CFP: (Bio)Medicine as culture in post-socialist Europe (Prague, June 10-11, 2011)

Charles University Prague invites papers for the conference
Health in transition
(Bio)Medicine as culture in post-socialist Europe
to be held in Prague, Czech Republic, on June 10-11, 2011

While medical anthropologists have done considerable research on both the global south and north, the larger region of East-Central, Eastern, and post-socialist Europe, with notable exceptions, has received limited attention so far. At the same time, medical anthropological research by ‘native’ East-Central and East European social scientists is scarce, as this field of social anthropology enjoys little institutional support in the region.

The aim of this conference is therefore twofold. Firstly, it is an attempt to bring together medical anthropologists and other health care researchers from social science-related fields who study the changes that have taken place in post-socialist regimes of medical care and explore the novel challenges medical systems of these countries have faced in the course of the last two decades of market economy and capitalist transformation. Secondly, this conference also aspires to serve as an open space to rethink the place of anthropology among social science disciplines in the region, and to raise awareness and
acknowledgment of medical anthropology while highlighting its potential for applied, critical and engaged research.

With a strong regional focus, the organizers welcome contributions from a broad range of topics, including, but not limited to:

  • contemporary forms of biomedical governance
  • impact of EU regulations on pre- and new accession states
  • patterns of medicalization and disease
  • gender and health
  • migrant and ethnic health
  • poverty and unequal access to health
  • state-ownership/privatization of health care.

There is no conference fee, yet participants are responsible for arranging their own accommodation and travel expenses.

The deadline for brief abstracts (300 to 400 words) is March 7th 2011, complete papers are due by May 2nd 2011. Work in progress is welcome. For further inquiries please contact Edit Szenassy (, PhD candidate of the Institute of Ethnology, Charles University Prague.

The keynote speaker of the conference is Dr. Adriana Petryna (University of Pennsylvania). The event is supported by the Institute of Ethnology, Charles University Prague.