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 8 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:

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:

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:

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:

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:

Natashe Lemos Dekker (2014 – 2016)


IMG_0714Mari 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

lilphoto.jpegLilian 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:

Erica Niebauer

Erica Niebauer (2017 – 2019)

Erica is currently coordinating the MAYS 2018 conference to be held in Heidelberg, Germany. She was greatly inspired by the supportive environment at the MAYS 2017 conference in Edinburgh, which led to her interest in continuing to be involved in such a collaborative international network of emerging medical anthropologists. She is looking forward to being part of the dialogue among young scholars and researchers collaborating on ideas and practices of creativity surrounding themes of medical anthropology and social health research.

Erica completed her bachelors degree focusing on religious studies, anthropology, and art in her hometown of Sacramento, California. During that time, she worked in local organizations focusing on refugee and maternal infant health. In 2015, she moved to Heidelberg to pursue a masters in medical anthropology, where she conducted research on mental health care in Kathmandu, Nepal. She has additional training in documentary film, photography, art, and design, which she merges with her training in medical anthropology to pursue the use of creative methods for furthering interdisciplinary social health research. Beyond the academic realm, she spends most of her time immersed in dance studios wherever she can find them, studying a wide variety of styles.

She welcomes emails from anyone looking to connect, at: