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! Welcome Erica Niebauer!

Dear MAYS Community,

It is with great pleasure that we welcome Erica Niebauer, of the University of Heidelberg, to the post of MAYS Coordinator!


Starting later this summer, Erica will be taking over for Mari Concetta Lo Bosco, and co-coordinating with Lilian Kennedy.  She will carry on the fantastic work that Mari, and previous MAYS coordinators have done to continue to bring MAYS members together, and create spaces in which we can support each others’ research and medical anthropological goals.

Erica’s application for the position highlighted her goals for the next MAYS conference, which will be held in Heidelberg, Germany. Her statement can be found below.

Erica Niebauer

Erica’s Application Text:
I am writing to apply for the MAYS Coordinator Position for 2017-2019. I am currently a master’s student at the University of Heidelberg, in Heidelberg, Germany, in the Medical Anthropology program of Health and Society in South Asia. I have attended the most recent MAYS conference in Edinburgh this June, and was very inspired by the community and potential directions of these conferences.

My proposed theme for the next MAYS conference would be on the collaboration of Medical Anthropology and artistic methods. I would propose focusing one day on art as research and the other on research as art, and would invite Medical Anthropology projects which have some artistic component, whether it be film, website design, photography, performance studies, participatory methods, etc, into a discussion of the future of collaborations between Medical and Visual Anthropology. I would be interested in inviting Medical/Visual Anthropologists to present their work, as well as suggesting workshops on using photography in research, using storytelling as a writing method, analyzing ethnographic film for Medical Anthropology purposes, etc. as some examples. The practical aspect of these workshops would be very interesting, and I would be interested I’m designing them to be very interactive, so the participants are able to shortly learn a skill, which they can potentially elaborate on in the future. (ie. writing ethnographic findings into a story in the narrative sense.) I would base the conference at the University of Heidelberg, in the department for Medical Anthropology at the South Asian Institute, and due to the interdisciplinary nature of the topic, would be able to collaborate with the Visual and Media Anthropology department at the Karl Jaspers Center for Transcultural Studies, also at the University of Heidelberg.

I have experience in both Medical and Visual Anthropology, and also in program and project design and management. In high school and university I began and led various student clubs, where I organized events, fundraising, and meetings. I have also worked in event assistance, for the SHARE Institute in California. I have extensive organization skills, due to my time as a student and also a social worker doing case management. I also helped design a program for refugee food security during an internship at the IRC in California, where I completed project planning, made and maintained contacts for project support and donations, and implemented courses and training for participants. My experience in planning, organization, and Medical Anthropology would make me a suitable candidate for the position of MAYS Coordinator, and I very much look forward to your reply!


Congratulations again to Erica!

We look forward to benefitting from her vision and diligence in her new role!


All best,
Lilian and Mari


Mays Coordinator Election!

Dear MAYS members!

The election for the next MAYS Coordinator is upon us!

Please use the form below to read the statements of interest from the candidates who have applied. 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 July 22nd. 

The form:

The candidates who have applied are: 

Erica Niebauer – University of Heidelberg, Heidelberg
Abin Thomas – King’s College London, UK
Katre Koppel – University of Tartu, Estonia
Ursula Probst – Freie Universität Berlin, Germany
Olivia Bowsher – University College London, UK
Fredrik Nyman – Durham University, UK


Thank you for your participation!

Lilian and Mari

Call for new MAYS coordinator!

Dear all,

We would like to notify you about the extended deadline to apply for a new MAYS Coordinator!

We are looking for one new coordinator who will take Mari’s place from August-September on and together with Lilian keep MAYS as lively and active as usual. We currently have more than 500 members from all over the world and we keep on growing! Through MAYS, young scholars in medical anthropology have the opportunity to exchange their ideas and discuss their work in the pleasant peer-atmosphere of our annual meetings.

The MAYS coordinators simultaneously function as student representatives on the board of the Medical Anthropology Network within EASA however, the main work of MAYS coordination consists in the management of the MAYS google group, updating the website, and, which certainly is the most fun, organising the annual conference. Of course, there are all kinds of other things one could think of, but that’s all up to the new coordinators.

There are basically no requirements you have to fulfil other than being a PhD student in medical anthropology but it is certainly very helpful to have the backup of an anthropological institution (that could also, for instance, host a future annual MAYS conference).

The deadline for sending in your application is July 15th!

Here are 5 good reasons why you should consider becoming a MAYS Coordinator:

  1. You get to turn your ideas regarding medical anthropology into concrete events that inspire many other students.
  2. You learn a lot about event organisation and networking.
  3. You get to know lots of amazing people and significantly enlarge your professional network.
  4. You have experienced MAYS-veterans (Claire Beaudevin, Susann Huschke, Katerina Ferkov, Dominik Mattes, Judith Schuehle; Natashe Lemos Dekker, Mari Lo Bosco) by your side and you get to profit from the great work that Lilian, your co-coordinator, does!
  5. It’s great for your CV – not just in academia.

If you want to get more actively engaged in MAYS, please write a short e-mail to Please attach a short CV with a few lines on your current professional situation with regard to your academic career/status and institutional affiliation and your ideas for MAYS. This application will then be circulated among all MAYS members and will be the basis for members to vote. 
Please send your application in by July 15th!

The online elections will take place from July 16th until July 22th.

Please do not hesitate to write if you have any further specific questions!
We’ll be happy to tell you more about the fun that being a MAYS Coordinator entails!

We are very much looking forward to hearing from you!

Mari and Lilian


2017 MAYS Annual Meeting – Call for Abstract is now online!

Hi all!We are happy to announce that the

We are happy to announce that the 8th MAYS Annual Meeting will take place on 15th and 16th of June 2017 at the University of Edinburgh in collaboration with Students of Medical Anthropology (SoMA) of the University of Edinburgh.

This year, the theme of the meeting is

Medical Anthropology beyond Academic Borders

We invite you to send your abstract (max 300 words) to by 6 February 2017. Infos about workshops and the keynote lecture will follow later.Please download the full Call for Paper here. 

We are looking forward to getting to know your work and welcoming you in Edinburgh!

your MAYS Coordinators

Lilian and Mari

New MAYS representative

Dear MAYS Members,

We, Mari and Natashe, are very pleased to welcome Lilian Kennedy from the University of Edinburgh as the new MAYS coordinator. She will take the place of Natashe, who stepped down as MAYS coordinator after two years of great work at MAYS, and she will be on board as MAYS representative together with me, Mari.

 I (Mari) want to warmly thank Natashe for her great work and welcome Lilian to this new and fun adventure!

Have a nice summer

Mari and Natashe

MAYS Elections!

Dear MAYS members,

We are very glad to inform you that the call for a new MAYS coordinator has been responded to by two highly promising candidates:

Lilian Kennedy    (University of Edinburgh)
Mandy Geise      (Ecole des Hautes Etudes en Sciences Sociales, Paris)

The online election starts today, August 1st, 2016 and ends on the 9th of August, 2016 at midnight. We will announce the new coordinator via email on the 12th of August 2016.

To this purpose, we invite you to take a look at the short introductory notes of each candidate (see below) and cast your vote for ONE coordinator via e-mail. In order to vote, please send an e-mail with the subject “MAYS election” in which you indicate the name of your preferred candidate to by the 9th of August 2016 – All votes will be treated confidentially.

The EASA Medical Anthropology Network board confirmed that those MAYS members who will cast their vote for the new MAYS coordinators do NOT have to be EASA members! This simply means that all MAYS members have the right to vote. So please take the chance, vote, and contribute to keeping our network running!

Kind regards,
Natashe and Mari


Lilian Kennedy 
(University of Edinburgh)

Dear MAYS members,

My name is Lilian Kennedy, and I am currently a PhD candidate at the University of Edinburgh, Scotland. I am also a member of the Students of Medical Anthropology (SoMA) group within the Edinburgh Centre for Medical Anthropology (EdCMA). I am very interested in becoming a coordinator for MAYS – both to help keep the internal running of the group’s logistics going smoothly, and create a sense of community and active discussion between MAYS members. Recently, SoMA sucessfully organised a workshop entitled “Who cares: A Symposium on Care in Medical Anthropology” which was especially helpful in creating a platform for us PhD students to be able to present our research and get feedback from the wider academic community (other Phd students, academics from other fields, and Medical Anthropology staff members from EdCMA.) As a coordinator for MAYS I would love to help broadcast these types of student-organised across the MAYS network and encourage collaboration. This would not only help all of us better disseminate the results of our efforts, but also create a way for us to share good strategies, tips, and advice on how to best organise and get funding for such events. Beyond this, it would be also be interesting to open up conversations about MAYS members becoming visiting research student scholars at other institutions with Medical Anthropology programs/MAYS members. Expanding this type of networking would create unique opportunities for cross-institution and real-life MAYS collaboration, and provide a chance for us to experience and learn from a range of Med Anthro communities. In short, as a MAYS coordinator, I would work to expand the range and scope of the many interesting ideas and projects from our community, as well as opportunities for us to network, collaborate, and meet.


Mandy Geise 
(Ecole des Hautes Etudes en Sciences Sociales, Paris) 

Dear MAYS-members,

My name is Mandy Geise, I’m a 2nd-year PhD Student at the Center for Research in Medicine, Science, Health, Mental health, and Society (Cermes3) and the École des Hautes Études en Sciences Sociales (EHESS) in Paris. My research, which is anchored in a larger global health research project, is concerned with the conception, discourses and practices of medical genetics and genomics in Mexico.

Having studied in Amsterdam and Buenos Aires before Paris, I enjoy the connecting function of a network like MAYS; it enables us to learn from and about other young scholars from different backgrounds and to share useful information easily.

As a MAYS coordinator, I hope to contribute to an increasingly connected network by building on the excellent work done by the previous MAYS coordinators. I would maintain the website and mailing list to stimulate exchanges on research, writing, and events, as well as being a liaison between the EASA and its younger MAYS peers. I look especially forward to organizing a conference as fun and inspiring as this year’s conference in Lisbon. Finally, I aim to give the website an extra spark.

As a lover of films, documentaries, and photography, I hope to introduce a new section on the website that makes use of different sorts of visual material: images, reels, stories members bring from their research, but also fragments or pieces that inspire us and make us (re)consider what we come across in our research, or the way we tell ethnographic stories.

As a coordinator I hope to help make MAYS grow, to get to know many of you and the projects you’re working on, and to make talking, thinking, and writing about our research (even) more fun!