11th MAYS Meeting CfP Now Open!

Submit your abstract here!
Revised Submission Deadline: February 20th 2020

11th Medical Anthropology Young Scholars Annual Meeting: 18 and 19 June 2020, Geneva

Medical anthropology and its others: The disciplinarity of a field in motion

Far from being clearly bounded, medical anthropology has come to capture a massive variety of anthropological engagement. This includes, but is not limited to, the applied and theoretical study of health and illness, ritual healing, violence, the body, biologicals, psychology, healthcare, humanitarianism, public health, (bio)medicine, global health, science and technology, death and dying, and many others besides and in between. How do we come to terms with medical anthropology as a field that is itself in motion? How do we learn from and engage with other anthropological sub-disciplines, such as visual, political, economic and legal anthropology, and other disciplines in the social and natural sciences? As students of medical anthropology, what are the boundaries of our discipline and where are we taking it going forward?

The Medical Anthropology Young Scholars (MAYS) network enthusiastically invites you to discuss with us the disciplinarity of medical anthropology at its next annual meeting. 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 or outside of the field altogether. 

We invite contributions that either explicitly discuss disciplinarity in medical anthropology or implicitly demonstrate disciplinary engagements, and speak to such questions as: 

  • What methodological and theoretical contributions and gains has medical anthropology made in conversation with other (sub-)disciplines? 
  • How do the core paradigms of medical anthropology converge with and depart from those of other (sub-)disciplines?
  • What anthropological dogmas are reinforced, reconstituted or renegotiated through inter-disciplinary encounters? 
  • What old disciplinary coalitions are fading, which are enduring, and where are new inter-disciplinary engagements taking place?
  • What does this mean for the future of medical anthropology or for our understanding of ‘medical anthropology’ itself? 

All topics are welcome. For the purpose of organizing parallel working groups, contributors will be asked to specify types of disciplinary engagements in their keywords, which can include, for example:

  • Medical anthropology and the visual, the digital and the virtual
  • Anthropology of health and social movements
  • Feminist, queer and marxist medical anthropology
  • Medical anthropology interacting with other disciplines outside anthropology, such as philosophy, history and geography
  • Political, economic and/or legal medical anthropology
  • Evolutionary and linguistic approaches to medical anthropology
  • Medical anthropology and migration studies
  • Any others …  


Three kinds of contributions to the conference are solicited:

  1. Reviews that discuss inter-disciplinary encounters.
  2. Original research papers that demonstrate intersection with other (sub-)disciplines.
  3. Research proposals that position medical anthropology in theoretical and methodological conversation with other (sub-)disciplines.   

We invite you to submit an abstract of no more than 500 words at this link by February 20th, 2020. After the notification of acceptance, you will be asked to submit a paper of no more than 4,000 words by May 5th, 2020, for discussion in a working group. 

Submission: https://airtable.com/shri0jCpoQ7iFw398

Deadline for Abstract Submission: February 20th, 2020
Notification of Acceptance: March 1st, 2020
Deadline for Paper Submission: May 5th, 2020


Working group sessions will be organized based on inter-disciplinary engagement rather than topically, giving each group sufficient time to present and discuss each other’s work, decide together their guiding questions and discussions, and draft a summary to be presented at the closing plenary. Participants will be asked to circulate papers among their group members prior to the meeting. More information on workshops, keynotes and events will follow in due time. 

**To enjoy the summer sun, we will organize a picnic lunch at the nearby Perle du Lac Park and the conference will be followed by a hike/day trip on Saturday June 20th**

Registration 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. 

We look forward to welcoming you to Geneva!

MAYS Coordinators (mays.easa@gmail.com)

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

Francesca Cancelliere, Institute of Social Science, University of Lisbon

MAYS Coordinator Call 2019

We are happy to announce the 2019 MAYS Coordinator call!

Ursula Probst’s (current MAYS coordinator with Francesca Cancelliere) tenure is ending this September and it’s time for a new Coordinator to take her place and work alongside Francesca.

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 with at least 2 more years of study based at a university in Europe?

If you would like to apply please use the link below to send in your academic CV, along with short (max 200 words) answers to the following prompts:

  • Short synopsis of research interests and project.
  • 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: 31 July 2019 

Please click here to apply

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.

We would also be grateful if you could share this call among your networks!

All best,

Francesca and Ursula

10th MAYS Meeting CfP Now Open!

Submit your abstract here!
Submission Deadline: 28.02.2019

30 years after the critical turn in medical anthropology we want to re-examine the many ethical and methodological challenges (junior) researchers face in the field. Various issues stemming from an increased modification of health and healing under neoliberalism force us to rethink established categories and recent concepts such as moral economies, anti-technology of citizenship, and bio-citizenship, posing difficult questions to researchers: Are we satisfied with the conceptual and methodological framework of current medical anthropology? How can we (re-)think theory and practice together?

At the meeting we want to discuss about the relationship between epistemological and political positionality, as the practice of fieldwork in medical anthropology is closely intertwined with both the adoption of theoretical paradigms and the choice of particular political and context-related positions from the researcher.

We therefore invite contributions that critically engage with one of the following or other issues in relation to the themes of the meeting:

  • Voice, power and knowledge on the field
  • Working at the margin (when the field speaks about violence, death, wars, borders)
  • Rethinking “anthropology at home” (location and relocation)
  • Getting in and out of the field
  • Ethics and engagement in social relations
  • Anthropology on demand (meeting the needs presented by the community)
  • Extractive industry and its impact on population health
  • Positionality and activism
  • Reality vs representation
  • Diagnostic proliferation in psychiatry and the moulding of contemporary Self
  • Healing knowledge and its transformation
  • New medical biotechnologies and body/life experience (reproductive technologies, strategies for increasing longevity, and so on)

If you want to contribute to the meeting, please submit an abstract of max. 300 words of your proposed contribution and three key words at the link below. After the notification of acceptance, you will be requested to submit your paper five weeks prior to the meeting.

Submission: https://airtable.com/shr0CCK7r4F3wVbPm

Deadline for Abstract Submission: 28.02.2019
Notification of Acceptance: 11.03.2019
Deadline for Paper Submission: 01.06.2019

Format of the meeting
Accepted participants will be organised into parallel group sessions. Participants will have to circulate their papers among their group members prior to the meeting, so everybody can read it in advance. At the meeting, participants will be given 8 min to briefly present their paper, then 5 min of questions from a peer reviewer and then other group members will give their feedback and engage in the discussion of the paper.

As in previous years the meeting programme also includes two workshops relating to the meetings’ theme. Further information will be provided in due time.

Participation without Presentation
To ensure a constructive atmosphere with enough room for in-depth feedback and discussion, we can accommodate only a limited number of participants at the meeting. However, depending on the number of accepted papers, it might be possible to include a few non-presenting participants. Further information on such possibilities will only be given after decisions about the acceptance of proposed papers have been made.

Travel Scholarships
Thanks to a grant from EASA, we will be able to offer a few travel scholarships to presenting participants (who are EASA members) without other source of funding. Information about the application process and the funding conditions will be circulated among accepted participants after the notification of acceptance.

Registration Fee
There will be a small registration fee of 10 EUR to cover the costs of coffee breaks and lunch, which will be provided at both days of the conference. The fee is to be paid in cash upon arrival.

We look forward to welcoming you to Turin!

MAYS Coordinator Elections

2018 MAYS Coordinator Election!

It’s time for Lilian Kennedy to step down and for a new MAYS coordinator to take her place! This year we have 4 fantastic candidates: Francesca Cancelliere, Inayat Ali, Leah Eades, and Katarzyna Król. 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 Sunday, Oct 28th.  Thank you! Lilian and Ursula, your current MAYS coordinators


Francesca Cancelliere, University of Lisbon

Synopsis of research interests and project:

Dear MAYS members, My name is Francesca Cancelliere and I am currently a PhD candidate at the Institute of Social Sciences of the University of Lisbon (ICS-ULisbon). My research concerns HIV positive children and adolescents in Maputo (Mozambique), and looks at how the politics of adherence to antiretroviral therapy shape their life. I am also part of the Integra project ‘Between biomedicine and local therapies: cross-views on Mental Health in Mozambique’, jointly led by the University of Lisbon, the University of Turin and the University of Maputo.

Experience in preparation for the role

Since I became a MAYS member in 2016, I enjoyed the network’s richness and diversity. I do believe that sharing opinions and suggestions in a constructive and informal setting is one of the best opportunities young scholars have to improve their work. Moreover, I believe the opportunity of working in a network that involves different universities, to be extremely valuable in fostering young scholars’ engagement and collaboration, and this is particularly the case when the researchers come from different places and have experience in different kinds of fieldwork. I would like to foster the dialogue of medical anthropology with other disciplines and methodologies. For example, my previous experience as a psychologist working in a multidisciplinary team providing psychosocial support to refugees has boosted my interest in the ethno-psychiatric multidisciplinary approach. At this regard, I actively collaborated in the organization of conferences both in the University of Lisbon – ‘Resistance and Empire: new approaches and comparisons, International Conference’ – and in the University of Maputo – ‘Integra: Between biomedicine and local therapies: cross-views on Mental Health in Mozambique’.

Next year will mark the 10 year anniversary of MAYS, what would be your plans to push the scope of MAYS further?

For the 10-year anniversary I will keep expanding MAYS’s network by especially focusing on supporting the participation of young scholars from Southern and Eastern Europe, since this has been weak in the pasts years. I also think that it would be important to open up our work beyond the academia and become more publicly engaged. Anthropology and social science in general tend to be underestimated and are deemed marginal disciplines. We need to show how, as researchers in social science, we can be active and engaged in the society. For this purpose, it will be extremely valuable for MAYS members to show the works presented at the 10th conference outside the University, by means of proposing informal meetings with the civil society. My proposal is for the next MAYS meeting, to be held for the first time in Turin, Italy, country which represent the brutality of EU migration politics. These politics as the “immigrant-targeted security decree” in Italy, must turn the attention of the academic world into an active position. This opens up a larger debate about how medical anthropology can keep contributing to the understanding of complex social and political issues as well as engaging in the field according to multiple practices and approaches.

Inayat Ali, University of Vienna

Synopsis of research interests and project:

  • Global Health;
  • Vaccination and Immunization;
  • Infectious diseases;
  • Bio-Geo politics;
  • Local methodologies

Experience in preparation for the role

  • The volunteer work during the EASA and ASA conferences that has added into the event management tasks and experiences;
  • Teaching and research assistant that provided me a chance to coordinate with the respective students;
  • Programme Officer, where one of the tasks was to coordinate with the applicants and arrange meetings/training/events for them.

Next year will mark the 10 year anniversary of MAYS, what would be your plans to push the scope of MAYS further?

  • To arrange a workshop/event, where the young and old generation of medical anthropologists would share, learn and propose future endeavors. In order to organize, the platform of the Wenner-Gren foundation can prove as an effective source of meeting the funds/expenditures;
  • To increase the net of coordination with other regional medical networks like South Asian;
  • To begin a new initiative of creating a support group, where young generation would interact with each other and share/exchange the drafts of their work in order to receive a prompt, friendly and constructive comments and criticism;
  • Any other initiative after discussing with the fellow colleagues.

Leah Eades, University of Edinburgh

Synopsis of research interests and project:

Research interests: applied medical anthropology; abortion; reproductive health and politics; pregnancy and the fetus. Research project: A growing number of British and Irish women are using abortion pills (i.e. mifepristone and misoprostol) to end their pregnancies. These pills can be obtained through official and unofficial channels. Differing legal contexts in the region have resulted in differing (although highly interconnected) distribution and consumption practices. Abortion pills can be accessed legally in some parts of the region but not others, and there is evidence that women across all settings are buying abortion pills online to illegally self-induce abortion. My ethnographic multi-site study utilises a biographical approach to track the social life of abortion pills in Britain and Ireland. My objectives are to: 1) produce in-depth qualitative data regarding British and Irish stakeholders’ understandings of, and engagements with, abortion pills obtained through official and unofficial channels; and 2) plot the social and political effects of these pills are they move between and within these differing settings. By conducting research in this rapidly growing and, as yet, relatively under-studied area, I aim to produce findings that inform future healthcare policy, law reform, and reproductive justice discussions.

Experience in preparation for the role

I believe I am suitable for this role for a number of reasons. Firstly, I have first-hand knowledge of the benefits that MAYS membership can provide to young scholars. By attending the 2017 MAYS annual meeting as a master’s student, I was able to connect with other medical anthropologists, present one of my first papers, and get to know a new faculty – in fact, I’m now doing my PhD at Edinburgh University partly because of that event! All this means I’m eager to play a part in continuing to grow this community. Secondly, I have a lot of experience organising events and building communities. For the past two years, I was a Contributing Editor for Cultural Anthropology journal working on their social media team. During my master’s, I was an RAI Ethnographic Film Festival Ambassador, which involved co-organising two film screenings, and a Resident Assistant in a university hall of residence, which involved organising regular socials and events. In my personal life, I’ve also helped to organise and promote a regular storytelling night. I’m confident I could use these skills to help manage the MAYS annual meeting and online community.

Next year will mark the 10 year anniversary of MAYS, what would be your plans to push the scope of MAYS further?

I think MAYS could build its membership and connect with the wider medical anthropology community by building its online presence, especially given how large our Facebook group is. For example, we could interview members about their research for blogs/podcasts that we feature on the website and promote on social media. We could also launch a quarterly newsletter, and look into guest posting on related platforms such as Somatosphere, Nursing Clio, Anthrodendum, etc. All of this could help raise awareness of MAYS, which would be especially helpful ahead of the annual meeting. Obviously, we should also aim to make the 10th MAYS annual meeting the biggest and best yet! I also think MAYS could do more to reach out to underrepresented/non-traditional med anth ECRs – for example, student parents and carers, part-time students, disabled researchers, LGBTQ+ researchers, etc. Perhaps we could reach out to members, either online or during the meeting, about whether there is a need for this and, if so, what form our support/advocacy could take. As a voice for early-career medical anthropologists in Europe, I think this could be a really exciting and important avenue to pursue.

Katarzyna Król, Polish Academy of Sciences

Synopsis of research interests and project:

My project focuses on sociocultural aspects of rare metabolic disorders, in particular, fatty acid oxidation disorders (FAODs, e.g. LCHAD deficiency, MCAD deficiency, and VLCAD deficiency) and organic acid disorders (OADs, especially Glutaric acidemia type 1 or “GA-1”) in Poland. Through ethnographic research methods project is exploring knowledge construction and global&local politics of treating rare metabolic disorders. Connecting STS approaches with medical anthropology, I am interested in the networks of care that make treatment possible, and how pharmaceutical markets, viral actors, and therapeutic cultures attend to and shape biomedical cultures around those diseases. I also intend to look at how particular knowledge(s) are being created, questioned and sustained in daily sociomaterial practices, with emphasis on medical practices. Thereby, project aims at contributing to theorising medicine’s ontological politics (Mol 2002: viii). Rather than describing rare metabolic disorders as static diseases I am trying to describe them as complicated assemblages of bodies, health care systems, technologies, fears, beliefs etc. fitted together, which are constructed, managed and re-created by both affected patients and medical practitioners. Research interests: medical anthropology, methodology, STS studies, gender, food studies

Experience in preparation for the role

First of all, I am really motivated to become the next MAYS Coordinator. Thanks to my experiences obtained during international scholarships and field research I have understood the importance and experienced the merits of networking between young scholars. I consider it not merely as one of the prerequisites of contemporary academic life, but rather as an empowering platform. That is why I would love to help with keeping MAYS as useful and exciting platform of academic cooperation as possible. I can offer not only my enthusiasm, but also some hard skills and experience. Even as a student, I was always an active member of the scientific community and was well known for fulfilling my commitments. I am experienced in organising academic conferences, on both international and local level, which considering 10th anniversary of MAYS, will be really helpful. Also, I am a member of Ethnographic Films Review Eyes and Lenses team, where I am responsible for the call for contributions, communication with the film directors and distributors, and evaluation process. It thought me how to plan in advance all the tasks and cooperate with other team members (most of the time remotely, which is also relevant).

Next year will mark the 10 year anniversary of MAYS, what would be your plans to push the scope of MAYS further?

I have few ideas, which in my opinion deserve some attention. First of all, the 10 year anniversary of MAYS is a great moment to celebrate (obviously), but also think about new ways of making the network even better. I would start with remodelling conference structure. Since usually there is not enough time and space to really discuss projects and ideas, I would suggest to replace the traditional sessions followed by quick Q&As, by more workshop and actually discussion oriented meeting. I also advise that such an event should have more organised ways of enabling fruitful networking, which will also make it more inclusive for the new members (like me). Moreover, I would consider creating smaller „working groups” focused on specific issues within medical anthropology. Last but not least, I think that making sure that website is regularly updated and working bit more with social media would be a good idea. I believe that we could use Facebook, just to name one, not only as a notice board, but more like a co-working tool.

Thank you for voting!


New MAYS Coordinator Call!

We are happy to announce the 2018 MAYS Coordinator call!


Lilian Kennedy’s (current MAYS coordinator with Ursula Probst) tenure is ending this October and it’s time for a new Coordinator to take her place and work alongside Ursula.

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 – 10 year anniversary! – 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 with at least 2 more years of study based at at university in Europe?

If you would like to apply please use the link below to send in your academic CV, along with short (max 200 words) answers to the following prompts:

  • Short synopsis of research interests and project.
  • Experiences that speak to your eligibility for the role.
  • Next year will mark the 10 year anniversary of MAYS, what would be your plans to expand the MAYS network membership?

Application deadline: Oct 18th 2018

Please click here to apply


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.

We would also be grateful if you could share this call among your networks!

All best,

Lilian and Ursula

Welcome Ursula to the post of MAYS coordinator!

Call for new MAYS Co. (1)

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 ursula.probst@fu-berlin.de