Call for papers: Ethnographies of Biomedicine in Post-Socialist Europe, Bucharest, June 2012

 Health In Transition:

Ethnographies Of Bio-Medicine In Post-Socialist Europe

Call for Papers

7-8 June 2012

Kindly hosted by: Romanian Academy of Sciences, Bucharest, Romania

With notable exceptions, the topics of health and medicine in post-socialist Europe have received limited anthropological attention compared to research on both the global ‘North’ and ‘South’.  Implicitly, medical anthropological research from academic institutions in Central and Eastern Europe is little known by scholars from other parts of the world.

The goal of this Conference is therefore twofold. First, it brings together medical anthropologists and social science healthcare researchers with an interest in the changes affecting health and medical care in post-socialist countries.  The Conference will therefore explore the challenges that medical systems in the region have faced during the last two decades of market economy and social upheaval.

Secondly, the Conference aspires to provide a forum for debates over the place of anthropology amongst other social sciences in the region.  It will emphasize the need for enhanced awareness and acknowledgment of medical anthropology while highlighting its potential for applied, critical and engaged research.

The Conference builds on the Health in transition: (Bio)Medicine as culture in post-socialist Europe Conference held at the Charles University, Prague, Czech Republic, on 10-11 June 2011. An annual series of events on the topic of Health in transition is thus to be inaugurated.

With a focus on Central, Eastern and South-Eastern Europe as well as the former Soviet Union, organizers welcome contributions based on ethnographic research, including, but not limited to:

  • contemporary forms of biomedical care, ethics and governance;
  • impact of Europeanization and globalization on local health practices
  • new patterns of medical approaches to disease;
  • intersections of health with gender, ethnicity and other markers of social difference
  • personhood, the body and bio-politics;
  • development of health-related professions;
  • health among migrant and refugee populations;
  • poverty and unequal access to health;
  • state ownership and privatization of health care
  • uses of ethnography in health policy and practice
  • evolution of medical anthropology as a discipline

The deadline for abstracts (300 to 400 words) is 20 February 2012. Complete papers are due by 7 May 2012. Work in progress is welcome and offers to chair or discuss panels will be warmly received. Please send abstracts and further enquiries to

Conference fee: 10 Euros for presenters and participants, to be paid during on-site registration

Organizing committee: Heidi Bludau (Indiana University), Jennifer Carroll (University of Washington), Michael Rasell (University of Lincoln), Sabina Stan (Dublin City University), Edit Szenassy (Charles University), Valentin-Veron Toma (Fr. I. Rainer Institute of Anthropology, Romanian Academy).

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