MAYS was co-founded by Susann Huschke and Claire Beaudevin in 2009. The ‘founding mothers’ of MAYS had this to say about forming MAYS and their hopes for its posterity.
Since 2009, MAYS has had 13 coordinators:
Susann Huschke (2009 – 2011)
Susann is one of the co-founders of MAYS (back in 2008). MAYS taught her a great deal about organising and coordinating, about the importance of long coffee breaks and evenings in the pub, and about topics that she previously knew nothing about, such as the struggles of trans people in Brazil, coming to terms with war-time traumas in Bosnia, and reproductive politics in Slovakia. Her own research projects focus(ed) on undocumented migration, access to health care, sex work and the intersections of moralities and policy. After Berlin and Belfast, she currently lives and works in Johannesburg, South Africa, where she feels inspired by the activism and critical edge of social research. Beyond wage labour, Susann is a mother, gardener, bird-watcher, beer drinker, anarchist, and fitness freak.
Susann can be contacted via email: email@example.com
Claire Beaudevin (2009 – 2011)
Claire is one of the co-founders of MAYS. Running MAYS together with Susann, she learned a lot about organising groundbreaking events without a cent, about the intellectual commitment and enthusiasm of fellow young researchers, about fostering great-value anthropology by an informal and friendly atmosphere in conferences, and also about long-distance solid friendship. She absolutely agrees with Susann regarding the importance of long coffee breaks and evenings in the pub(s) and would add to these key-elements that shaped MAYS: drawing friendly dragons and listening to lots of music. She currently lives and works in the French Alps and in Paris. Her research mainly takes place in the Sultanate of Oman and in the United Arab Emirates, where she’s exploring medical genetics in the clinic and the expansion of human genomics (research and technologies). Beyond being a researcher, she’s also a snowboarding mom, a photographer, a hiker, a total folk music fan and a chestnut addict cook. To drop her a line: firstname.lastname@example.org
Dominik Mattes (2012 – 2014)
Dominik co-coordinated MAYS together with Katerina Vidner-Ferkov. He very much enjoyed co-organizing the MAYS meetings during this period not only because they always turned out to be exciting and fruitful events with a very amicable atmosphere, but because he got to know so many enthusiastic and inspirational people conducting the most fascinating medical anthropological research. And no matter where he moves within the medanthro world these days, you can almost be sure to meet members of the MAYS family!
Before starting his doctorate, Dominik worked as a project coordinator in a health promotion project for refugees and asylum seekers. In 2008, he became a research associate at the Institute of Social and Cultural Anthropology, Freie Universität Berlin. His doctoral research focused on institutional practices and power dynamics of treatment enrollment at HIV treatment centers in Tanzania and explored the lived experiences and moral concerns of patients struggling to incorporate the life-prolonging drugs into their everyday routines. His current project deals with embodied emotions and affective belonging in the context of a Nigeria-based Pentecostal church in Berlin. Beyond his passion for (medical) anthropology, Dominik has two young kids who keep him happy and busy. And when there’s still a minute left now and then, he indulges in his nostalgic memories of being a hobby musician by playing his usually slightly dusty e-drums, piano, and guitar.
Dominik can be contacted via: email@example.com
Katerina Vidner Ferkov (2012 – 2014)
“To wage war, become an anthropologist”. War is being waged, not only on the battlefields but also in our everyday lives. I joined MAYS because it aims further from the constrictions of academia, to empower people and students. Claire, Susann and Dominik are researchers not only writing but also living the motto “anthropology to the people”. My studies were focused on the representation of women in media, gender roles and reexamination of pornographic images. In medical anthropology, I am interested in the perception of femininity and the globalisation of complementary medicine. I continue to question and support activists the field of health rights and representation of women in media. Personally, I am all up for yoga & almost shameless activism. Living by publishing in media what cannot be published in academia: firstname.lastname@example.org
Judith Schuehle (2014-2015)
Judith kept MAYS-members’ inboxes full by regularly sending out CfPs and numerous other emails that might be of interest to young medical anthropologists. She thoroughly enjoyed organising the 6th MAYS conference in Amsterdam together with Natashe and would not think twice about working with Natashe in the future. Judith especially likes the solidarity among MAYS-members and the egalitarian set up of the network’s conferences and thinks that every young medical anthropologist should at least attend one MAYS meeting. She lives and works in Berlin, writing her dissertation regarding the migration of Nigerian physicians to the US and the UK.
Feel free to drop her a line: email@example.com
Natashe Lemos Dekker (2014-2016)
As a MAYS coordinator, Natashe organized its 6th conference together with Judith in Amsterdam on “Emotions in/and Medical Anthropology,” and its 7th conference with Mari in Lisbon on “Intergenerations, Temporalities and Medical Anthropology.” Besides these events, Natashe emphasized the importance of bringing young scholars together in an inspiring and friendly environment. She also focused on acquiring external funding to contribute to MAYS activities. Currently she is a board member of the MAE (Medical Anthropology Europe) network. Her PhD research at the University of Amsterdam addresses the moral and temporal dynamics of the end of life with dementia in the Netherlands. Being an enthusiastic traveler, she is always on the lookout for a next destination, preferably an island. If you really want to make her happy, cook her a good Feijoada (Brazilian rice & beans).
Mari Concetta Lo Bosco (2015 – 2017)
Mari has enjoyed being part of MAYS and she especially supported the diversity of MAYS-Coordination as a value to enlarge the network. The annual meetings taught her the relevance for young anthropologists to discuss and share their ideas and interests as well as to support and inspire each other. She organised the 7th MAYS meeting in Lisbon together with Natashe and supported the fulfilment of the 8th MAYS meeting in Edinburgh under the brilliant leadership of Lilian and of students’ collective SOMA. After living in Rome, Perugia and Paris, she is currently based at the Institute of Social Sciences of the University of Lisbon. Here, she has done research on parents of children with autism, focusing on gendered practices of care, parents’ (web) advocacy for education and health services, citizenship and intellectual disability. She is a huge fan of hiking, gardening and watercolour and she is actually learning to play ukulele.
Be in touch with Mari at firstname.lastname@example.org
Lilian Kennedy (2016 – 2018)
Lilian is one of the current MAYS Coordinators, and is the name on all those MAYS listserv email that you receive! She organised the 2017 MAYS conference at the University of Edinburgh, together with the wonderful (and patient!) Mari, and Edinburgh’s student group SoMA (Students of Medical Anthropology). This was a fantastic experience and she loved the chance to meet with all the MAYS members who made it up to the rainy summertime June in Scotland! Lilian does research on the lived experience of dementia, and the everyday care practices created by familial carers and people with dementia. Her fieldwork was based in London, and she is currently writing her thesis at the University of Edinburgh. When not doing anthropology, Lilian does her best to stay dry in the Scottish mist on hiking and camping adventures, meditates and nurtures her deep love for scifi shows and novels. You can reach her by email on: email@example.com
Ursula Probst (2018-2019)
Ever since attending her first MAYS meeting in 2013, Ursula has been a huge fan of the network. She appreciated the friendly and cooperative atmosphere created by the MAYS members and coordinators, and firmly believes that in times of academic precarity, a network like MAYS plays a vital role in creating spaces for medical anthropology students and young scholars to openly exchange ideas and build collaboration and support. Although Ursula became coordinator under the very unfortunate circumstance of Erica’s resignation (Erica had to step down due to changes in her German residency circumstances) , she hopes to continue the great work of the previous coordinators and is looking forward to bringing the annual meeting to Berlin once again.
Previous academic endeavours have led her to Vienna, Berlin and Krasnoyarsk, and Ursula is now back in Berlin to pursue a PhD in Social and Cultural Anthropology at Freie Universität Berlin. Building on her research interests in sexuality, health and migration, Ursula is currently conducting fieldwork on the everyday lives and experiences of migrants from Central and Eastern European countries engaged in sex work in Berlin. In the few moments she is not busy with anthropology or activism, Ursula enjoys wandering around in nature, swimming in the lakes of Brandenburg – both preferably at cold temperatures – and reading dystopian novels. You can get in touch with her via e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org
Francesca Cancelliere (2018 – 2020)
Since Francesca became a MAYS member in 2016 she enjoyed the network’s richness and diversity. She believes that the annual meetings are a great opportunity for young students to discuss and share their ideas and interests in a friendly and relaxed environment. She looks forward to every opportunity to meet MAYS members and organized the 2019 MAYS meeting in Turin that celebrated MAYS’ 10 year anniversary! After living in Milan, Turin and Maputo, she is currently based at the Institute of Social Sciences at the University of Lisbon where she is completing her PhD in Medical Anthropology. Her research is based in Mozambique, and she works with HIV positive children and adolescents and mental health. In her free time, she loves to cook and bring people together around good food!
Anthony Rizk (2019-2021)
Anthony Rizk joined the MAYS meeting in Turin in 2019 and was blown away by the warmth, openness and diversity of the MAYS network. He is looking forward to organizing the next yearly meeting, side meetings and seeing how the MAYS network can best support its members.
After completing his bachelor degree in medical laboratory sciences and working in epidemiology and medical anthropology at Lebanon’s American University of Beirut, Anthony finished a Master’s degree at Durham University (UK) and started a PhD at the Department of Anthropology and Sociology, Graduate Institute of Geneva in 2018. His work focuses on the bio-economies involved in the movement of antimicrobial resistant pathogens between laboratories in the Middle East. When not agonizing over microbes, Anthony likes cooking fairly well, baking very badly, and reading sci-fi novels. You can reach Anthony by email at email@example.com
Magdalena (Mania) Góralska (2020-2023)
As a coordinator, Magdalena aims to strengthen the MAYS’ potential for community support within the network, especially when it comes to sharing ideas and feedback exchanges. Together with Anthony, she hopes to organize the next MAYS meeting in Warsaw, either virtually or with a mixed form, that would take on the topic of engaged and applied medical anthropology in the post-pandemic times. Additionally to the annual event, she hopes to launch irregular online method workshops, organized and aimed at MAYS members and sympathizers with an aim to improve each other skills and share know-how of dealing with challenges and characteristics of particular fieldsites.
She is currently a Ph.D. student at the Institute of Ethnology and Cultural Anthropology, University of Warsaw, and a research fellow at Kozminski University. Combining medical anthropology with digital one, she studies online flows of information about health and nutrition using ethnographic methods since 2016, when she began studying for her first master’s degree. Her fieldwork consists of the Polish-speaking Internet, and other-lingual digital spaces her research leads her to. In her Ph.D. thesis, she focuses on tick-borne diseases, in particular, borreliosis, also known as Lyme disease.
Her other research interests include discourses on agro-tech innovations in Eastern Europe, post-communist urban transformation, multicultural policies in Warsaw, and organizational studies. In between conducting her fieldworks-at-home, she lived two years in Kolkata, where she studied entanglements of food and identity, along with neocolonial Western practices in India. If not an aspiring academic, she would hope to cook her way up to a Michelin star, or dive deep into the Big Tech world of the capitalist rat race, to later disappear into the wild to never be seen again. She likes woodworking and sewing her own clothes. Write to her here: firstname.lastname@example.org, or learn more about her here:
Chandni Shyam (2021-2022)
Together with Magdalena, Chandni provided the space and impetus for a warm community of young medical anthropologists. Chandni has a long-standing interest in medical anthropology, especially in narratives that are essential but overlooked. She worked extensively on gender and mental healthcare as a Research Associate at IIT Madras(India). During this time, she was concerned with the unequal attention paid to the affective labor of mental healthcare nurses in Indian hospitals. Now she is an MSc. Cultural Anthropology student at Utrecht University, Netherlands and is currently in Chennai for her thesis fieldwork on Covid-19 vaccinations. She is very curious about methodological innovations in anthropology and loves to tinker with the possibilities these offers. In her free time, Chandni loves to read and collect old pretty books which she hopes will culminate into a library she can retire to with her dogs!
You can reach Chandni through e-mail: email@example.com
Rober Dean Smith (2022-2024)
Robert Dean Smith is a Ph.D. Student in the Department of Anthropology and Sociology at the Geneva Graduate Institute. He is excited about the opportunity to support MAYS, host the next MAYS conference, and continue to support and build other MAYS events throughout the year.
He completed his bachelor’s degree in Global Health and Social Medicine at King’s College London, before beginning his MA in Anthropology and Sociology at the Geneva Graduate Institute. Previously conducting research on the history of the political economy of cancer in India, his current research is at the intersections of politics and health; both as the politics of health seen within health austerity, and the ways that health becomes a form of politics through contemporary health populisms in India. Robert has also worked in professional roles that have aimed to bring social science perspectives to public health discussions, including ‘digital health’ and sexual and reproductive health and rights. Beyond the academic world, Robert enjoys cooking creative food. You can read more of Robert’s work here, and reach Robert by e-mail at: firstname.lastname@example.org.