or a separate session regarding COVID 19 to be included and, especially, its impact on the anthropological research or PhD researches in general. Additionally to such a workshop or panel proposal, it will be interesting a comparison between the impact of COVID-19 on medical anthropology researches in various countries. Furthermore, the role of funding and subvention in the development and progress of researches can also be another proposal for an event or panel to be suggested. I am sure, that under discussion and cooperation the most suitable issues will be chosen.
SHORT SYNOPSIS OF YOUR RESEARCH INTERESTS AND PROJECT
I study knowledge production practices on the Internet, in particular in relation to health and nutrition. While in recent years my fieldwork was digitally-focused, I am going to be back to the offline, when continuing my research into medical knowledge hegemonies with a research on the Lyme disease controversies in Poland. Over the years I also studied discourses on agricultural biotechnology (Poland) and food practices in relation to identity (India). I have also studied urban transformation (Poland), when I was just starting my anthropological journey back during my bachelors. I am an affiliated research fellow with my own project at the Kozminski University in Warsaw (networked expert knowledge production online), a PhD student at the University of Warsaw (the Lyme disease project). I did my BA studies at the University of Warsaw (BA in Cultural Anthropology, BA in Liberal Arts), and I did my master studies at the Jadavpur University in Kolkata (MA in Sociology), University of Warsaw (MA in Cultural Anthropology), and the University of Oxford (MSc in the Social Science of the Internet).
EXPERIENCES THAT SPEAK TO YOUR ELIGIBILITY FOR THE ROLE
Over the years I have been actively engaged in various organisational and representative roles related to academic life in general.
– During my BAs and Masters, for three years (2012-2013, 2015-2017) I was a member of the board, including one years as a chairwoman, in the Collegium Invisibile Academic Society – the largest independent student-lead organisation in Poland, aimed at supporting academia-oriented students and schoolchildren. I have organised fundraising, workshops and conferences within the society, as well as I did a handful of administrative work.
– I have also organised strictly academic events, such as the Ethnology without Borders 2015 Warsaw edition, and two conference panels (both this year at the 4S/EASST 2020 conference in Prague).
– While studying in Oxford I coordinated a series of seminars at my college (Kellogg), as well as served as a student representative at the Oxford Internet Institute, when I was studying, for two consequent years.
– During my BA studies I was active in the University of Warsaw’s student associations, organising public talks and student research projects.
– For 4 years I have worked in the NGO sector in Poland, and much of my work included cooperation with international organisations, that taught me how to navigate conundrums of the third sector.
My experiences prove my organisational skills, as well as an ability to adjust to various environments, not only as a part of an ethnographic fieldwork skill set. As I am not engaged in a formal role in any other institution, I could bring in some fresh energy into the network.
WHAT ARE YOUR PLANS FOR MAYS?
1. Continue to strengthen network structures and ties, as networks are about people. In-between the annual MAYS meetings, we could keep up the paper-swap format, with a more open form that also includes a chance to discuss ideas. We could have an open Hive-mind MAYS list of network members, who are willing to discuss a topic/an idea/a paper with another network member. Every member on the list would choose key words that best describe their expertise, and a member seeking a feedback could approach whoever on the list for help and discussion over email exchange or a Zoom call.
2. MAYS 2021. Applied/Engaged Medical Anthropology in the Post/pandemic Times. The next meeting would be addressing the following: How has the pandemic influenced medical anthropology? Did it change it? How has medical anthropology approached the pandemic? How is medical anthropology being applied now, what have changed? What about being engaged? The meeting would focus on what the global healthcare crisis have brought to the discipline, both theoretically and practically, as well as offer a workshop on applied and engaged anthropology that focuses on issues related to medicine, health, and the body.
3. Except an annual meeting, I believe there is a space to run online methodological peer-to-peer workshops, free of charge, once a quarter, that could cover issues such as: participant observation in the digital age, visual methods, mixing methods, militant ethnography, ethical dilemmas of medically engaged anthropology, how-to of applied anthropology, among other topics.
4. What about an Early Career Paper Award?