State, Society, Stigma: Rethinking Disease in a Global Age (CFP, Conference, Melbourne, Australia, 26–27 June 2014)

Call for Papers: State, Society, Stigma: Rethinking Disease in a Global Age

26-27 June 2014, Melbourne Australia, Two-Day International Symposium

LIMS (La Trobe Institute of Molecular Science), La Trobe University.

Convenors: Dr Tarryn Phillips (legal studies), Dr Michael O’Keefe (politics), Dr Ingrid Sykes (history)

Funded by Understanding Disease Research Focus Area, La Trobe University:

This symposium will bring together leading international scholars from the social sciences, politics, legal studies, health sciences, medicine, anthropology, history and cultural studies, to explore the critical issues relating to global disease today.  The aim of the symposium is to address the fissures that occur between knowledge relating to disease control and cure, and the application of that knowledge to human behaviour, spaces and places. Rather than focus on a particular geographical area or disease, there will be 5 different areas of discussion framed by a keynote, which might be applicable to a variety of different global environments and diseases.

1) Stigma and Disease, Medicalization and Disease. In the current climate of medico-psychological global industry, stigma and medicalization have entered a paradoxical pact of being co-constructors of illness on one hand and mutually exclusive players on the other. The discussion will extend beyond the area of medicine to an analysis of historical values, political values and global capitalism. Keynote: Professor Sonia Ryang, Professor of Anthropology and International Studies, University of Iowa

2) Waste: Landscapes and Economies of Medical Practice. Scholars have long pondered healthcare’s  ‘outcomes’. What happens when we expand our view of ‘outcomes’ to look beyond cures and treatment, and consider the material afterlives of everyday clinical medicine? How does medicine’s waste manifest itself and how does the human self negotiate its presence? Keynote: Associate Professor Sarah Hodges, Centre for the History of Medicine, University of Warwick, UK

3) Distress, Danger and Disorder. How do notions of distress and disorder interact? How might minority groups be caught up in in this interchange? How do men, frequently positioned as ‘dangerous individuals’ articulate their grief? What is the nature of their activity in the context of natural disaster as opposed to war? Keynote: Malathi de Alwis, Socio-Cultural Anthropologist.

4) Global Disease and Meaning: We will examine how ‘disease’ is a contested category that maintains a variety of meanings across cultures. How does Western medicine interact with other cultural identifiers of disease in specific local contexts and can we draw any conclusions that can be used to ameliorate cultural misunderstandings about disease within the clinical environment? Keynote: Associate Professor Harish Naraindas, Associate Professor, School of Social Sciences, Jawaharal Nehru University, New Delhi.

5) The problem of the Global: Population movement around the globe is creating new concerns about disease transmission. How is disease refracted and reflected by borders? Keynote: Professor Warwick Anderson, University of Sydney, Department of History, Centre for Law, Medicine and Ethics.

It is anticipated that a volume of essays will be published after the conference. Deadline for abstracts 28 February 2014. Please send 300 word abstract and short CV for consideration here


About Centre for Medical Humanities

Centre for Medical Humanities
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