Submit your abstract here!
Submission Deadline: April 2nd 2023

14th MAYS Annual Meeting: 20-22 July 2023 (TBD), Geneva, Switzerland and Online (Hybrid)

Medical Anthropology and its Future(s): Between Waves and Currents

This year MAYS invites early career researchers (graduate students, postdoctoral researchers, and adjunct faculty) to reassess the condition and purpose of medical anthropology, and ponder the future of our discipline. How has medical anthropology arrived in its location today, and where do we envision it moving? To approach these questions we encourage participants to reflect upon how different waves of paradigms, trends and focus areas have shaped contemporary medical anthropology; and what underlying commitments have allowed for broader, unifying currents of thought? How have the multiple identities of medical anthropology across geographies and times given shape to contemporary medical anthropology? How have/do medical anthropologists try to establish their relevance within and beyond academia? We aim to explore what desires we (can) hold for medical anthropology’s future(s), informed by our perspectives on current sub-disciplinary possibilities and limitations, hopes and despairs, and optimisms and nihilisms. During the meeting, we hope to address these and other questions based on our experiences of working, or hoping to work, as medical anthropologists in academia and beyond.  

We encourage early career researchers to submit papers that are reflexive, ethnographic, and/or theoretical. Papers should explicitly or implicitly discuss the future of medical anthropology. For more implicitly orientated papers, we encourage applicants to consider how these questions and prompts are echoed within their ethnographic work and or informed by their interlocutors. The key topics for this meeting include: 

  • Diagnosing the status quo – critically discussing the current condition of medical anthropology generally or in particular research areas, across geographic and research paradigms,
  • Historicising the present –  analytical genealogies of medical anthropology, particularly those looking into how the Global South and its epistemologies have shaped currents of medical anthropology,
  • Sub-disciplinary relationships – analyses of our relationship with other medical social sciences, such as ‘social medicine,’ ‘STS,’  ‘medical humanities,’ and more. 
  • Re-imagining medical anthropology – new ways we can imagine otherwise our objects and subjects of inquiry, the relationship between theory, empiricism, and practice, ethical obligations, medical anthropology within the neoliberal university system, and more, 
  • Future(s) possibilities of novelty and imaginings of new topics and approaches within contemporary medical anthropology, as well as critical understandings of novelty in/of (medical) anthropology,
  • Methodological horizons – reflections on methodologies that point to unique methods, and/or combinations of methods, that lead to new analytical avenues,
  • The academic-researcher – the role of medical anthropologists’ affective capacities, such as hope, aspiration, and more, in the labour of sustaining commitments to and (re)imagining (medical) anthropology, 
  • The applied medical anthropologist critical takes on the possibility and need for the applicability of medical anthropology outside of academia, such as working with health professionals, policymakers, and medical universities. 

Application Process

We invite you to submit an abstract of no more than 350-500 words at the link below by April 2nd, and notification of acceptances will be sent by the end of April.

Submission HERE

Deadline for Abstract Submission (350-500 words): April 2nd, 2023
Notification of Acceptance: April 28th, 2023
Deadline for Paper Submission (3,000-5,000 words): July 1st, 202

Format of the Meeting

At the meeting, sessions will be organized based on the thematic overlap. Participants will be paired with a discussant that will comment on their work after their presentation. For this purpose, we ask you to submit a paper of 3,000-5,000 words by July 1st. More information on workshops, keynotes, and events will follow in due time. 

Beyond the meeting presentations, we will organize a social picnic by the lake and a day trip for a nearby hike on July 23rd. 

The meeting will have a hybrid format (we offer financial support to those wanting to take part in the offline, on-site part of the conference).

Participation fee

In order to cover basic expenses, we ask for a 20 CHF participation fee for in-person participants, to be paid in cash upon arrival (offline participation). 

Financial Support

A small amount of funding is available for EASA members taking part in the Annual Meeting in person and who have financial need. Funding will be given in the form of a fixed stipend based upon the number of participants requesting funding (likely around 80 Euro). If you would like to request funding for this meeting, we ask that you indicate this on your registration form. For those that may be able to secure funds from elsewhere (i.e. departmental funding) this would help us to provide a greater amount of funds to those without any sources of funding. We are aware that the price of accommodation in Geneva can be prohibiting, and we will try to work with participants to find affordable options. Concrete details on accommodation will be forthcoming after abstract acceptances. 

We look forward to welcoming you to Geneva!

MAYS Coordinators (

Robert D. Smith, Department of Anthropology and Sociology, Geneva Graduate Institute

Magdalena Góralska, Institute of Ethnology and Cultural Anthropology, University of Warsaw