Category Archives: Calls for Proposals

Announcing the Life Course Collaborative Research Network

AAQ31covercutAAGE, working together with the Anthropology of Aging and the Life Course Interest Group (AALCIG) and the Anthropology of Children and Youth Interest Group (ACYIG) of the American Anthropological Association have now established a joint Collaborative Research Network (CRN) for those interested in exploring connections (e.g., physical, political, developmental, symbolic, etc.) between childhood/youth and adulthood/old age.

The group has several potential project in mind (for those of you who like a few outputs to go with your intellectual exchange), including a blog share, a conference, organizing panels for other conferences, sharing teaching resources like syllabi, and developing opportunities for publishing and collaborative research projects.

Our central communication hub for plotting and schemeing will be our CRN_Lifecourse listserv. If you are interested in joining, please visit and complete the registration form.

We are interested in strengthening the intellectual exchange among scholars whose primary research focus has been on one stage of the life course but who are interested in inter-generational relationships, longitudinal studies, autobiographies, life course transitions, and the category of age itself in ways that require broader conceptual frameworks. At the moment, funding, publication, teaching curriculums, and the sections and subgroups of professional groups reinforce and naturalize divisions between scholars interested in the life course. Ages end up like fieldsites, where the anthropologist is encouraged, for example, to specialize on the internal workings of a single village, rather than looking at a the larger area of settlements with which it shares relationships and ecological context. In contrast, the CRN_Lifecourse encourages the development of concepts that problematize terms like ‘stages of life,’ ‘generations,’ and ‘age,’ and encourages the proliferation of specific methods and strategies to help us better conduct life-course research. Finally, we will critically engage with the ways old age and youth are sometimes pitted against each other (e.g., in competition for humanitarian aid or organ transplants), while at other times, they are lumped together (e.g., as unproductive, naive, care-dependent, vulnerable, or sacred). We hope to examine how such connections impact the ways societies evaluate the life course.

If you have questions (especially technical ones best handled off the listserv) contact Jason Danely ( You are also welcome to leave comments or ideas below!

Call for Book Chapter Proposals: The Aging/Disability Nexus, 1-December deadline

Abstracts should be 350 words in length, 12 point font, double-spaced and saved in a .doc (not .docx) WORD file. Please also include a 50 word biography with your submission.

Abstracts and bios should be sent via email to co-editors Katie Aubrecht (, Christine Kelly ( and Carla Rice ( Abstracts must be received by December 1, 2015 to be considered.

Critical disability studies has long utilized the concept of ‘temporarily able-bodiedness,’ calling us to recognize the dynamic and fluid boundaries of the category of disability, that can open at any point in the life course, but especially so as one ages. In fact, according to Statistics Canada 1 in 3 Canadians over the age of 65 lives with a disability. According to the World Health Organization (2011) and United Nations (2013), global population aging parallels changes in the types of disability that countries have and can expect. But, disability studies and critical gerontology also call us to recognize the ways in which these statements are not so simple, that aging with a disability is distinct from aging into disability, and that experiences are further complicated by a multitude of other identities, socio-economic factors and geopolitics. Our edited collection seeks to intervene at this complex and urgent intersection.

National and international scholarship that explores the aging/disability nexus is surprisingly limited, but what does exist is innovative and stimulating (Kontos & Martin, 2013; Raymond & Grenier, 2013; Chivers, 2011; Mintz, 2007; Basting, 2005; Burke, 2008; Katz & Marshall, 2004; Silvers, 1999; Wendell, 1999). Despite the high rates of disability among older adults, aging studies has yet to fully engage with insights from disability studies. Instead, scholars rely on dominant medical paradigms, researching ‘co-morbidities’ ‘complex needs’ and other reductive visions of disability. While we are currently in the midst of an exciting cultural turn in age studies (Katz, 2014) and gerontology (Twigg & Martin, 2015) with a focus on embodiment (privileging intersectional analyses, gender and sexuality), disability studies perspectives remain marginal or altogether absent. In disability studies, there has been important, yet limited, engagement with the particularities of aging with a disability. At the same time, disability activism has been perceived as exclusionary to older adults (Jonson & Larsson, 2009).

In short, within the social sciences and humanities, intersectional scholarship that explicitly focuses on the nexus of disability and aging has yet to be collected in a comprehensive way. Works cross fields and disciplines that are not usually in conversation, and can therefore be difficult to locate. There is also a tendency to conflate disability and aging (Chivers, 2011), and subsume one under the other, without giving adequate attention to the tensions that shape how disability and aging are known, lived and experienced.

This collection is driven by the assumption that generative possibilities emerge when aging is situated in a disability politics which, as Eli Clare (2014) reminds us,

… asserts that disability is lodged not in paralysis but rather in the stairs without an accompanying ramp, not in blindness but rather in the lack of Braille. Disability itself does not live in depression or anxiety but rather exists in a whole host of stereotypes, not in dyslexia but in teaching methods unwilling to flex, not in lupus or multiple sclerosis but in the belief that certain bodily conditions are a fate worse than death. (pp. 207-208)

 A “fate worse than death” is not only a metaphor, but a reflection of the ways in which disabled and older people are physically and representationally erased from the present and from our visions of the future. Alison Kafer (2013) writes,

 The task, then, is not so much to refuse the future as to imagine disability and disability futures otherwise, as part of other, alternative temporalities that do not cast disabled people out of time, as the sign of the future of no future. (p.34)


The politics of aging and disability must thus also be situated in time, to attend to the ways in which fears of both disability and old age are rooted in the glorification of a present that is less than glorious, a present that excludes, denies and erases.

This international collection will address an important absence in cultural gerontology and disability studies. It will provide an accessible anthology of works perceived as having potential inform public engagement, education, policy and practice, and will serve as a primer for students, scholars, artists and activists working at the intersections of aging and disability.

We seek abstracts for theoretical, empirical, and pedagogical papers from established and emerging scholars, and new and experienced activist-academics and artists. Proposals that reference community-based research and projects are especially welcome. We use a broad definition of disability that incorporates physical, sensory, learning and intellectual differences, d/Deafness, as well as m/Mad, mental health consumer and psychiatric survivor experiences.

Topics to be explored may include, but are not limited to:

  • Ability expectations for older adults
  • Accessible/livable communities
  • Activist and arts-based methodologies at the intersection of aging and disability
  • Aging and disability from indigenous perspectives
  • Aging and disability in literature, visual and performing arts
  • Aging, disability and art
  • Aging, disability and a poetics of embodiment
  • Aging, disability and the law/ethics
  • Aging, disability and immigration/emigration
  • Aging, disability, race and ethnicity
  • Aging, disability and sexuality
  • Aging, disability and time
  • Aging, disability and social inclusion/isolation
  • Alternative services and supports related to disability or aging
  • Community contributions of disabled older adults
  • Critical disability studies approaches to aging
  • Decolonizing disability and aging
  • Deinstitutionalization and aging
  • Experiences of aging with and into disability
  • Housing and homelessness in the third and fourth age
  • Intergenerationality in disability communities
  • Policy and promising practices concerning disability, aging and care
  • Intersectional analyses of disability and age
  • Mad, psychiatric survivor, and mental health consumer perspectives, experiences and movements
  • Politics of care at the intersections of aging and disability
  • Queering disability and aging
  • Labour force participation of disabled older adults/Retirement and disability
  • The gendered and sexed dimensions of aging and disability
  • The pleasures of aging and disability
  • The promise of cultural gerontology for reimagining disability and aging
  • The role of disabled and older adults in cultural transmission
  • Transgressive approaches to understanding aging and disability

Submissions for consideration for inclusion in the book will undergo a multi-stage process of peer-review, beginning with an initial review by the editors. Contributors will be notified of the decision on their abstract in January, 2016. Acceptance of an abstract does not guarantee inclusion in the book.

The editors plan to apply for funding to host a workshop in Summer 2016. At this workshop, invited contributors will be sponsored to attend in person in order to present draft chapters of their work. This will help us prepare for a submission of the manuscript for review by the publisher in Winter 2017.

About the Editors

 Katie Aubrecht, PhD, is a Canadian Institutes of Health Research Postdoctoral Fellow, Mount Saint Vincent University, and Research Coordinator at the Nova Scotia Centre on Aging. Katie’s research examines the social and political significance of ‘person-centred’ dementia care paradigms. She has published in Social Identities, Review of Disability Studies, Studies in Social Justice, Seniors Housing & Care, and in 2013 edited a special issue of Health, Culture and Society, “Translating Happiness: Medicine, Culture and Social Progress.”

Christine Kelly, PhD, is a Banting Postdoctoral Fellow in the Institute of Feminist and Gender Studies at the University of Ottawa. Informed by feminist and critical disability scholarship, Christine’s research explores the politics of care and Canadian disability movements. Christine’s book Disability Politics and Care: The Challenge of Direct Funding (UBC Press, fall 2015) explores the theoretical and policy implications of rejecting care, an approach represented by many disability activists. For more information see:

Dr. Carla Rice is Professor and Canada Research Chair at the University of Guelph. A leader in the field of embodiment studies in Canada, her research explores cultural representations and stories of body and identity. She founded Project Re•Vision, a media lab that works with misrepresented and aggrieved communities to challenge stereotypes. Notable books include Gender and Women’s Studies in Canada: Critical Terrain (2013), and Becoming Women: The Embodied Self in Image Culture (2014).


Basting, A. (2005). Dementia and the performance of self. In C. Sandahl & P. Auslander (Eds.), Bodies in commotion: Disability & performance (202-214). Michigan: University of Michigan Press.

Burke, L. (2008). ‘The country of my disease’: Genes and genealogy in Alzheimer’s life-writing. Journal of Cultural & Literary Disability Studies, 2(1), 63-74.

Chivers, S. (2011). The silvering screen: Old age and disability in cinema. Toronto: University of Toronto Press.

Clare, E. (2014). Meditations on natural worlds, disabled bodies, and a politics of cure. In S. Iovino & S. Oppermann (Eds.), Material ecocriticism (pp. 204-219). Bloomington, IN: Indiana University Press.

Jonson, H. & Larsson, A. (2009). The exclusion of older people in disability activism and policies: A case of inadvertent ageism? Journal of Ageing Studies, 23(1), 69–77.

Kafer, A. (2013). Feminist, queer, crip. Bloomington, IN: Indiana.

Katz, S. (2014). What is age studies? Age, Culture, Humanities, 1. Retrieved from

Katz, S. & Marshall, B. (2004). Is the functional ‘normal’? Aging, sexuality and the bio-marking of successful living. History of the Human Sciences, 17(1), 53-75.

Kontos, P. & Martin, W. (2013). Embodiment and dementia: Exploring critical narratives of selfhood, surveillance and dementia care. Dementia, 12(3), 288-302.

Mintz, S. (2007). Unruly bodies: Life Writing by women with disabilities. Chapel Hill: The University of North Carolina Press.

Raymond, E. & Grenier, A. (2013). Participation in policy discourse: New form of exclusion for seniors with disabilities? Canadian Journal on Aging, 32(2), 117-129.

Silvers, A. (2000). Aging fairly: Feminist and disability perspectives on intergenerational justice. In M. Urban Walker (Ed.), Mother time: Women, aging and ethics (pp. 203-226). Lanham, MD: Rowman & Littlefield Publishers

Twigg, J. & Martine, W. (Eds.). (2015). Routledge handbook of cultural gerontology. London: Routledge.

United Nations. (2013). World population ageing 2013. Department of Economic and Social Affairs Population Division. New York: United Nations.

Wendell, S. (2000). Old women out of control: Some thoughts on aging, ethics and psychosomatic medicine. In Mother time: Women, aging and ethics (pp. 133-150). Lanham, MD: Rowman & Littlefield Publishers

World Health Organization. (2011). Global health and ageing. Retrieved from



The British Society of Gerontology 45th Annual Conference, University of Stirling, 6-8 July 2016

Abstract call: you are invited to submit an abstract for presentation in the oral paper sessions, poster exhibitions or as symposia.

The submission deadline is 29th January 2016.

The conference welcomes submissions from researchers, practitioners, educators, policy-makers, the third sector, students, and all other stakeholders interested in ageing.

To promote interdisciplinary and multidisciplinary perspectives of ageing, the conference will draw on abstracts from across the disciplines of social and behavioural sciences:

CFP Care and the End of Life Project, London, UK, January 18-20, 2016


This inclusive interdisciplinary event aims to explore the connections between health care systems at work across the world, matters of public, social and legal policy, caregivers and care providers, and people (‘patients’) who strive to make sense of suffering and find themselves at the end-of-life. The meeting specifically aims to consider how health care systems, patients and staff intersect and interact during hospice and palliative care interventions. Attention will be given to illuminating the importance of what takes place in the relationship between the caregiver/provider and the person/patient and the ways in which this informs end-of-life issues and decisions. Understanding the frameworks these create for shaping the experiences of people who are suffering and nearing the end of their lives, especially within hospice and palliative care contexts, will also be assessed and explored. We are interested in exploring the intersections between the medical, the social and the personal.

As hospice and palliative care strives to address and mitigate suffering, a further aim of the meeting is to assesses whether, and to what extent, meaning can be found in suffering. During the course of living our lives, we are invariably forced to stop and question why we suffer – be it through illness, pain, loss, grief or the multitude of distressing circumstances which we encounter. Problems arise in a variety of contexts and due to a bewildering variety of conditions. And because our lives are constant streams of experience, the nature of suffering and consequently the “meaning” of such suffering continually varies and changes.

The meeting will also investigate how culture impacts care for those suffering and/or dying, along with how the dead are remembered. Over the past three decades, research in thanatology has increased dramatically. As a result, we are seeking a broad array of perspectives that explore, analyze, and/or interpret the myriad interrelations and interactions that exist between death and culture. Culture not only presents and portrays ideas about “a good death” and norms that seek to achieve it, culture also operates as both a vehicle and medium through which meaning about death is communicated and understood. Sadly, too, culture sometimes facilitates death through violence.
The Advisory Group welcomes the submission of proposals for papers, short workshops, practitioner-based activities, performances, and pre-formed panels. We also welcome short film screenings; photographic essays; installations; interactive talks and alternative presentation styles that encourage engagement.

Call for Cross-Over Presentations
The Care at the End of Life project will be meeting at the same time as a project on Evil Spaces, Wicked Places. We welcome submissions which cross the divide between both project areas. If you would like to be considered for a cross project session, please mark your submission “Crossover Submission”.

What to Send
300 word abstracts, proposals and other forms of contribution should be submitted by Friday 14th August 2015.
All submissions be minimally double reviewed, under anonymous (blind) conditions, by a global panel drawn from members of the Project Team and the Advisory Board. In practice our procedures usually entail that by the time a proposal is accepted, it will have been triple and quadruple reviewed.

You will be notified of the panel’s decision by Friday 28th August 2015.
If your submission is accepted for the conference, a full draft of your contribution should be submitted by Friday 11th December 2015.

Abstracts may be in Word, RTF or Notepad formats with the following information and in this order:

a) author(s), b) affiliation as you would like it to appear in programme, c) email address, d) title of proposal, e) body of proposal, f) up to 10 keywords.
E-mails should be entitled: Care at the End of Life Abstract Submission

Where to Send
Abstracts should be submitted simultaneously to both Organising Chairs:

Organising Chairs:

Nate Hinerman:
Rob Fisher:


Special issue ideas for Anthropology & Aging

Anthropology & Aging are already at work brainstorming ideas for the next special issue for Fall 2016!

Here are some of the suggestions from the last AAGE meeting held at AAA Confernece in Washington DC last December:

The old old(1)

Emotion and Aging

Age identification

Caregiving of and by elderly persons (4)

Gendered Aging (1)

Aging in Post-war societies

Aging in institutions (1)

Aging and Visual Representation (1)

Aging and Transnational care (1)

Aging and Life course

Meanign of retirement and life course transitions

Aging and Policy

Aging in Diaspora

Old Bones- osteoporosis, activity, shrinkage, etc.

Aging on the move- migrations, transportation, mobility

*(numbers in bracket represent the number of additional votes of interest indicated at the meeting)

Do you have an idea for organizing a special issue?

Want to organize those papers from the last AAA, GSA, SfAA, AGHE, or other conferences into a special section?

We are accepting any ideas you may have about special issues. If you have an idea or some comments on one of the topics above, please leave it below. This way additional responses can build up into potential collaborations or more refined thoughts.

If you already have the beginnings of an organized group submission, email your idea and any details (proposal, titles, abstracts, number of papers, type of submission, etc.) to

We plan to put out a CFP by October with a deadline on or around June 1, 2016.

Looking forward to all of your ideas!

Jason Danely
Editor-in-Chief, Anthropology & Aging



Anthropology & Aging Vol.36 no.1


link to the issue

The June 2015 issue of Anthropology & Aging features the latest commentaries, articles, and reviews, available free now through our open-access agreement. In addition to our usual content, this issue includes a commentary/response format first introduced in the special issue on the body (33.3) and reintroduced in this issue by Maruta Vitols and Caitrin Lynch’s piece on representations of aging in films and a reflective response by A&A co-editor Philip Kao. Stephanie May de Montigny’s Portfolio continues this discussion of performance, narrative, and creativity on the stage. We hope these contributions spark more interest and interaction here on our blog as well as in cafes and classrooms everywhere!

Every issue of Anthropology & Aging that we produce depends on the skills and time volunteered by our editorial staff, our board, peer reviewers, and digital publishing support. This issue is especially exciting because also it showcases the work happening across the Association of Anthropology and Gerontology—from supporting student work with the Margaret Clark Award, to the international conference held last February.

Anthropology & Aging 36(1) begins with an commentary adapted from the keynote address delivered by past International President of Médecins Sans Frontières / Doctors Without Borders  (MSF), Dr. Unni Karunakara at the 2015 AAGE Conference on “Health Disparities in Aging” hosted by Florida International University. Dr. Karunakara writes from the front lines of global public health and humanitarian response, and his evaluation of the recognition (or lack thereof) of the important roles of older people in high risk, post-disaster circumstances reveals the need to rethink how aid organizations are held accountable for including older adults as a priority in their work.

In addition to Dr. Karunakara’s Keynote, the AAGE conference also provided a chance for our organization to support student research and professionalization. One of our banner activities in this regard has been the awarding of the Margaret Clark award for student papers. In 2014 AAGE awarded two Margaret Clark Awards, one at the graduate level (Ben Kasstan, Durham University), and another at the undergraduate level (Lilly Lerer, University of Chicago). The awardees both revised their papers into articles and braved the peer-review process to be accepted for publication in A&A. Ben Kasstan’s article focuses on the voices and experiences of Shoah survivors at a UK day center mediate their experiences of past trauma by incorporating elements of Judaism, literally through food and memory. Lilly Lerer’s article is a sensitive and intimate account of her fieldwork with hospice patients and staff as they mutually embody a temporality of ‘slow care’ that contrasts with the efficient and cure-centered care of the biomedical end of life settings.

Care is a theme running throughout this issue, and, as the authors note, throughout current discussions of doing anthropology in the Anthropocene. Two additional articles in this issue take up the theme of care for older adults. Iza Kavedžija’s ethnographically rich depiction of community care in urban Japan looks at the co-productions of categories of ‘elderly’ and ‘carer’ as individuals move through various care settings, employing symbolic and linguistic cues that mark roles and relationships along a spectrum of social potentialities. Fetterolf, a student member of AAGE, examines healing in Alzheimer’s care in the US, adopting a case study approach, proposing that close attention to personhood creates ‘bridges’ to providing better care.

Enjoy this issue and we look forward to bringing you our next special issue on “Aging the Technoscape” in the Fall. CFP is still open until June 30 for this issue, and general submissions on other topics are always welcome!

CFP Aging the technoscape: Anthropology & Aging- June 1 deadline

Long-term care resident plays with Paro, the robot seal

Long-term care resident plays with Paro, the robot seal

The technoscape, as described by Appadurai (1990) in his seminal work on globalization, refers to the “global configuration, ever fluid, of technology,” as well as the permeations of technology through other domains of economic and social life. Over the last 25 years, the technoscape has become dominated by an array of digital technologies, virtual worlds, and forms of mobile connectedness that are no longer used or designed by or for younger cohorts alone. The Pew Research Center reports that 43% of Americans over 65 use social networking sites (three times that recorded only five years prior); Japan has dedicated the equivalent of 22 million dollars in its 2013 budget to the development of robots to assist in eldercare; and many large-scale initiatives are linking aging and technology through ethnographic research, such as the Intel Corporation’s Global Aging Experience Project and the MIT AgeLab.

This special issue seeks to explore not only the impact of new technologies on the lives of older people around the world, but also how theories arising out of socio-cultural anthropology and gerontology can reveal new dimensions of the technoscape that may go unnoticed in youth-dominated popular discourse. We seek submissions grounded in empirical evidence that goes beyond simple juxtapositions of technologies and aging, but finds ways in which they blend, combine, and (re)shape each other. Possible submission topics might include:

  • time/space in the technoscape of telemedicine and care-related apps
  • technoscapes of surveillance and connectedness (emergency call pendants, assistive robots, e.g.)
  • changing representations of aging in the technoscape (imaging technology, art and tech)
  • technology as a focus of older cohort sociality and leisure (computer classes, tablet tea times, e.g.)
  • digital technology for bridging intergenerational relationships
  • the political economy of aging the technoscape
  • Digital technology in treating cognitive impairment
  • anti-aging, techno-immortality
  • the use of ethnography in creating aged technoscapes, and the use of technology in ethnographies of aging
  • technoscapes in and of the built environment and age-friendly cities

All submissions should be submitted no later than June 1, 2015.

How Anthropology & Aging became Open-Access: some thoughts on transitions and trajectories

Screenshot 2014-09-02 09.56.19.pngLink to the new Anthropology & Aging website here

On days like today, I will most likely spend several hours at the computer, mostly reading. When I have a moment away from other work, I will open some links to articles that google scholar sent me, or scroll through the updates on blogs I follow, and spend twenty minutes here, an hour there, filling up with ideas and images that often find their way into my lectures or a presentations.

If you are like me, you expect to be able to access important news, thoughtful essays, and even high-quality academic articles instantly and effortlessly as your curiosity leads you. I expect my students to be able to do the same when they are writing papers or considering research projects (sometimes we do this together as we brainstorm). With my academic affiliation I can access a lot more than most people, but even then, I always manage to find dead-ends, blocked by some pesky paywall. In these cases I will usually do what my students do, take down the citation for another time, and wander back to the free stuff.

And why not? Lately the free stuff, not only in anthropology, but in aging studies as well, has been really top notch. It may have once been the case that digital journals lacked the clout and the credentials to be taken seriously, but open-access sites like Anthropology of This Century and HAU: Journal of Contemporary Ethnography not only have contributors and editorial boards that include some of the most prominent anthropologists in the world, but they have embraced the potential of new media, creating attractive, interactive formats with unique content. (I have included links to examples of open-access digital journals in anthropology and aging studies below) The scholarly digital publishing wave is exciting, and as a small, non-profit run, niche publication like our journal, it allows us to get our work out into the world and have a greater impact on both the field of aging studies, and on the lives of older adults.
Continue reading

Call for Submissions for the new Anthropology & Aging


Anthropology & Aging published by the Association for Anthropology & Gerontology (AAGE) in cooperation with the University of Pittsburgh, is now an open-access peer-reviewed scholarly journal. We welcome submissions on a rolling basis through the journal website, where detailed author information is available.
Issues are published twice per year (May and November). Original articles suitable for scholarly peer review (5,000-9,000 words) should broaden our understanding of sociocultural and/or biophysical aspects of aging using anthropological perspectives, methodologies, or theoretical frameworks. Submissions from non-anthropologists, students, or international scholars are welcome as long as the submission clearly deals with both anthropology and aging in a substantial way. We also encourage submissions of Research Reports, Policy and News Reviews, or Commentaries (2,000-5,000 words) which are evaluated by our editorial advisory board. Form and style is flexible. We welcome group submissions (3-5 articles/reports) on a focused topic or region, as well as proposals for special issues (8+ articles/reports).
Anthropology & Aging is intended as a resource for anthropologists interested in issues related to aging (including intergenerational relationships, caregiving, population aging, human rights, and global health) and aging studies scholars interested in anthropology. Submissions that employ cross-disciplinary approaches and novel methodological strategies are particularly encouraged, but standard anthropological styles are also acceptable.
Please visit our website for more information: http;//
We look forward to your submissions.

Jason Danely
Phillip Y. Kao
Co-Editors of Anthropology & Aging

Call for papers: 2015 AAGE conference Health Disparities in Aging

We are pleased to announce thenext Workshop Conference of the Association for Anthropology and Gerontology, to be held at Florida International University in Miami, February 5-7, 2015.

This year’s conference theme is: “Health Disparities in Aging.”  We will consider entries on aging among minority groups, the experience of aging among immigrants, and other vulnerable populations around the world.

Please see our conference page for more details.