Chronic Living: #quality, #vitality and #health in the 21st century. An international #conference; University of Copenhagen, Denmark; 23-25 April 2020


quality, vitality and health in the 21st century

an international conference

23-25 April 2020, University of Copenhagen, Denmark


While still (too) many people die from fatal diseases, more and more people all around the world are living with chronic conditions. Qualitative aspects of daily living, thus, emerge as objects of knowledge as well as sites of interventions just as "lifestyle" and "wellbeing" figure as targets of more and more health and welfare interventions. "Quality of life" has become a quality of care parameter measured by medical professionals who provide treatments for diseases that cannot be cured, only lived with. A "normal life" has become the promise in advertisements that pharmaceutical companies bring out. Preventive (mental) health interventions, "positive living" HIV projects, and patient associations, while providing advice and support families on how best to "live with" a particular condition, feed into imperatives of living well.

With this move towards quality, vitality and health, and with chronic living as object at the intersection of knowledge production and intervention, a new politics of living continues to unfold which poses methodological, theoretical, and normative challenges in the social sciences of medicine. Medical anthropology, sociology, STS and other neighbouring disciplines have a long tradition of studying the processes of living with (chronic) disease. Countless ethnographic studies have provided insights about how all around the world people go about their everyday life endeavours while actually living with depression, dementia, diabetes, cancer, heart disease, kidney disease and more. As a result, a wide range of analytical tools and theoretical repertoires have emerged to grasp "chronic living" ranging from experience (intersubjectivity), existential meaning (leading a moral/ethical life), suffering (struggling along), belonging (relationality), doing (tinkering), performance (affordances) or as an object of disciplining (subjectivation).

We hereby invite you to join us to collectively build on these tradition(s); to engage, unpack, explore and tackle quality, vitality and health, which is to say chronic living and the politics of living that are at stake in it. We welcome contributions from scholars as well as colleagues working in other sectors, whether hospitals, patients associations or other.

Individual papers can be directed at one of the open panels listed below or submitted as an independent contribution addressing the overall questions guiding the conference. The organizing committee will cluster independent contributions as best possible according to overlapping themes.

Paper submission should include:

– Name and affiliation

– Paper title

– Paper abstract (max. 200 words)

– An indication of which open panel the paper is directed at or that it is an independent submission speaking to the conference theme in general

* Please notice that some travel bursaries will be available. When submitting your paper, please indicate whether you intend to apply for bursary.

Deadline: abstract submissions are due by 1 November 2019 at the latest on: ** NB Online submission and registration opens 1 October 2019 **.


Download complete panel list and abstract book here <>

* 1. Living Intimacy: exploring the relational and intimate spaces of chronic conditions<>. Panel organizers: Karen Dam Nielsen (University of Twente) & Sebastian Mohr (Karlstad University)

* 2. Public health interventions, politics of life and potential futures: the making of (un)equal lives? <> Panel organizers: Sangeeta Chattoo, Sarah Nettleton, Karl Atkin and Nik Brown (University of York)

* 3. Vital spaces: chronic living and the (un)making of place. <> Panel organizers: Rebecca Lynch (King’s College London) & Natassia Brenman (University of Cambridge)

* 4. Chronic living through pharmaceuticals. <> Panel organizers: Rafaela Zorzanelli & Annette Leibing (State University of Rio de Janeiro), Silke Schicktanz (University of Götingen) and Stefan Ecks (University of Edinburgh)

* 5. Procreative interruptions: understanding reproductive uncertainty and parenting practices in the context of chronic and genetic disease. <> Panel organizers: Nicky Hudson, Helene Mitchell, Cathy Herbrand & Kriss Fearon (De Montfort University)

* 6. The sociality of diabetes management. <> Panel organizers: Natasja Kingod, Dan Grabowski, Regitze Pals & Bryan Cleal (Steno Diabetes Center Copenhagen)

* 7. Working towards best possible futures; chronicity, anticipation, and potentiality. <> Panel organizers: Narelle Warren (Monash University), Nina Nissen (University of Southern Denmark) & Dikaios Sakellariou (Cardiff University)

* 8. Ecologies of daily living: Relational explorations into embodied experiences. <> Panel organizers: Patrick Bieler, Milena D. Bister & Tomás Sánchez Criado (Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin)

* 9. The politics of categorizing ‘health’: Which ‘healthy’ lives do we study and produce? <> Panel organizer: Mareike Smolka (University Maastricht)

* 10. Chronic times.<> Panel organizer: Michele Friedner (University of Chicago) and Tyler Zoanni (University of Bayreuth)

* 11. Chronic temporalities: the relation to time in chronic patients and their caregivers. <> Panel organizers: Catarina Delaunay (Universidade Nova de Lisboa) & Ana Patrícia Hilário (Universidade de Lisboa)

* 12. Chronic Working: Including Employees and Their Daily Practices and Concerns into Workplace Health Initiatives. <> Panel Organizer: Lotte Thissen (Maastricht University)

* 13. Care and finitude: Thinking about lives that shows us the boundaries of care as a concept.<> Panel organizers: Simon Cohn (London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine) and Lotte Buch Segal (University of Edinburgh)

* 14. Chronic living, aging and dying? Exploring temporality and ethics in old age. <> Panel organizers: Lone Grøn (VIVE Danish Center for Social Science Research) and Lotte Meinert (Aarhus University)

* 15. Hormonal living: normalising bodies through hormone regulation. <> Panel organizers: Sonja Erikainen (University of Leeds), Roslyn Malcolm and Lisa Raeder (University of Edinburgh)

* 16. Postponing terminality – hunting chronicity.<> Panel organizers: Ivana Bogicevic, Mie Seest Dam & Line Hillersdal (University of Copenhagen)

* 17. Qualifying for costly treatments? Enacting values in measuring, assessing and experiencing wellbeing and bodily functions. <> Panel organizers: Amalie Martinus Hauge, Laura Emdal Navne, Sarah Wadmann (VIVE Danish Center for Social Science Research) and Marieke van Eijk (University of Washington)

* 18. Event Horizons: Temporality, Care, Sustainability. <> Panel organizers: Katy Overstreet (Aarhus University) & Matthew Wolf-Meyer (Binghamton University)

* 19. Chronic Living in the Age of mHealth: Exploring the Ongoing Reconfiguration of Roles and Practices in Managing Health. <> Panel organizers: Ricky Janssen & Karine Wendrich (Radboud University)

* 20. Chronic Lives and monoclonal antibodies. <> Panel organizer: Jonas Kure Buer (University of Oslo)

* 21. Caring for the senses: life-worth, optimization and technological imaginations of a (fully) functional body.<> Panel organizers: Kristina Grünenberg (Anthropology, University of Copenhagen), Line Hillersdal (Anthropology, University of Copenhagen), Inge Kryger Pedersen (Sociology, University of Copenhagen), Ida Wentzel Winther (Educational Anthropology, University of Aarhus)

* 22. DIY, Device Activism and Chronic Living.<> Panel Organizers: Henriette Langstrup (University of Copenhagen), Enrico Maria Piras (Fondazione Bruno Kessler) & Samantha Gottlieb (independent reseacher)

* 23. The imperative of closeness.<> Panel organizers: Gitte Wind, Tania Dræbel, Benjamin O. Bøgeskov (University College Copenhagen)

* 24. From expert patients to patient experts: Towards the legitimation of personal experiences, subjective thoughts and practical knowledge in healthcare? <> Panel Organizers: Giada Danesi (University of Lausanne) & Natasja Kingod (Steno Diabetes Center Copenhagen)

* 25. Living with Polypharmacy: knowledge, practices and performances of patients, carers and professionals. <> Panel Organizers: Deborah Swinglehurst & Nina Fudge (Queen Mary University of London)

* 26. ‘Frailty’: an emerging object of knowledge. <> Panel organizers: Dawn Goodwin (Dundee University) & Suzanne Grant (Lancaster University)

* 27. Living with cancer: between the promises of innovations and the experience of chronicity.<> Panel organizers: Ignacia Arteaga (University of Cambridge), Nils Graber (University of Lausanne) and Cinzia Greco (University of Manchester)

* 28. Life, death, and everything in between: Medical Anthropology in/of the contemporary Middle East and North Africa. <> Panel organizer:

Christine Sargent (University of Colorado Denver)

* 29. Struggles around care. <> Panel organizers: Jeannette Pols (University of Amsterdam), Christine Ceci (University of Alberta), Kristin Bjornsdottir (University of Iceland) and Mary Ellen Purkis (University of Victoria)

* 30. Chronic Histories in Organs. <> Panel organizers: Branwyn Poleykett (University of Exeter) & Noemi Tousignant (University College London)

* 31. Endo-living: Engaging health, vitality and wellbeing and the gendered politics of chronic living through the lens of endometriosis. <> Panel organizers: Annalise Weckesser, Elaine Denny (Birmingham City University) & Véronique A.S. Griffith (University of Edinburgh)

* 32. Chronic dying: fading and fighting towards the end of life. <> Panel organizers: Anja Marie Bornø Jensen (University of Copenhagen), Mette Terp Høybye (Aarhus University), Kathrine Stengaard Dalum (Copenhagen University Hospital)

* 33. Chronic disease, toxicity, protection and care in Africa and the Global South. <> Panel organizers: Ruth Prince, Signe Mikkelsen (University of Oslo) and Miriam Waltz (Universities of Århus/Oslo)

* 34. Perspectives on Chronic Living and Treatment Practices. <> Panel organizers: LEO Pharma: PhD pharm Karsten Petersson (director), M.Sc. communication Klaus Legau (Senior manager public affairs), M.Sc. Sofie Gro Søndergaard (Senior scientist)/Cecilie Bønløkke (User Insights Specialist)/Camilla Kehlet (User Insights Specialist)

* 35. Time in place. Insights into chronic living through the lens of chronic kidney disease. <> Panel organizers: Anna Mann (University of Copenhagen) and Janelle Taylor (University of Toronto)

* 36. Living with/at risk – social studies of prevention, surveillance and early detection.<> Panel organizers: Jessica Mozersky (Washington University School of Medicine), Richard Milne (University of Cambridge), Mikko Jauho (University of Helsinki), Sofie Rosenlund Lau (University of Copenhagen), Catherine Will (University of Sussex), Kate Weiner (University of Sheffield), Ayo Wahlberg and Laura Heinsen (University of Copenhagen)

* 37. Excremental living – social studies of care and the lived experience of bowel and urinary conditions. <> Panel organizers: Cecilie Carlsen Caspersen (Amager and Hvidovre Hospital), Camilla Brændstrup Laursen (Aarhus University) & Deren Pulley (UCSF-Berkeley)

* 38. User Driven Innovation in Pharma. <> Panel organizers: LEO Pharma: PhD pharm Karsten Petersson (director), PhD Cellular and molecular biology Niclas Nilsson (Head of Open Innovation), M.Sc. communication Klaus Legau (Senior manager public affairs), M.Sc. Sofie Gro Søndergaard (Senior scientist)/Cecilie Bønløkke (User Insights Specialist)/Camilla Kehlet (User Insights Specialist)

* 39. Who cares for the chronically living? <> Panel organizers: Sofie Rosenlund Lau (University of Copenhagen), Lillian Prueher (University of Washington, Seattle), Stephanie Cruz (University of Washington, Seattle), Lily Shapiro (University of Washington, Seattle), Josien de Klerk, (Leiden University College) and Tusajigwe Erio (University of Amsterdam).

* 40. Politics of rehabilitative-living.<> Panel organizers: Louise Chartrand (University of Manitoba, Canada), Anette Lykke Hindhede (Aalborg University, Denmark), Patty Thille (University of Manitoba, Canada), Mette Ryssel Bystrup (Aalborg University, Denmark), Helle Rønn Schmidt (Aalborg University, Denmark).

* 41. Living with Microbes: From gut intimacies to collective health ecologies.<> Panel organizer: Louise Whiteley and Adam Bencard (University of Copenhagen), Andrea Butcher, Jose Cañada & Salla Sariola (University of Helsinki).

Chronic Living is the final conference of the research project "The Vitality of Disease – Quality of Life in the Making" funded by the European Research Council (ERC) under the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme (grant agreement 63927 – VITAL).

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