Intergenerations, temporalities, and medical anthropology (23-24 June 2016, Univ. Lisbon)

*​​Abstract Deadline: 7 February 2016*

Abstract submission at <>*

  • Notification of acceptance: 6 March 2016
  • Deadline for paper submission: 1st June 2016

Emerging from the field of medical anthropology, the Medical Anthropology Young Scholars (MAYS) 2016 conference will explore the temporal and intergenerational dynamics of health,
illness, and medicine.
Illnesses, health diagnostics, aging, and politics of prevention are life
events that require us to reinterpret our past and to negotiate with
medical professionals, public health institutions, and healthcare systems.
As we negotiate such events, we learn how to intervene in the present as
well as to plan or “design” our hypothetical future. Health conditions and
healing processes force us to reflect on our life course in profoundly new
ways. Life course temporalities allow us to enter into new systems of
commitments and purposes regarding health and well-being.
While specific generational temporalities open new relations with the body
and with social and medical environments, intergenerational exchanges
reveal divergent expectations and perceptions of life. Understanding
temporalities as an inherent and intimate part of all lived experience
calls into question how health plays a role in the ways we practice and
understand the temporal flow of past, present, and future, and how time
influences the relationship human beings develop with health.

The MAYS 2016 conference invites anthropologists to focus on the different
ways that humans understand and undergo times of illness, as well as the
plurality of temporalities they experience in health related contexts. The
discipline of medical anthropology has long been accustomed to confronting
health and illness experiences and has much to offer in this area.

We call for papers that contribute to the conceptualization of time in
medical anthropology. Here are some suggestions, although further ideas
will be welcomed and discussed:

  • Politics of ageing (time as ageing/getting old as illness, plastic surgery
    as a remedy to stop time)
  • Materializations of time in health practices, cure, and care
  • Generational span and time as age in biomedical nosology
  • Biomedical constitutions of time, i.e. the biological clock, childbirth
    due-date, recovering time
  • Intergenerational health consequences: prenatal diagnosis and screening
  • Epigenetic and trans-generational effects
  • Disease risk factors: reconfigurations of future inheritance and genetic
  • Biopolitics and medicalization of childhood and youth
  • Ethnographies of health-related events: reconfiguration of time (past,
    present and future)
  • Time as a resource/worrying in chronic conditions.
  • Healthy bodies as a full-time priority: socio-political and economic
  • Full-time caregivers, palliative care setting, late-life care
  • Prevention: biomedical policies and the future of healthy generations

Methodological themes

  • Temporal texture of ethnographic fieldwork.
  • In the field: between waiting and unexpected moments
  • Construction of time in Ethnography

Format of the meeting

The conference will have a peer-review structure. We believe this structure
is of great value since everyone will have the opportunity to receive
feedback and engage with each other’s work, making the encounters most
productive. There will be parallel group sessions, each of which will
include paper presentations of ten minutes followed by 20 minutes of
discussion. Participants will be asked to submit their papers ahead of time
so that everybody can read them beforehand. Furthermore, we will assign
‘presenter tandems.’ This means that someone else will present your paper
and comment on it, and you will be asked to comment on your tandem
partner’s paper. This has proven to be a productive format that guarantees
each presenter will receive well-founded feedback, and it typically
initiates a constructive discussion. Further information about workshops
and a keynote lecture will follow in due time.

Registration fee

There will be a small registration fee of 10 Euros per person to be paid
upon arrival. We will cover the coffee break and a buffet lunch
(sandwiches). We are currently exploring other funding possibilities, but
unfortunately we will not be able to refund speakers’ travel costs and
strongly encourage you to search for funding options in your own


We invite you to submit an abstract of max. 300 words. After the
notification of acceptance you will be requested to submit your complete
paper, which should be no longer than 5,000 words (excluding references).

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