Final Call for Abstracts: 2nd International HIV Social Sciences and Humanities Conference


REMINDER: Closing date for abstract submission is on the 01 February 2013, please remember to go online and submit your abstract to meet the deadline.

Submissions for abstracts will be available on ASSHH conference website between 1 November 2012 and 1 February 2013.  Contact details of the programme organising committee and conference administration are available at

For the 2nd International Conference, for the Social Sciences and Humanities in HIV we invite papers that address the theme of ‘KNOWING PRACTICES’. This dual concept poses questions about the multiple practices that comprise the dynamics of the epidemic and how the practice of knowing itself, is engaged and operationalised. ‘KNOWING PRACTICES’ refers to:

1. The practices that produce, reproduce and transform the social worlds in which people live. This includes what knowledge we have of the forces shaping the epidemic – whether social, structural, geographic, historical, political or economic – and their connection to practice; and
2. The different ways of ‘doing science’ or knowing (and unknowing), that is, on the ways in which we as scientists claim to have evidence.

We hope this theme will be sufficiently broad and, at the same time, nuanced in reference to the work of the social sciences and humanities to elicit papers on a variety of topics. Within the theme of ‘KNOWING PRACTICES’, we ask what sorts of knowing and un-knowing practices are assembled and enacted as ‘authentic’, ‘valid’, ‘verifiable’? What role is there for the social sciences and humanities in the increasingly biomedical vision of the future by science and its funders? Indeed, in what ways does the promise articulated at AIDS 2012 – that biomedicine will eradicate HIV and end the epidemic – put in place strategies that simultaneously evade the complexity of the everyday nature of living and working with HIV? How can the social sciences and humanities produce knowledge that has an impact on the many forces that shape the epidemic?

While papers that address the conference’s theme ‘KNOWING PRACTICES’ are especially relevant, papers contributing to the advance of rigorous social scientific and humanities approaches to HIV and take other perspectives on the social sciences and humanities are also encouraged.

Conference Papers/ Full Sessions/ Round Table Discussions
We encourage papers/discussions at all levels of analysis and from paradigms and perspectives that address the following:
• The biomedical claims of ‘turning the tide’ to end the epidemic
• Novel knowing practices within science, social science and/or communities
• Relationships among biomedical knowledge, social-scientific knowledge, local knowledge and community know-how
• How social and humanities knowledge, perhaps together with biomedical knowledge, can be used to develop more effective responses to the epidemic
• The performative work of knowing practices (for example in the use of racial, ethnic and gender categories) as they also involve not-knowing (for instance,    not knowing socio-economic difference through gender classification etc.)
• Issues of collaborating with different knowing practices
• The knowledge we have of the different forces shaping the epidemic and how we conceive their connection to practice
• What we know of global disparities in socioeconomic and/or other resources, and how well this knowledge is actioned in responses to the epidemic
• The ways in which notions of ‘the local’ and ‘the global’ inform each other and the implications of this for funding, policy and programming
• If knowledge is not neutral and but generative in ways that enact and affect different interests, how knowing practices give shape to the local and global dynamics
• The ways in which particular agencies or groups bring about changes in social, economic and political forces that shape the epidemic and/or responses to it
• What we know about risk and care practices in different contexts and how we can ensure our methods of knowing are appropriate to local needs

Submission of Abstracts and Session Proposals
Individual abstracts and proposals submitted for full sessions or round table discussions should emphasize how they will make original and timely contributions to any of the themes listed above or how they demonstrate the contribution of the social sciences or humanities to any aspect of the HIV epidemic. Submissions are a maximum of 1500 characters. Spaces count as a character.

Abstracts for individual papers (electronic submission of individual oral papers)
Each abstract (maximum of 1500 characters) should include: title; the main arguments; methodology where appropriate; and contribution to the HIV and AIDS field. The title of the abstract should be followed by the author’s name or (where a collaboration) a list of authors’ names each with their institutional affiliation or status (e.g. independent scholar) and full contact details (postal and electronic). Please list five key words to assist the programme chairs to group individual papers into sessions. All presentations will be allowed 20 minutes, and each session will include time for discussion.

Abstracts for full sessions (email proposal plus electronic submission of individual abstracts)
If you wish to submit a full session, please send an email to that includes:

1. Title for session;
2. Brief abstract of the purpose of the session (up to 1500 characters)
3. Name of organiser; and
4. Name, title and abstract of each paper.

Each abstract to be included in a ‘full session’ should be submitted as an individual abstract as above and should be a maximum of 1500 characters. It is necessary for the organiser/s of the ‘full session’ and each presenter in the session to register individually.

Session proposals should be organized around one and-half-hour time slots. A typical session will contain three or four papers of not more than twenty minutes each, with a discussant/respondent and time for open discussion. The programme chairs may assign additional papers to proposed sessions with only three or fewer papers.

Abstracts for round-table discussions: (electronic submission of single abstract)
In addition to the abstract driven sessions, we are keen to hold round-table discussions on current themes being debated across the HIV research and policy fields or emerging through community action. If you are interested in organizing a round-table discussion/forum please submit an abstract of maximum of 1500 characters indicating the topic, names of participants and their likely contribution. If selected, the conference organisers will contact you with a request for further details, including the names of speakers for the forum. Time allowed is a maximum of ninety minutes.


Programme: (relevant queries will be submitted to specific Chair)