Call for Contributors: "Coping with Conflict"

Call for Contributors: “Coping with Conflict: The Medical Anthropology of Gender, Violence and War.”

Recently, medical anthropologists have been urged to remedy the dearth of research on “any aspect of war or its aftermath in Iraq, or other parts of the Middle East”, and redress the ways that, “as a discipline, we have been faint of heart and lacking moral courage… (and) have turned away from the brutal realities, the embodied suffering, the psychological devastation, the sexual violence, and the refugee aftermath of war” (Inhorn 2008: 421).*  In response, and in order to affirm existing Medical Anthropology scholarship concerning violence, conflict and war, this book project will foreground ethnographic research on, and theoretically-informed analysis of, the complex ways that episodic fights or sustained hostilities shape gendered health beliefs and practices in diverse socio-cultural, ethnic and political settings.

An edited volume on the Medical Anthropology of Gender and Conflict will facilitate crucial opportunities to further assess the inter-relationship between gender, violence and health, and to specifically analyse how low-intensity or ‘spectacular’ violence affects and transforms gendered health practices, beliefs and experiences. In addition to highlighting current research projects and the available – and not insignificant – Medical Anthropology of Conflict literature, chapter contributions will also serve to illuminate the interdisciplinary collaborations through which Medical Anthropology methods and theory are applied in embattled contexts.

This edited volume will encompass diverse thematic trends and research inquiry relating to:

  • The ways that individuals’ experiences of health, illness, disease, trauma and traumatic injury during violence and war are mediated by gender.
  • The conflict-related ‘health effects’ associated with diverse cultural settings and gendered healing traditions and practices.
  • Analysis of the ways that local hierarchies of therapeutic resort are structured simultaneously by experiences of illness and trauma that are unique to war, and gendered ideals of well-being and the appropriateness of specific healing practices and traditions.
  • Examination of the biomedical and ‘traditional’ choices and gendered decision-making processes available to patients during conflict at clinical and community-level therapeutic sites.
  • The use of ethnography to document, appraise and illuminate the ways that individuals’ experience of health vulnerability, trauma and treatment in diverse socio-cultural and political contexts are intimately tied to, and influenced by, gender.
  • The role of applied medical anthropology in public health promotion, programme development and initiatives, and policy and legislation concerning health amid conflict, violence and war.

By focussing explicitly on the Medical Anthropology of Gender and Conflict –  through the mechanisms of ethnographic and applied research, critical theoretical and analytical positions – this book aims to provide an innovative and timely contribution to literature examining the impacts of conflict and violence for ‘well-being’, health and illness in Medical Anthropology, Conflict Studies and the Health Sciences.

The book is divided into three thematic areas:

Part I: Traditional Healing & the Fragile Body

Part II: Conflict & Trauma

Part III: Reproductive Vulnerability

The Editor is currently soliciting three additional chapter contributions for Part I (‘Traditional Healing and the Fragile Body’), and three contributions for Part III (‘Reproductive Vulnerability’).

Contributors include:

Dr Annemiek Richters (Leiden University Medical Centre), Dr Doug Henry (University of North Texas), Dr Jean-Francois Trani (University College London), Dr Victor Igreja (University of Queensland), Drs Pam Godde and Jonathan Marion (California State University), and Dr Angel Foster (Ibis Reproductive Health). Chapter contributions represent a number of conflicted settings, such as Sierra Leone, Mozambique, Rwanda, Iraq and Afghanistan; Palestine, Jordan and Syria.

Interested Scholars are asked to submit a 250 word chapter abstract, a 300 word author biography and a recent Curriculum Vitae to the Editor by June 30th (2010). Please email your submission, biography and CV using either Word or PDF format.

Dr Emma Varley

Killam Post-Doctoral Fellow

Department of Bioethics, Dalhousie University

Visiting Professor (Anthropology)

Department of Humanities & Social Sciences

Lahore University of Management Sciences

emma_varley2002@yahoo.ca