Welcome to the

15th Anniversary Conference of the Work Group Medical Anthropology of the German Anthropological Association e.V.

Beyond Boundaries: Interstices in Medical Anthropology

(The abstract submission period is now closed)

Dear Colleagues,

The present conference – in the interstice between the 10th and 20thyear of the Work Group Medical Anthropology – aims at studying in-between spaces within and beyond medical domains and phenomena. Medical Anthropology, more often than not, has focused on categorizations and boundaries within medicine and health, and sometimes on intersections, but has devoted far less attention on interstices – whether in relation to knowledge regimes, social groupings, healing practices/techniques or networks of objects.

Moving beyond binary reasoning and bounded objects, we invite discussions about what happens and who/what lives in the cracks, interstices and gaps in the structure of medical traditions. To this end, we encourage papers that explore subject matters that fall between, rather than within, familiar boundaries, such as the medical body’s appropriation in politics of (national) identity, or the fabrication of new life forms through the development and clinical implementation of new biomedical technologies. We suggest approaching interstices not as empty gaps between regions full of structure, activity and meaning, but rather as clearings that may generate new knowledge, practices as well as discourses.

The conference welcomes proposals for papers that address, but are not necessarily limited to, aspects of interstitial spaces in Medical Anthropology, including:

  • Interstices between different currents of thought (e.g. conceptual and activity-related interstices used for legitimation and truth claims of medicines; medical traditions and their in-between spaces; interstices within and between both defining and changing diagnostic notions in psychiatry; interstitial space of academic borderlands)
  • Globalization and in-between space/Third Space/trans-x space/interstitial space (e.g. interstices between the local, the regional, the national and the global)
  • Contact zones/middle grounds in medico-technical research and clinical practice (e.g. strategies and tactics for appropriating interstices between domains)
  • Interstices in the production of medicine, body and nation
  • Bodies at the interstices of medicine, culture, religion, politics, law, art etc.
  • The emergence of new social forms within interstitial spaces (including rites of passage and initiation)
  • Moral interstices in medical ethics and policy making
  • The use of interstices for the reflection on methodological procedures and field experiences

On behalf of the Work Group Medical Anthropology,

Bernhard Hadolt and Thamar Klein

15th Anniversary Conference of the Work Group Medical Anthropology of the German Anthropological Association e.V. | Dr.-Karl-Lueger-Ring 1  | 1010 Wien