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Message posted on 24/06/2020

CFP: "Smallness" as an analytic category in medical anthropology

Dear Colleagues,

We would like to invite you to submit a paper to our session

VANDA_ _is an international ONLINE conference. It aims to bring together
scholars from various fields of anthropology, social sciences and

ABSTRACT: A notion of "smallness" plays a crucial role in life with and
policies on many diseases, specifically rare disorders but also
epidemics or vaccination coverage. Drawing from conceptualizations of
smallness proposed as an anthropological stronghold by Hannerz &
Gingrich (eds. 2017), this session invites critical contributions that
attend to the issue of smallness, critical numbers, threshold values and
the likes in the medical field.

Small populations afflicted or small numbers of cases might require
special strategies and programs to be noticed. A 'too small' for
epidemiologists might still have a large impact on the everyday life of
local communities. Stigma might be related to smallness. Following
Hannerz & Gingrich (2017:6), we want to ask how smallness in reference
to health matters "affect(s) life and thought, sensibilities as well as
structures of social relationships, in everyday life as well as in the
context of critical events."

How do people, governmental, non-governmental, and transnational
organizations perceive smallness regarding afflicted bodies and diseases
in their contexts of time, space, environment, and socio-political
constellations? What anthropological, medical, and public health
strategies and policies are implemented to address research on and/or
treatment of (rare, chronic, communicable) diseases that affect a small
number of people? What is the role of biosocialities (Rabinow 1996,
Gibbon and Novas 2008) in facilitating intimacies, linkages, and
networks within these diseases fields? How is "branding" of small
populations and their unique diseases (Tupasela 2017) utilized in the
context of genetics and biobanking? What is the role of migration in
influencing and destabilizing common ideas about the low prevalence of
certain diseases in any given region or country?

Deadline for the CALL FOR PAPERS IS JULY 1ST, 2020. Please submit your
abstract (max. 350 words) at: [1]

We look forward to hearing from you.

Best regards,

Malgorzata Rajtar (Polish Academy of Sciences) & Eva-Maria Knoll
(Austrian Academy of Sciences)

Dr hab. Małgorzata Rajtar
Prof. IFiS/ Associate Professor
Instytut Filozofii i Socjologii PAN/ Institute of Philosophy &
Sociology, Polish Academy of Sciences
Osrodek Badan Spolecznych nad Chorobami Rzadkimi/Rare Disease Social
Research Center

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