#ChronicLiving #conference – #quality, vitality and #health in the 21st century; 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



What concepts have you found most helpful when working with chronic living? Biographical disruption, loss of self? Tinkering, therapeutic itinerary? Responsibilization, technologies of the self? Which books and authors have inspired you the most? Cheryl Mattingly’s The Paradox of Hope <https://www.ucpress.edu/book/9780520267350/the-paradox-of-hope>, Lenore Manderson & Carolyn Smith-Morris’s Chronic Conditions, Fluid States <https://www.rutgersuniversitypress.org/chronic-conditions-fluid-states/9780813549736>, Julie Livingston’s Debility and the Moral Imagination in Botswana <http://www.iupress.indiana.edu/product_info.php?products_id=181872>?

Join us in Copenhagen to collectively explore just what Chronic Living in the 21st century might be in different parts of the world. Just 11 days to go to submit your paper abstracts! Choose from 41 open panels or submit an individual contribution. NB. We are offering a limited number of travel bursaries. Chronic Living will provide a welcoming environment for all, with possibilities for childcare. See more here: https://eventsignup.ku.dk/Chronic-Living

Chronic Living Keynote Speakers:

· Prof. Aditya Bharadwaj<https://graduateinstitute.ch/academic-departments/faculty/aditya-bharadwaj>, Anthropology and Sociology, Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies

· Dr. Vicky Singleton<http://www.lancaster.ac.uk/sociology/about-us/people/vicky-singleton>, Senior Lecturer, Department of Sociology, University of Lancaster

· Prof. Nikolas Rose<https://www.kcl.ac.uk/people/nikolas-rose>, Department of Global Health & Social Medicine, King’s College London

· Prof. Susan Reynolds Whyte<https://anthropology.ku.dk/staff/professor-and-associate-professor/?pure=en/persons/21339>, Department of Anthropology, University of Copenhagen

· Prof. Joe Dumit<http://anthropology.ucdavis.edu/people/dumit>, Department of Anthropology, University of California Davis

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. Panels around the following kinds of questions, empirically from around the world, are particularly welcome:

* What does a politics of living look like today in different parts of the world amidst demographic, epidemiological, fertility and care transitions as well as widening inequality gaps?

* In which ways is the daily living, quality of life and/or wellbeing of individuals and communities targeted and sought to be improved?

* How do we get to know about daily living? Whose daily living and whose knowledge?

* How have the daily lives of persons identified as ‘at risk’ come to be targeted through preventive health interventions and of those living with (chronic) conditions come to be targeted in efforts to improve their lives?

* How do people with (chronic) conditions and their significant others strive to live as well as possible with disease? Which particular rhythms, disruptions and potentials characterize the antidepressant-lives, chemo-lives, immunosuppressant-lives, dialysis-lives, factor-lives, antiretroviral-lives, transplant-lives, corticosteroid-lives, insulin-lives and more that millions of people (and their families) lead or seek to access?

* How do (formal and informal) care practices afford people diagnosed with a disease and their significant others to live well? How has the provision of health care and ideas and practices of "good care" changed as in different parts of an unequal world more and more people live with (often multiple) chronic conditions, at times in conjunction with the vicissitudes of ageing?

Abstract submissions should include the following information:

– Paper title

– Paper abstract (max. 250 words)

– Name(s) of the paper presenter

– Name of the Open Panel paper is directed at, or indication that it is an individual contribution

Please submit your individual papers by 1 November 2019 using this link: https://eventsignup.ku.dk/Chronic-Living

Chronic Living is the final conference of the research project "The Vitality of Disease – Quality of Life in the Making<https://vital.ku.dk/>" 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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