Creating new agendas: Impediments and catalysts


MAYS (Medical Anthropology Young Scholars) 4th Annual Meeting
10-11 June 2013, Tarragona, Spain

After the successful Medical Anthropology Young Scholars (MAYS) meetings in Berlin and Oxford (2010), Warsaw (2011) and Paris (2012), MAYS would now like to invite young scholars of medical anthropology to present their work in the usual enjoyable and creative MAYS atmosphere at the next annual meeting in Tarragona, Spain, 10-11 June 2013.

This MAYS meeting will precede the Joint International Conference “Encounters and Engagements: Creating New Agendas for Medical Anthropology” organized by the American Anthropological Association’s Society for Medical Anthropology (SMA), the European Association of Social Anthropologists’ (EASA) Medical Anthropology Network and the Department of Anthropology, Philosophy and Social Work, Universitat Rovira I Virgili (URV), Tarragona, Spain, 12-15 June 2013.

Similar to our previous meetings, we would like to provide you with an opportunity to get to know each other and to discuss your work, even if it is at an early stage of research. We invite papers from across a broad range of medical anthropology topics that pay special attention to the theme of “impediments and catalysts” of creating “new agendas” for medical anthropology. In addition to outlining the content of your research project in your abstract, we therefore encourage you to reflect on the factors that you perceived as “contributive” or “aggravating” during the various stages of your research: preparation, field work, data analysis, writing up, presenting, and publishing. The following questions may provide some guidance:

  • The time frame – Are we creating intimate ties or are we just ‘visiting’ researchers?
  • The motivation – Are we following our personal interest or the requirements of scholarship? Are we striving for applicable research results and social transformations or contributing to fundamental science?
  • The geography – What and where is the field in an interconnected world? Where does it begin, where does it end?
  • The methods – Which methods have proved useful, which new ones may we have to consider? Which new media have to be included in our inquiries?
  • The ethics – In how far do we feel morally obliged to address certain research topics and neglect others? Where is the limit of ethicality with regard to our research methods? Whose interests do we choose to represent? To whom are we accountable?
  • The language and audience – Are we writing for academic recognition or the general public? What are the implications concerning the style and content when we write for different academic journals within or across disciplines?
  • The positioned researcher – Which effect does the researcher’s subjectivity, gender, social status etc. have on our interrelations in the field? How are these interrelations negotiated?
  • The structural framework – How are we bound into and dependent on institutional hierarchies and politics, (interdisciplinary) research agendas, funding mechanisms?

Format of the meeting
On June 10th, there will be 4-6 panels, which will be structured around the themes above. They will include paper presentations of 15 minutes followed by 15 minutes of discussion. The day will conclude with a plenary discussion. During the morning of June 11th, we will have a “rehearsal session” for those who will present at the SMA/EASA/URV conference and wish to receive constructive feedback and support in advance.

There is no registration fee for the MAYS meeting and we are currently applying for funding. Subject to respective decisions we may be able to partly refund speakers’ travel costs.

We invite you to submit an abstract of max. 500 words. Your abstract should first give an outline of your research project (including: main research question, place, time frame, utilized methods) and state what stage it is currently at. It should then specifically describe in which way your contribution will reflect on the contributive and aggravating factors of pursuing new agendas in medical anthropology drawing on the experiences in your project.

Submit your abstract to by February 15, 2013. Please note: This is SEPARATE from the abstract submission for the SMA/EASA/URV joint conference in Tarragona.

Deadline for notification of acceptance/rejection: 15th March 2013
Program available on MAYS website: 15th April 2013

The MAYS coordinators and local organizers are looking forward to reading and hearing about your research projects and seeing you in Tarragona!

MAYS Coordinators
Katerina Vidner Ferkov (University of Nova Gorica, Slovenia)
Dominik Mattes (Freie Universität Berlin, Germany)

Local Organizing Team (Universitat Rovira I Virgili, Tarragona, Spain)
Elisa Alegre
Laura Camarassa
Rodrigo Conde
Manfred Egbe
Milena Sole

Questions? Email