CFP: Medical Anthropology in Aotearoa Annual Symposium

Call for Papers: Launch of the Society of Medical Anthropology in Aotearoa in February 2017. This one-day symposium will engage participants in a critical and generative conversation about the work of medical anthropology in New Zealand, contributing to core conceptual frameworks that have historically organized medical anthropological inquiry. Abstracts are due Monday 28 November 2016.

Symposium date: February 15, 2017
Time: 9am-5pm
Venue: Victoria University of Wellington, New Zealand  
Cost: $10
Lunch Provided
Keynote Address: Professor Marcia Inhorn (Professor of Anthropology and International Affairs, Yale University)

SOMAA aims to support medical anthropological research and teaching in and about Aotearoa (New Zealand), and seeks to spotlight the relevance of medical anthropological knowledge in public debates about health and wellbeing in Aotearoa.

SOMAA’s launch will be marked by a one-day symposium at Victoria University of Wellington, with Professor Marcia Inhorn (Yale University) as the keynote speaker. The symposium will showcase current work in medical anthropology, with a particular focus on how work from/on the New Zealand context innovates, challenges and contributes to core theoretical debates in medical anthropology internationally.

Questions addressed could include:

  • How does the political, legal, cultural and historical context of New Zealand society sharpen or refashion the issues medical anthropology can address and the critiques it can offer wider academic debates?
  • How does research from or on Aotearoa advance debates about ethics, medicine and illness, particularly in areas where medical anthropology has often critically intervened, such as in relation to practices of care, autonomy, responsibility, medicalization, inequality and the body?
  • How do New Zealand’s current neoliberal politics, its state model of healthcare, and its national pharmaceutical regime intersect to constitute local modes of wellbeing, therapy and illness?
  • In current national debates about wellbeing, such as those focused on inequality, housing, child poverty, child abuse, institutional racism, immigration and the legacies of colonialism, how is social membership and biological citizenship made and remade?
  • How does New Zealand figure in global circuits of technology, biocapital and medical knowledge?
  • What can a comparative framework between New Zealand and elsewhere offer?
  • For scholars located in New Zealand but researching other ethnographic contexts, what does being situated in Aotearoa bring to light and demand of our work?

Please RSVP attendance

If you are interested in presenting at the symposium, please email abstracts of no more than 200 words for consideration to by Monday, November 28th, 2016.
If you wish to become a member of SOMAA, which is free, please email