14th MAYS Meeting CfP Now Open!

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 (mays.easa@gmail.com)

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

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

MAYS 2022 Co-Coordinator Elections Results

As Chandni Shyam has stepped down as MAYS co-coordinator at the end of October, after being on the post for a year, it has been time to elect the next MAYS co-coordinator.

This year, there was one candidacy of Robert Dean Smith, of the Geneva Graduate Institute. His candidature received unanimous support from the MAYS community, with all votes cast in favor of Robert’s candidacy. Robert will remain MAYS co-coordinator for the next two academic years. Magdalena Góralska will remain as a co-coordinator for an additional year, serving the community for a total of three years.

Robert Dean Smith

Department of Anthropology and Sociology, the Geneva Graduate Institute

Robert 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: robert.smith@graduateinstitute.ch.

13th MAYS Meeting CfP Now Open!

Submit your abstract here!
Submission Deadline: April 4th 2022 (**deadline extended: April 11th 2022**)

13th MAYS Annual Meeting: 22-24 August 2022,

Anthropological Approaches to Healthcare Crisis

The pandemic has brought into stark focus many of the deep fractures of inequality in the societies we live in. Thus, they often require an adaptive and reflexive methodological toolkit for dealing with them. Anthropology has long proven to be capable of providing in-depth insides into such crises, or even foretelling them. Yet its messages remain on the margins of social action and are hardly heeded. It might seem importune, but crisis situations are particularly rich for a social study and for drawing attention to otherwise taken-for-granted social structures. Therefore, it is not uncommon for anthropologists to study and write around these crises. There is, however, not yet a definite concept for the crisis in anthropological literature (Beck and Knecht 2016 ). Anthropology has contributed much qualitative empirical research on natural as well as man-made disasters, risk perception, and security management, global medical problems, and humanitarian interventions (Fassin & Pandolfi, 2010; Fortun, 2001, 2014; Hoffmann, 2002; Lakoff, 2008, 2010; Oliver‐Smith, 1996) without granting a key position to the crisis in itself.

This year MAYS is looking forward to exploring crises, especially those regarding healthcare. We are looking for papers that can contribute to a stronger theoretical conceptualization of crisis. How do medical anthropologists think about the crisis? How do they methodologically approach such a healthcare crises? How do caregivers, medical professionals, patients, and other institutional workers provide and survive through such crises? How are healthcare crises managed? What are some of the preparatory measures and the methods through which these have been communicated effectively?

In 2021 we are dedicating the Annual MAYS Meeting to an issue that we see as pressing to all of social sciences in the post/pandemic times. As such, we encourage submissions from graduate students and early-career scholars in medical anthropology and related fields, as well as from those who locate themselves at the periphery, but were forced by the circumstances to engage with health-related social sciences.

The meeting will be held in Utrecht in a hybrid format. Provisional dates for the meeting are August 22 to 24.


We invite reflexive, ethnographic and/or theory oriented papers that answer questions around:

  • Management of crisis situations, f.e. quantification, factors, measures, 
  • low vaccination rates, vaccine inequality,
  • health policy implementation,
  • grassroot healthcare strategies,
  • systemic healthcare malfunctions,
  • political aspects of healthcare systems, such as privatization of public healthcare services globally,
  • commercialization of health services.

We invite you to submit an abstract of no more than 350-500 words at this link by April 11th , 2022. After the notification of acceptance (April 18th), you will be asked to submit a paper of no more than 3,000 words by July 4th, 2022.

Submission HERE

Revised Deadline for Abstract Submission: April 11th, 2022
Notification of Acceptance: April 18th, 2022
Deadline for Paper Submission: July 4th, 2022


Each workshop participant will be paired with a discussant with whom they will share their paper prior to the meeting. MAYS Annual Meetings usually consist of the conference part and the workshop part; this year, due to the pandemic, we decided to test a new format and hold workshops separately over a span of few months – more information of MAYS Methods Workshops will soon follow.

The event will, most likely, be hybrid – combining both the online and the offline, if the circumstances allow.

Participation fee

As with previous meetings, there will be a registration fee of 20 Euros to contribute towards the costs of coffee breaks and lunch. We kindly ask you to pay the fee in cash upon arrival. 

As we are planning for the event to be a hybrid one, we will try to provide travel reimbursements to all EASA members taking part in the Annual Meeting. More information pending on availability and amount of travel bursaries.

We look forward to welcoming you!

MAYS Coordinators (mays.easa@gmail.com)

Chandni Shyam, MSc Cultural Anthropology, Utrecht University

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

MAYS Coordinator Elections 2021

As Anthony Rizks is soon stepping down as MAYS co-coordinator after being on the post for two years, it is time to elect the next MAYS coordinator!

This year, we have two candidates:
– Diana Antonia Jeflea,
– Chandini Shyam.

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 10 November 2021, midnight.

Diana Antonia Jeflea

Eberhard Karls Universität Tübingen, Department of Cultural Sciences

Short synopsis of your research interests and project

My main research interests are migration, risk situation communication, medical crises’ management, civic activism, and biopower and biopolitics. I have already undergone theses and researches in these fields, some of the most recent ones focusing on women’s seasonal migration during the COVID-19 pandemic, truck drivers as transnational migrants during the pandemic, and discourses in social media regarding the SARS-CoV-2 situation. Moreover, I am highly focused on the social aspect of this medical event that we are encountering in society itself and in smaller groups of people. Nevertheless, I seek to understand the impact states have in fighting against the spreading of the virus and their intrusion into people’s lives.

Experiences that speak to your eligibility for the role

First, I have coordination experience which recommends me for this position. I have done five years of volunteering in Romania, for Hospice of Hope, which provided me with various insides in many aspects of the administrative field, such as fundraising, events coordination or projects coordination and management. Secondly, I deeply think that being the group coordinator during my Master’s Degree let me understand better the modalities in which people with similar interests can be gathered together and engaged in meaningful debates.

What are your plans for MAYS?

I am willing to create a space in which members of the international academic community can break boundaries and find new and exciting aspects of other social and cultural spaces. I think that being a highly creative person could help to organize stimulating events for people who are seeking to create information. How? By making sure everyone fits in the puzzle and brings his own piece to it, making sure its growth never stops. Moreover, I cannot wait to be able to organize an offline event again, but always keeping in mind that there are people who would like to participate and cannot do so due to various reasons. Hence, implementing a long-term hybrid form of conferences would be one of my first actions.

Chandni Shyam

Utrecht University/ MSc(research) Cultural Anthropology: Sociocultural Transformations


I have a long standing interest in medical anthropology, especially in narratives that are essential but overlooked. I have worked extensively on gender and mental healthcare as a Reserach Associate at IIT Madras. During this time, I also worked briefly on the unequal attention paid to affective labour of mental healthcare nurses in Indian hospitals. Right now, I am working on a second masters for which I have been doing fieldwork on Covid-19 vaccinations in Chennai and the ways in which information about the state and vaccines work towards compliance. I truly believe that healthcare has to be universally available and culturally sensitive. Furthermore, my own lived experience as a cancer survivor has helped expand my scopes of what medical anthropology can do.


I have organised many events, both online and offline at numerous instances of my academic career. More importantly, I have always worked on creating and nurturing a community of learners. For example, I am a core team member of the Students for Cultural Anthropology Journal, which is a student initiative to foster peer review. My work with the journal stems from the belief that community is really important for thriving in academia. After all, whatever we write is on the back of many before us and for those with and after us. I also think that there is a lot of scope for collaborative and experimental learning in medical anthropology. My explorations in writing literary ethnography and quantitative ethnography have been fruitful in this regard but I really need a good community for learning and growing with.


I would like to increase the social media presence of MAYS through reading groups and field discussions. It would also be interesting to have coffee talks online and offline that can give open up space for learning about new ethnographic explorations in medical anthropology.


MAYS Coordinator Call 2021 [Deadline extended]

We are happy to announce the 2021 MAYS Coordinator call!

Anthony Rizk’s tenure as MAYS coordinator is ending this October and, once again, it is time to vote in a new network coordinator to take his place and work alongside Magdalena Góralska!

Do you want to take an active role in connecting students and early career scholars with an interest in Medical Anthropology? Would you like to organise the next MAYS conference? Do you have ideas about how to expand and deepen the MAYS network? Would you like to expand your skills and contacts and become an organising member of EASA? Are you a postgraduate in a European university?

If you would like to apply please use the link below to send in your academic CV, along with short answers of not more than 200 words to each of the following prompts:

  • Short synopsis of research interests and projects.
  • Experiences that speak to your eligibility for the role.
  • What would be your plans for the next meeting and for MAYS in general?

Application deadline: 20 October 2021

Application form

Thank you in advance for your interest and application! If you have any questions regarding the application and/or MAYS coordination, please do not hesitate to contact us at mays.easa@gmail.com.

All the best

Anthony and Magdalena

MAYS Workshops 2021 CfP: Healthcare and the State: The uneasy reception of public healthcare measures and discourses

Register for the workshop HERE
Registration deadline: June 1st 2021

**deadline extended: June 20th 2021**

MAYS Discussion Workshop

We are announcing a call for participants for our fourth workshop in the MAYS Method Workshops Series – a workshop on Healthcare and the State that will take place on the 23rd of August 2021 from 14:00 to 17:00 CET. The Workshops Series aims to provide spaces for learning, discussion, structured debate, knowledge-sharing and mutual support leading up to our next 12th Annual MAYS Annual Meeting in Warsaw in August.

Dr. Giuseppe Troccoli, University of Southampton, g.troccoli@soton.ac.uk
Dr. Letizia Bonanno, University of Kent, l.bonanno@kent.ac.uk

MAYS Discussion workshop: Healthcare and the State// August 23rd 2021, 14:00-17:00 CET

Aligning with the ongoing discussion on care and the state, and departing from the idea of biomedicine as a crucial component to post-pandemic statecraft projects, this workshop wants to explore what contribution medical anthropology can give to our understanding of the relationship between the state and those who contest, comply and respond to its services and discourses. We invite original contributions focusing on empirical outcomes or exploring theoretical possibilities which revolve around public health measures, policies, discourses and their reception.

Inspired by instances of compliance, adjustments and active resistance as they emerged over the last year in response to public health measures, discourses and practices to contain the Covid-19 Pandemic, we are interested in exploring not only how these have been received, but also how they have magnified people’s pre-existing disenchantments and lack of trust in the state. We suggest that people’s distrust toward public health measures signals the very failure of the public health systems, hindered by (at least) a decade of disinvestment in public services, austerity measures and privatizations.

Crucially though, during the Covid-19 pandemic, state-promoted public health discourses have often leveraged on and appealed to individual responsibility while, at the same time, promoting an ethic of public utility, social responsibility and collective duty to care for each other. As a result, uncanny relations have been established between the public and the private, the collective and the personal. Although this tendency became all the more apparent during the current pandemic, appeals to individual responsibility as a mode of public health are not any new: in fact they represent the very core of neoliberal discourses on health and healthcare. These contrasting appeals, we contend, often disguise the progressive withdrawal of the state from matters of public health. However, such appeals as well as the biomedical and care practices they entice are rarely straightforward. In fact, they are often met with scepticism when not openly opposed and contested.

The workshop wants to push forward the discussion of compliance, conflicts, frictions, and resistances which emerge in response to state- promoted public health measures. We suggest that these grassroots, societal and contentious responses offer important margins to rethink the political salience of biomedicine and its entanglement with state power. Medical anthropology is indeed well positioned to explore these instances. The workshop welcomes reflections and critical analyses  that explore the reception of public discourses and practices of care, health and public health within and beyond Europe. We invite contributions focusing on the current Covid-19 public health issues. The workshop will bring together eight PhD and Early Career researchers working on such issues.  Attendants’ pre-circulated short papers (2500 words max) will be discussed during the workshop which will be moderated and chaired by Giuseppe Troccoli and Letizia Bonanno (conveners).

Guidelines and Format

The workshop will be open to PhD and Early Career researchers, based on ongoing or completed research. Participants will be asked to submit a title and abstract (250 words) for a proposed paper and a short bio (150 words). Eight abstracts will be selected according to their relevance to the proposed workshop theme. We aim at creating a balanced group of participants, in terms of career stage and research interests.

The selected participants will be asked to pre-circulate their full-length papers (2500 words maximum) by July 31st 2021. Participants will be required to read each other’s work in advance so that the workshop will be entirely dedicated to discussing and sharing ideas, perspectives and critiques. The participants’ bios will be pre-circulated as well, together with their full-length papers. The biographical notes are intended to familiarize participants with each other’s broader scholarly interests and research.

The workshop intends to provide space for different perspectives to emerge while allowing each participant to discuss at length and to confidently share insights and ideas that might still be in the first stages of development. Our motivation to restrict the number of participants to 8 is informed by our will to foster fruitful and productive discussions.

Registration HERE

**Revised deadlines**
Deadline for registration and abstract submission: June 20th, 2021
Notification of acceptance: June 25th, 2021
Paper submission deadline: July 31st, 2021

Date: August 23rd 2021, 14:00-17:00 CET

MAYS Workshops 2021 Series CfP: Training workshop on affective teaching

Register for the workshop HERE
Registration deadline: April 29th 2021

First MAYS Methods Workshop

We are announcing a call for participants for our first workshop in the MAYS Method Workshops Series – a workshop on affective teaching, that will take place on the 6th of July 2021. The Workshops Series aims to provide spaces for learning, discussion, structured debate, knowledge-sharing and mutual support leading up to our next 12th Annual MAYS Annual Meeting in Warsaw in August.

Alice-Amber Keegan, PhD Candidate, Associated Researcher, Durham University
Jordan Mullard, Post-doctortal Teaching Fellow, Durham University
Emily Tupper, PhD Candidate, Durham University
Lucy Johnson PhD Candidate, Durham University
Halima Athker, PhD Candidate, Durham University

MAYS Affective Teaching Workshop: Covid-19 and Me // July 6th, 2 pm – 5 pm GMT+1

This workshop will be based around a paper that we have co-authored titled: ‘Covid-19 and Me’: A Serendipitous Teaching and Learning Opportunity in a 1st Year Undergraduate Medical Anthropology Course. ‘Covid-19 and Me’ was a blog post exercise assigned to 1st year undergraduate students taking a medical anthropology module at the start of the academic year 2020-21.

We present it as a case study demonstrating how personal reflection and affective pedagogies matter in ‘making sense’ of something like a global pandemic, and how it better enables us to understand the experience of an erstwhile ‘other’. In this workshop we will walk attendees through the ‘COVID-19 and me’ exercise, situating the exercise within Freire’s ideas of ‘conscientization’ among learners. We hope that this workshop will help attendees think about ways they can develop their own teaching and learning practice and encourage active learning among students.

Guidelines and Format

The workshop will take place on Zoom on the July 6th, 2 pm to 5 pm GMT+1. The maximum number of participants is 30, with enrolment on a first-come-first-served basis. Registration deadline is April 29thto register go HERE (there is no confirmation of registration e-mail). The workshop participation is free of charge.

While workshop is open to all across social sciences, we encourage those who are interested in teaching anthropology/medical anthropology to apply. Applicants from the Global South are particularly welcomed to join.

In this workshop we will replicate the ‘COVID-19 and me’ exercise described in our paper, asking attendees to prepare a short (50 – 150 word) piece about their experiences of COVID-19 to be submitted prior to the workshop. The conveners will read through the entries prior to the workshop, anonymise them and shared with workshop attendees during the workshop.

Workshop Structure

Registered participants will be later given a submission link to provide their 50-150 word reflective pieces, that after being anonymised, will serve as a teaching material in working groups during the workshop.

During the workshop, we will ask attendees to read through the pieces in small groups (break-out rooms) and come up with some key themes that emerge. We will encourage the attendees to think about their emotional responses to what they are reading. How does it make them feel when considering the different experiences of peers? Attendees will be asked to draw a bubble diagram for each written piece outlining key emotions. They will rank which emotions had the biggest impact on their discussions. To avoid this slipping into voyeurism, we will encourage participants to consider which themes felt most poignant in relation to understanding the different ways in which the pandemic was experienced and what that tells us about concepts of health more broadly.

We will then come together as a group to share themes and discuss how medical anthropological theory can be applied to those themes. We will then outline how we used these methods in the COVID-19 and me exercise, discussing how we used affective learning to engage undergraduate students with medical anthropology. We will consolidate the exercise with the pedagogical theory of Freire and his ideas in ‘pedagogy of the oppressed’ and how those ideas can be applied to develop learner’s consciousness of the topic under study. We will work with attendees to think about how they can use affective learning to engage learners within their discipline or topic and come up with a ‘lesson plan’ that they could use in the future. We will conclude by asking attendees to write a short rationale for using affective learning and how they can evidence (or not) its value through their own experience of the exercise.

Given the deeply personal nature of the topic to be discussed and the potential for intense emotional responses we will endeavour to provide a ‘safe space’ for all attendees. Attendees will be required to sign up in advance and we will send out a secure zoom link to ensure that those who are not registered cannot attend the workshop unannounced. We will make it clear to all attendees that they should engage in discussions sensitively and respectfully and will allow participants to opt-out of any participation that they do not feel comfortable with.

Registration HERE
Deadline for Workshop Registration: April 29th, 2021
Notification of Acceptance: May 12th, 2021

Deadline for the Submission of Reflexive Pieces: May 26th, 2021

Workshop Date: July 6th, 2021, 2 pm to 5 pm GMT+1

MAYS Workshops 2021 CfP: Training workshop on “Using Documents in Social Research”

Register for the workshop HERE
Registration deadline: May 15th 2021

MAYS Training Workshop

We are announcing a call for participants for our second workshop in the MAYS Method Workshops Series – a workshop on Documents in Social Research that will take place on the 28th of June 2021 from 13:00 to 16:00 CET. The Workshops Series aims to provide spaces for learning, discussion, structured debate, knowledge-sharing and mutual support leading up to our next 12th Annual MAYS Annual Meeting in Warsaw in August.

Margret Jaeger, Assistant Professor, Sigmund Freud University, Vienna. Email: margret.jaeger@sfu.ac.at

MAYS Training workshop: Using Documents for Social Research // June 28th, 13:00-pm CET

Social scientists often use “documents” for research purposes. Based on Prior (2011), documents can be: 1) Documents containing text (words) and images that have been recorded without the intervention of a researcher. For example minutes, diaries, protocols, agendas, brochures, event programs, charts, newspapers, press releases, survey data, etc.; 2) Social facts that are produced, shared, and used in socially organised ways (Atkinson and Coffey 1997: 47); also cultural artefacts such as monuments, works of art, etc. Bowen (2009: 29) argues as follows:

“The rationale for document analysis lies in its role in methodological and data triangulation, the immense value of documents in case study research, and its usefulness as a stand-alone method for specialised forms of qualitative research. Understandably, documents may be the only necessary data source for studies designed with an interpretive paradigm, as in hermeneutic inquiry; or it may simply be the only viable source, as in historical or cross-cultural research. In other types of research, the investigator should guard against over-reliance on documents.”

Does it matter who the author was (if known)? Was it work on demand (press photographs for a city government versus a citizen´s private picture from the same event?) Why was something produced? What happened after its first use? Why was it considered important and therefore kept for the future, and where did this happen until we discovered it? With which technology was it produced? Was it easy to find and was it possible to access it? Are we able to read/see/understand it (with or without a translator or due to bad handwriting or paper quality)?

As a methods trainer for (future) healthcare professionals, I discovered Prior’s book some years ago and it changed my way of approaching documents in research fundamentally. Consequently, I also train undergraduate and postgraduate students in this method, because in our professional lives most of us will deal with many documents, especially those working in healthcare – we analyse and produce documents from different perspectives for different purposes. I consider this approach useful for any future job perspective, to broaden our view of “documents”.


  • Atkinson, P. A. & Coffey, A. (1997). Analysing documentary realities. In D. Silverman (Ed.), Qualitative research: Theory, method and practice, London: Sage, 45–62.
  • Bowen, G. A. (2009). Document analysis as a qualitative research method. Qualitative research journal, 9(2), 27-40.
  • Prior, Lindsay (2003, last reprint 2011) Using Documents in Social Research.

Guidelines and Format

This workshop lasts three hours with breaks. It consists of interlinking examples from the presenter with some theoretical input. The workshop is only available for a maximum of 20 people who first register on the platform. Registration deadline is May 15th, go to registration link HERE (there is no confirmation of registration by e-mail). The workshop participation is free of charge.

The workshop asks participants to bring their examples and uses some of them to go through the nine chapters of the book, which is full of examples. All of the authors offer us a new perspective on something we often search for and use for research or job-related activities.

Eligibility criteria

  • Candidates must hold a Master’s degree or higher
  • Candidates must have a basic knowledge of qualitative methods

Preliminary assignment for registered workshop participants

  1. Preliminary readings required: text from Bowen and Prior’s first chapter from the book “Using documents in social research”.
  2. Reflect on how you understood “documents“ before the readings and what documents you have around you. What is around you that could document something interesting about your life for others?
  3. Define what document you want to look for and find one that you want to show to the other participants during the workshop. Keep in mind the definition of documents mentioned in the description above. If you can not show it directly, make a photo of it and ensure that you can share the photo with us during the workshop.

Registration HERE
Deadline for Workshop Registration: May 15th, 2021

Deadline for the Assignment Submission: June 17th, 2021

Workshop Date: June 28th 2021, 13:00-16:00 CET

MAYS Workshops 2021 CfP: Writing workshop on building theory into ethnography [NOW CLOSED]

Register for the workshop HERE
Registration deadline: May 10th 2021

First MAYS Methods Workshop

We are announcing a call for participants for our first workshop in the MAYS Method Workshops Series – a workshop on ethnographic writing, that will take place on the 26th of May 2021. The Workshops Series aims to provide spaces for learning, discussion, structured debate, knowledge-sharing and mutual support leading up to our next 12th Annual MAYS Annual Meeting in Warsaw in August.

Michal Frumer, PhD student, Research Unit for General Practice & Aarhus University,
Sara M.H. Offersen, postdoctoral researcher, Research Unit for General Practice

MAYS Writing workshop: Building theory into ethnography // May 26th, 10 am to 1 pm CET

”In short, the question for me comes down to whether the ethnography is meant to illustrate a theoretical argument or whether theory might be built into the ethnography itself.” (Das 2015, 15).

Taking this cue from Veena Das, in this writing workshop we approach ethnographic writing as a craft to be cultivated, and as a form of writing that allows for rich storytelling that does not leave the ethnography behind in pursuit of theoretical abstractions. In this workshop, we propose to collaboratively explore how we tell specific stories to make theoretical arguments and think through the effects and politics of representational choices. Following recent takes on the topic (Stewart 2007, Hyde and Denyer Willis 2020, Das 2020), we suggest that the ethnographic grounding of anthropological writing can be enriched by slowing down the pace of our storytelling – that is slowing down our movements between ethnographic detail, general conditions, and theoretical abstractions – as we attune to the muddy and quotidian everyday lives of our interlocutors.

We invite participants that wish to enhance their writing sensibilities and participate in this workshop as a forum to engage, inspire, discuss, provoke, further one’s work, and encourage through a focus on “bringing life to ideas” (Strathern, cited in Narayan 2012, 15).


Das, Veena. 2015. Affliction Health, Disease, Poverty. New York: Fordham University Press.
Das, Veena. 2020. Textures of the Ordinary: Doing Anthropology after Wittgenstein. New York: Fordham University Press.
Hyde, Sandra Teresa, and Laurie Denyer Willis. 2020. “Balancing the Quotidian: Precarity, Care and Pace in Anthropology’s Storytelling.” Medical Anthropology 39 (4):297-304. doi: 10.1080/01459740.2020.1739673.
Narayan, Kirin. 2012. Alive in the Writing: Crafting Ethnography in the Company of Chekhov: University Of Chicago Press.
Stewart, Kathleen. 2007. Ordinary affects. Durham, NC: Duke University Press.

Guidelines and Format

The workshop will take place on Zoom on the May 26th, 10am to 1 pm CET. The maximum number of participants is 12,  with enrolment on a first-come-first-served basis. Registration deadline is May 10th, go to registration link HERE (there is no confirmation of registration e-mail). The workshop participation is free of charge.

The workshop will take place on the 26th of May, 10 am to 1 pm CET. To ground our discussion of ethnographic writing, participants are required to write a preliminary assignment (2 pages + ½-page project background) on their own research to circulate beforehand. During the workshop, participants will be divided into 2 or 3 groups beforehand, depending on the number of submissions. Workshop convenors will be moderating group discussions within breakout rooms. Each assignment will also be allocated a discussant, however, all participants are expected to read all assignments in their group in order to be able to take part in joint discussions. This gives around 25 min for each for discussion and reflection upon feedback.

In the workshop we focus on “how to write”, but, looking forward, we hope to encourage setting up an international, virtual writing community focusing on “how to get writing done”.

Preliminary assignment for registered workshop participants

Choose any scene that dramatizes a theoretical issue or the tensions and puzzles central to your interests. This might be a situation, a person, a confrontation, a turning point, a formal event, an intensely elucidating interview, etc. Take us to the scene with vivid details – the people, the place, the pace of interaction, your presence. Use all your senses. Quote when you can. Don’t tell us what the theoretical issue is; for now, just give us a glimpse of social life in motion.

The version that you share with the workshop should fit into two pages (roughly 500-600 words), double spaced and in a 12-pt. font, with your name in a header. If you have extra words, you might be tempted to shrink fonts, juggle margins, etc. Please don’t. Revise and refine, evaluating the need and precision of each word until the piece fits exactly two pages. You might want to open a separate file where you store trimmed words for future inspiration.

Please submit the 2-page writing exercise with the ½-page project background to Michal Frumer (micfru@ph.au.dk) by May 17 at 1 pm (central European time) so that all assignments can be circulated before we meet.

This collection of short pieces will help us all gain a sense of each other’s interests in advance. As you read each other’s work, take notes: What theme, in your opinion, is being illustrated here? What aspects of the writing are most compelling? How does the different representational choices affect your reading of the case?

Registration HERE
Deadline for Workshop Registration: May 10th, 2021

Deadline for the Assignment Submission: May 17th, 2021

Workshop Date: May 26th, 10 am to 1 pm, 2021

Call for Conveners: MAYS Workshop Series 2021

Submit your Workshop Proposal here!
Submission Deadline: March 31st 2021

MAYS Workshop Series 2021

We are announcing a call for convenors for our first Workshops Series. The Workshops Series will aim to provide spaces for learning, discussion, structured debate, knowledge-sharing and mutual support leading up to our next 12th Annual MAYS Annual Meeting in Warsaw in August.

Why an online Workshop Series? It seems more important than ever before to stay connected, and to make available the spaces for discussion, collaboration and debate that may have been difficult to find for many of us during the COVID-19 pandemic. Workshops can be on any topic and in any form of your choosing; they can be open or closed, structured or unstructured, requiring or not requiring readings or submissions. We encourage conveners to choose formats that facilitate discussion, collaboration and fellowship, such as the one we propose below.

Potential Workshop Formats

  • Discussions. Discussion workshops are encouraged to be in open formats, with minimal requirements for participation (e.g. short contributions around a theme). They can revolve around a set of readings to tackle a specific theme or topic, or draw from individual experiences, such as discussing questions related to reflexivity, positionality and the archetypes of fieldwork. We encourage discussion workshops to focus around a specific question, topic or concern.  
  • Debates. Debate workshops have, as their main aim, to put two or more competing or conflicting positions–whether theoretical, methodological, or disciplinary–in conversation with each other. We encourage proposals for debate workshops that revolve around key and emerging areas of contention in anthropology and ethnography. Conveners opting for debate workshops will be asked to ensure fairness of representation and that space for opposing and minority opinions be provided and encouraged.  
  • Presentations and trainings. Presentation and/or training workshops are those that seek to propose and discuss new and innovative tools, methods, softwares, or approaches to ethnography. Such workshops may include a presentation by a speaker followed by a discussion. 
  • Forum. The intention behind a forum workshop is not to discuss the content of anthropology or ethnography, but the experiences of anthropologists and ethnographers. They can revolve around such topics as the growing precarity in academia for young scholars, the ethics of academic research, or working through particular difficulties (thesis writing, fieldwork during covid-19, etc.). A forum workshop is expected to be a stock-taking of experiences; potential leading to identifying avenues for some form of collective action.  
  • Writing workshops. Writing workshops also revolve around a specific topic or theme; they will, however, be more-so geared towards providing mutual support on various types of writing projects. Members may opt to require that participants share writings ahead of time, and set up a format and structure that encourages feedback, advice, peer-review and discussion. 


  • We will support 4-6 workshops in this workshop series, which will run from April till August 2021. We will promote the workshops and assist with their organization. 
  • Workshops may only be individual sessions of up to 3 hours.
  • Workshops must be held virtually; MAYS will provide a Zoom platform.
  • Though workshops can be convened by one person, we encourage co-convened workshops by no more than two persons. 
  • Workshops will need to culminate in a short summary of proceedings or a similar output, to be published on the MAYS website or elsewhere.
  • We are working on finding ways to compensate workshop conveners in-kind, wish us luck!


Submission HERE

Deadline for Workshop Proposal Submission: March 31st, 2021
Notification of Acceptance: April 5th, 2021

MAYS Coordinators (mays.easa@gmail.com)

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

Anthony Rizk, Department of Anthropology and Sociology, Graduate Institute Geneva