AAA highlights

Some of you may be attending the American Anthropological Association meetings in San Francisco next week. Unfortunately I won’t be there this year, other contributors to this blog will be, so I thought I’d mention some of panels they’ll be presenting at.

First off, its worth mentioning that the AAA interest group whose interests most closely intersect with those of this blog — the Science, Technology and Medicine interest group — will hold a business meeting on Saturday, November 23, from 12 to 1:30 pm, in the Lombard Room. The interest group is also sponsoring a session called “Collaborations, Experiments and Care: At the Frontiers of Science and Medicine.” (11/21/2008 08:00 AM – 11:45 AM). Here’s the full abstract:

This panel brings together ethnographic and theoretical papers that explore processes of collaboration and experimentation that are at the core of science and medicine. A central theme of contemporary forms of biomedical research and treatment, collaboration calls for a critical examination of how various actors, resources and practices are distributed in space, sometimes across terrains of profound inequality, and how exchanges are forged or obstructed between diverse locales at the community, state and global levels. These distributions and exchanges prompt the question: How do new forms of medico-scientific collaboration dovetail with and reconfigure the pathways of capital, knowledge production, property rights, and health intervention? We seek to deepen conversations about the mutual co-production of medico-scientific and social worlds through an inquiry into specific technicized initiatives. The papers in this panel showcase ethnographies of multi-laboratory and multi-country experiments, industry-sponsored clinical research, academic-policy linkages, large-scale treatment initiatives, market innovations in health care delivery, and individualized experimental medicine. Narrated from perspectives of the laboratory, the clinic, the household, and the community, the papers illuminate how public-private involvements make collaborations possible, and interrogate the financial and therapeutic values generated through circuits of innovation, marketing, and care. The ethnographies analyze these formations across the diverse contexts in the U.S., the Middle East, Africa, Asia, Europe, and Latin America. Together, the panelists ask: What are the conditions for collaboration (within and among countries, industries, community groups, between physicians and patients, and human and non-human/animal/forms) and what power differentials are created, blocked or invoked in the process? How do materialities, organic and technical, frame or delimit the possibility of collaboration, or its scope? How are experimental collaborations of different scales configured instrumentally, politically, and clinically? How do patients, through activism, become collaborative partners with physicians? What new technologies emerge as a result of collaboration, to align knowledge and practice or to corral resulting knowledge? How does the praxis and ethics of care shift across these different domains and what might these shifts suggest about the nature of the collaborations?

Here are the panels our contributors are taking part in–in their order in the schedule:

Matthew Wolf-Meyer will present “Insuring Sleep/Ensuring Work: Pharmaceuticals, Sleep Disorders, and American Labor,” as part of “Insurance and Citizenship in a New Millennium,” (11/19/2008 08:00 PM – 09:45 PM), along with Tiffany Romain, Emily Lynch, Seth Messinger and Goran Dokic. Lisa Wynn will serve as discussant.

Stephanie Lloyd will be presenting “Re-medicalizing French anxiety: How a culture-bound syndrome, spasmophilia, became ‘American’ social phobia,” as part of the session “Ethnopsychiatry and Mental Health Care in Medical Anthropology,” (11/20/2008 08:00 AM – 09:45 AM) along with Atwood Gaines, Jonathan Metzl, Alessandra Miklavcic, Junko Kitanaka and Megan Nordquest Schwallie.

Erin Koch will serve as discussant for the session “Geographies of Health and Affliction,” (11/23/2008 08:00 AM – 09:45 AM) with papers by Hanspeter Reihling, Sarah Raskin, Barbara Ley, Simon Roberts and Lisa Vanderlinden.

Mike Oldani will present “From “Good Compliers” to “Drop-em” Status: Assessing the Relative Value of Diabetic Patients Treated Through a Corporate/Medical Compliance Model,” as part of the panel, “Patients, Prescriptions, and Power: New Anthropological Understandings of Medical Compliance,” (11/23/2008 10:15 AM – 12:00 PM) along with Jerry Floersch, Roberto Abadie and Kelly McKinney. At the same panel Ian Whitmarsh will present his paper, “Pathologies of Compliance: Medical Schismogenics around the Pharmaceutical in the Caribbean.” The discussant for this panel will be Kalman Applbaum.

2 replies on “AAA highlights”

You know, I wish I’d had the foresight to check Somatosphere before spending 30 minutes wading through the entire AAA program brochure . . .

Ah well, lesson learned (check Somatosphere more frequently!).

Thanks, Daniel. I should say — there are obviously many many great sessions on medical anthro and anthro of science. I’ve only listed the ones that our contributors are involved in. …But yes, do check Somatosphere more often anyway!

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