SMA 50th anniversary conference

Many of you who attended the AAAs may already be aware of this, but the Society for Medical Anthropology is holding its 50th anniversary conference at Yale, September 24-27, 2009.

Although there is still a long while until the deadline for abstract and panel submissions (April 15, 2009), a website is already up with the basic information–and a nifty design. (I’ll try not to read too much into the fact that science and technology studies seems to be at the hub of the graphic). There is a terrific-looking lineup of plenary speakers: Lawrence Cohen, Paul Farmer, Didier Fassin, Gelya Frank, Arthur Kleinman, Barbara Koenig, Margaret Lock, Emily Martin, Annemarie Mol, Lynn Morgan, Richard Parker, Rayna Rapp and Merrill Singer.

Looks like an event not to be missed.

Why is 2009 the anniversary? I wondered this myself, and found the answer in Marcia Inhorn’s 2006 Presidential Address to the SMA:

“In 1959, one of the first references to “medical anthropology” was made in a article by a physician–anthropologist named James Roney, entitled “Medical Anthropology: A Synthetic Discipline” (Roney 1959). Craig Janes and I discovered this in our research for an article, just published in the new journal Global Public Health, on the legacy of our University of California at San Francisco (UCSF) mentor, Frederick Dunn (Inhorn and Janes 2007),” (Inhorn 2007: 249).

As all origin stories are, this one is a little arbitrary, but it is nice to have a reason for a huge medanthro conference and celebration next year.

One reply on “SMA 50th anniversary conference”


From a relative outsider, but one who has done quite a bit of recent reading in STS, may I ask what are the implications of STS being at the “hub of the graphic?”

Feel free to email if you’d rather.

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