AAA 2015 Sessions: Medical and Patient Bodies

This entry is our last in a three-part blog series on the upcoming American Anthropological Association (2015) meeting, to be held in Denver, CO from November 18th-22nd. Here we feature paper sessions on contemporary themes in medical anthropology and social medicine. This year, we showcased sessions on the anthropology of mental health care (read here) and on cultural approaches to food sovereignty and economies, featured last week. In this installment, we highlight three sessions on the theme of the medical and patient body. All sessions are listed chronologically by date and time.

Image via AAA Website

Image via AAA Website

The Politics of Health and Ritual Practices: Ethnographic Perspectives

Wednesday, November 18th from 2:00pm-3:45pm (details here.)

In this session, topics will include: health and religion in Putin’s Russia; rhetoric and biopolitics in local medicines of North India; hypochondria, somatic experience, and psychiatry in Soviet-era Bulgaria; and the implications of mortuary rituals in neoliberal Romania. These papers will particularly interest scholars who study the relationship between body and state, as well as those who examine the intersection of religion, health, and healing practice.

The Biosociocultural Trajectory of Stigma

Sunday, November 22nd from 10:15am-12:00pm (details here.)

Papers in the session will address stigma in the following contexts: methadone treatment in a Moldovan prison; HIV+ identities in intergenerational perspective; changes in HIV/AIDS stigma in Western Kenya; stigma and HIV/AIDS as chronic versus curable; obesity and depression in Puerto Rico; and de-stigmatization in massive weight loss. Through these presentations, the session will posit the medical body at the center of social discourses on stigma, illness, and treatment across cultures.

Micropolitics of Medical Life

Sunday, November 22nd from 10:15am-12:00pm (details here.)

This session spans topics such as: organ donation and the family in Japan; patient-centered approaches to biomedical readmission; infant health in El Salvador; translation and language in medical encounters; ethnographic research on contaminated water exposure and local treatments for infant diarrhea; dialysis and the family unit; and the connections between cells, culture, and knowledge-making. These papers will underscore the cross-cultural ties between body, biology, illness, culture, and daily life.

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4S 2015: Sessions on Biomedicine, the Body, and Knowledge

Last year, we featured blog posts that highlighted paper sessions on various topics in medical anthropology and social medicine presented at the annual AAA (American Anthropological Association) meeting in Washington, DC. This year, we are heralding in conference season by featuring details on two upcoming events: the AAA meeting and the annual meeting of the Society for Social Studies of Science (4S). Both conferences will be held in November 2015 in Denver, CO. You can find out more about the AAA Meeting here (http://www.aaanet.org/meetings/) and the 4S Meeting here (http://www.4sonline.org/meeting.)

Logo of 4S via the organization's website

Logo of 4S via the organization’s website

The 4S organization brings together researchers whose works span all aspects of scientific research, production, and the impact of science on society. Despite the organization’s breadth of represented interests, many scholars of social medicine take a science and technology studies (STS) approach and are active in 4S. This week, we highlight sessions at the 4S Meeting that emphasize their research and paper sessions on biomedicine. Sessions are organized chronologically by date and time.


Sex and Gender in Biomedicine

Thursday, November 12th 8:30-10:00am

Click here for details on this session.

This session will feature three presentations on sex and gender in biomedicine focused on the following topics: cosmetic surgery in South Korea and the United States, the history of biological sex as defined by the sciences, and the role of a parasite transmitted through sex on the reproductive lives of humans. The papers propose new understandings of sex and gender as constructed through scientific knowledge and practice.

Examining the Exceptional: Case Studies of Knowledge Production in Biomedicine and Science

Thursday, November 12th 10:30am-12:00pm

Click here for details on this session.

Topics in this session will address: microevolution and genetic science on indigenous men in Brazil; the definition of crisis in emergency medicine in the United States; sickle cell patient advocacy in Brazil; a comparative case of pregnancy monitoring in the USA and the United Kingdom; and immigrant physicians and medical professionals arriving in the United States as an “exceptional” population. These papers will offer various examples of the way that science constructs meaning for patients and practitioners of biomedicine alike.

Biomedicine and Difference

Thursday, November 12th 2:00-3:30pm

Click here for details on this session.

In this session, presenters will explore: human microbiome research; astronauts, race, and physical preparation for conditions in outer space; representations of race in a stroke awareness campaign; past technologies for measuring skin color; and the breakdown of ethnic origin by genetic percentages. These papers will scrutinize the complex and often problematic relationships between race, science, medicine, and the body.

The Body in Biomedical Knowledge

Friday, November 13th 4:00-5:30pm

Click here for details on this session.

This session will address the following topics: food insecurity, the use of inmates as test subjects, obesity, and anatomical and physiological representations in 20th century Chinese medicine. The session will also feature the work of our blog editor, Julia Knopes, on the ontological status of cadavers as objects in Western medical traditions.

Replaceable Parts: Prosthetic Technologies in Biomedicine 

Saturday, November 14th 10:30am-12:00pm

Click here for details on this session.

Presenters in this session will speak about new surgical robots, the role of prosthetic limbs amongst wounded military veterans, cross-cultural readings of prosthetic making in Canada and Uganda, 3D organ printing and facial transplants, and the experiences of amputees in an ever-changing landscape of prosthetic and bionic technologies. The sessions in this paper panel will offer fresh perspectives on the meaning of the cyborg, a continued area of interest for many medical anthropologists and researchers in social medicine.

AAA 2014: Sessions on Biotechnology and Medical Practice

For our readers attending the American Anthropological Association annual meeting this year, we’ve put together a second selected list of sessions on anthropological approaches to biotechnology and forms of medical practice. The following selection of sessions was drawn from this year’s AAA online presentation schedule for the 2014 annual meeting, to be held this year in Washington, DC from December 3-7th (for more information, click here: http://www.aaanet.org/meetings).

Wednesday, December 3rd

Reproductive Potentialities: Assisted Reproductive Technologies and the Imagination of Possible Futures

8:00pm-9:45pm

https://aaa.confex.com/aaa/2014/webprogram/Session11643.html

Thursday, December 4th

Techniques and Technologies of Global Health

9:00am-10:15am

https://aaa.confex.com/aaa/2014/webprogram/Session11699.html

What Constitutes Medical Knowledge?: Part 2 of a Discussion of Affliction by Veena Das

11:00am-12:45pm

https://aaa.confex.com/aaa/2014/webprogram/Session10870.html

Saturday, December 6th

Producing Intercultural Discourse in the Clinical Encounter, Part 2

2:30pm-4:15pm

https://aaa.confex.com/aaa/2014/webprogram/Session12505.html

Revisiting Midwifery: New Approaches to an Old Profession

6:30pm-8:15pm

https://aaa.confex.com/aaa/2014/webprogram/Session11410.html

Ordering, Morality, and Triage: Producing Medical Anthropology Beyond the Suffering Subject – Part 1: Biomedical Interventions and Failings

6:30pm-8:15pm

https://aaa.confex.com/aaa/2014/webprogram/Session11357.html

Sunday, December 7th

Doctors: Influencing and Being Influenced by Their Work and Subject

10:00am-11:45am

https://aaa.confex.com/aaa/2014/webprogram/Session12929.html

AAA 2014: Sessions on Psychiatry, Mental Illness, and Drugs

For our readers attending the American Anthropological Association annual meeting this year, we’re featuring a list of sessions sure to pique your interest in various aspects of mental illness, health, drugs, and psychiatric care. The following selection of sessions was drawn from this year’s AAA online presentation schedule for the 2014 annual meeting, to be held this year in Washington, DC from December 3-7th (for more information, click here: http://www.aaanet.org/meetings). Sessions in the list are organized by chronological date and time.

If you would like your session to be added to this list, please email a link to the session description on the AAA website to: jcb193@case.edu.

Global Mental Healthcare: Challenges, Controversies and Innovations

Wednesday, December 3rd 2pm-3:45pm

http://aaa.confex.com/aaa/2014/webprogram/Session12926.html

“Global” Knowledge, “Local” Care, and Subjectivity: Producing an Anthropology of Psychosis

Wednesday, December 3rd 2pm-3:45pm

http://aaa.confex.com/aaa/2014/webprogram/Session11392.html

Psyche and the Brain in the 21st Century

Wednesday, December 3rd 4pm-5:45pm

http://aaa.confex.com/aaa/2014/webprogram/Session11636.html

Transcendance and the Everyday in Responses to Trauma

Thursday, December 4th 2:30-4:15pm

http://aaa.confex.com/aaa/2014/webprogram/Session11838.html

What Drugs Produce

Saturday, December 6th 9am-10:45am

http://aaa.confex.com/aaa/2014/webprogram/Session11124.html

Psychological Disorder and Subjectivity in Socio-Political Context

Saturday, December 6th 11am-12:45pm

http://aaa.confex.com/aaa/2014/webprogram/Session12768.html

Ordering, Morality and Triage: Producing Medical Anthropology Beyond the Suffering Subject Part 2: Mental Health and Illness

Saturday, December 6th 2:30pm-4:15pm

http://aaa.confex.com/aaa/2014/webprogram/Session11809.html

Professional Perspectives in the Anthropology of Drugs

Saturday, December 6th 6:30pm-8:15pm

http://aaa.confex.com/aaa/2014/webprogram/Session11263.html