About Somatosphere


Somatosphere is a collaborative website covering the intersections of medical anthropology, medical sociology, history of science and medicine, science and technology studies, and cultural psychiatry. Founded in 2008 by a small group of medical anthropologists, Somatosphere has grown to become a key online forum for debate and discussion in medical anthropology, as well as in the humanities and the social sciences of health and medicine more broadly. With well over 1,000 posts, an editorial board of rising and established scholars, over 500 total contributors, an average of between 20,000 and 30,000 unique site visits per month, and a robust social media presence, Somatosphere has a wide reach among social scientists and various non-specialist publics.

Somatosphere encourages a range of viewpoints to raise critical questions, debate and commentary about contemporary and historical matters of science, healing, illness, and the body. The goal for Somatosphere is not only to publish engaging essays, reviews, and new research in medical anthropology, the social sciences and humanities, but to incorporate the flexibility and networking capabilities of digital media, generating new and rich links in and among ideas and across disciplinary boundaries. The site has also increasingly taken on the task of facilitating current discussions and debates on the methods, arguments and politics of the social sciences and humanities, both by extending discussions that occur at academic conferences as well as by publishing point-counterpoint pieces and book forums. Respondents to a 2015 readership survey wrote that the site “presents high-quality posts that carry similar prestige to journal articles,” and “was on par with some of the journals that I read,” at the same time as they praised the site’s ability to make analysis and conversation “available much faster than in print journals, forming a kind of sped-up knowledge base for interested researchers.”

Robert Hahn, in American Anthropologist, noted that “Somatosphere is a rich source for researchers and more casual visitors”. Monique Dufour, at New Books Network, writes that Somatosphere “reveals how websites… have become important sites of intellectual production, authorship, and exchange” and that it “has become informative, creative, and essential reading.” The site was also described as a “new venue for publication” in science and technology studies, alongside a range of peer-reviewed journals, by Sergio Sismondo, the editor of Social Studies of Science. In 2018, Somatosphere won the Group New Directions Award from the General Anthropology Division of the American Anthropological Association, which recognizes “work that presents anthropological perspectives to publics beyond the academy across diverse forms of media, with methodological rigor and ethical engagement.”

Editor

  • Carlo Caduff – King’s College London

Associate Editors

  • Dörte Bemme – King’s College London
  • Sarah Hodges – King’s College London
  • Nele Jensen – King’s College London
  • Ann Kelly – King’s College London
  • Michelle Pentecost – King’s College London

Editorial Assistant

  • Ellen Hausner – University of Oxford

Editorial Board

  • Vincanne Adams – University of California, San Francisco
  • Yasmeen Arif – Shiv Nadar University, Delhi
  • Pratiksha Baxi – JNU, Delhi
  • Dominique Béhague – Vanderbilt University
  • Aditya Bharadwaj – Graduate Institute Geneva
  • Sean Brotherton – New York University 
  • Lawrence Cohen – University of California, Berkeley
  • Thomas Cousins – University of Oxford
  • Naisargi Dave – University of Toronto
  • Vincent Duclos – Université du Québec à Montréal
  • Lukas Engelmann – University of Edinburgh
  • Michele Friedner – University of Chicago
  • Sarah Hawkes – University College London
  • Zahra Hayat – University of British Columbia
  • Julia Hornberger – Wits University
  • Lochlann Jain – Stanford University
  • Koichi Kameda – Fiocruz, Brazil
  • Janina Kehr – University of Vienna
  • Hanna Kienzler – King’s College London
  • Junko Kitanaka – Keio University
  • Rijul Kochhar – Harvard University
  • Javier Lezaun – University of Oxford
  • Christos Lynteris – University of St Andrews
  • Ramah McKay – University of Pennsylvania 
  • Projit Mukharji Ashoka University 
  • Stefania Pandolfo – University of California, Berkeley
  • Lauren Paremoer – University of Cape Town
  • Sarah Pinto – Tufts University
  • Sharifah Sekalala – University of Warwick
  • Harris Solomon – Duke University
  • Anthony Stavrianakis – CNRS Paris
  • Alice Street – University of Edinburgh 
  • Richard Sullivan – King’s College London
  • Ravi Sundaram – CSDS Delhi
  • Janelle S. Taylor – University of Toronto
  • Dora Vargha – Humboldt University
  • Ian Whitmarsh – University of California, San Francisco
  • Harry Yi-Jui Wu – National Cheng Kung University, Taiwan