Call for Papers: “Critique-in-action in medicine and health”, STS-CH, 31.08.-01.09.2023, Basel, Deadline: 01.05.2023

CfP – Critique-in-action in medicine and health
Nolwenn Bühler & Anna Mann

Medical anthropology and sociology are inscribed in a critical tradition aiming at describing and flushing out power relations and inequalities. They have especially focused their critique on processes of medicalization and the power granted to the medical institution and professionals, while also reflecting on the biopolitical dynamics at stake in the reproduction of inequalities. By opening the black box of science and medicine in the making, the STS tradition has invited us to make a step sideways. When focusing on situated practices and human-non-human networks of relations, power narratives tend to lose their explanatory pertinence and become more complex. Science, medicine and health come to materialize in specific relations, physicalities, subjectivities and bodies. This form of critique has been questioned itself, however, by feminist STS traditions inviting us to reflect on matter of concern and care. Taking up STS’s rich engagement with critique, this panel seeks to explore critique as a historically grown conceptual repertoire, an empirical phenomenon, a nitty-gritty practice done in research projects, and as a political engagement. It invites papers that address questions such as:

  • How does critique figure in practice in health care practices, policies and research?
  • How do we take seriously the normativities of the actors that we are studying while at the same time not taking them for granted?
  • How do traditional forms of critique developed in medical anthropology (highlighting Other ways of practicing health and illness) or medical sociology (showing class, gender, and race differences) remain important or inspiring?
  • How do we do critique practically?
  • How can we re-conceptualize “critique”?

Deadline for submission is May 1st. Abstracts are max 300 words. More information can be found here.