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!The Network Health and Culture in Folkloristic Research has renamed itself in July 2022 to Commission Medical Anthropology (in the DGEKW)!

We use the term medical anthropology in the context of other international research groups (e.g. the network Medical Anthropology Europe of the European Association of Social Anthropology (EASA) or the US Society for Medical Anthropology). The term medical anthropology is therefore explicitly used in a more open way than only referring to medical topics and in reference to medical anthropology, which is common in the English-speaking world. The commission sees itself as a cultural and social science network across status, professional and disciplinary boundaries. With the new name, we hope to represent the interdisciplinarity of scientific exchange, which has already been practiced for years, to the outside world (cf. Voss 2018).

As the Medical Anthropology Commission, we offer an open platform for all those who are interested in the discourse of cultural studies, medical anthropology and ethnology on the topics of health, illness, body, gender, medicine/technology. The aim of the commission’s work is to promote an interdisciplinary exchange, to reflect on disciplinary approaches and methodological approaches, and to open up to other perspectives. We want to address interested people from medical anthropology, medical anthropology, medical anthropology, medical ethics, medical history, medical sociology, nursing science, theology as well as health communication, but also the fields of museums and media, which deal with questions of health and illness in the broadest sense from a culturally sensitive perspective. The commission is supported by scientists of different career stages and is especially open for young scientists. The range of topics is current, retrospective and future-oriented and includes topics such as the culturality of illness, healing and corporeality; health seeking behavior, ‘curing’ and ‘healing’, approaches of medical anthropology, history of ideas and socio-political relevance of medical anthropology, disease – illness – sickness – suffering, medical pluralism; Divination and Ritual, Biomedicine, Economics of Illness, Public Health, Medicalization, Geneticization, Body and Corporeality, Migration and Health, Gender and Health and many more.

The commission is organized with an open structure within the German Society for Empirical Cultural Studies (DGEKW). The main task is to organize regular commission meetings (every two years) and to implement publication projects. In addition, meetings are held within the framework of the biennial DGEKW congress for mutual exchange and thematic planning.

To get an idea of the wide range of topics, here is a small overview of the topics of our last meetings:

  • “The calm after the storm?” Medicalized Everyday Life in Times of the Covid 19 Pandemic
  • Family, relationships, kinship and cooperation in medicalized everyday life
  • Cultural Studies Perspectives on the Mediality of Health and Illness
  • Differences – On the importance of social and cultural inequalities in biomedicine

Speakers of the Commission

Prof. Dr. Sabine Wöhlke 


Anna Palm M.A.


Status: October 2022