For those of you doing research at the intersection of bodies and medical archives, please consider submitting an abstract to Panel 29 of the EASA Biennial Conference

Call for papers
Deadline: 1st April 2017

Bodies in transition - Power, Knowledge and Medical Anthropology
EASA Medical Anthropology Network
2017 Biennial Conference Network Meeting
5-7 July, Lisbon, Portugal

Local organization: Portuguese Anthropological Association (APA)
Venue: University of Lisbon, Institute of Social Sciences (ICS-ULisboa)

Panel 29 - Transitions between bodies and collections: thinking about the archives of the body and the body as archive

Ricardo Moreira (<>)
Francesca De Luca (<>)

Short Abstract
Focusing on bodies, medical repositories and collections, this panel discusses the multiple ways in which different archives testify about different forms of appropriation and constitution of the body, and how bodies as archives perform different forms of power, knowledge and practices.

Long abstract:
Medical and scientific institutions, as well as other medical and cultural practices, have created and continue to produce a significant volume of objects closely related to the human body which are organized as collections, repositories or archives. Forensic or anthropological collections, research biorepositories, clinical archives or bureaucratic databanks, each form a sort of collection that bears varying understandings about bodies and reflect the ways scientific and institutional practices deal with them. Therefore, repositories can be regarded in themselves as forms of materialization of certain practices allowing for the production of knowledge and power within particular institutional ecologies. Moreover, collections and archives contribute to the constitution of new bodies that perform and resonate medical epistemologies.

In this panel, we invite papers that reflect either on medical repositories and collections or on the constitutive work of archives and medical knowledge on the body.

Contributions may deal with material and artefactual archives and repositories produced by medical practices in which the body is fragmented, worked, translated and inserted into collections, in order to configure what Geoffrey Bowker (2005) has called “memory practices” in close relation with specific regimes of knowledge and particular techno-scientific procedures. In this configuration bodies are preserved in repositories as a source of knowledge about existent diversity to deliver information about particular cases and according to a semantic structure of order and classification.

Moreover, we welcome approaches that reflect on bodies themselves as archives, including what Preciado (2008) has defined somathèque – the living political archive. In this connotation both bodies and archives can be regarded as the materialization of different powers, the ground on which shifting medical epistemologies are collected, embodying the knowledge and political conditions that impacted on their specific trajectory.

more information on the panel (here)
more information on the conference (here)

Contact Info

Canadian Anthropology Society (CASCA)
c/o Karli Whitmore
125 rue Jean de la Londe, #301
Baie d'Urfe (Québec) H9X 3T8