Message posted on 29/05/2024

Reminder: VANDA conference deadline June 1st

Dear friends and colleagues,

the deadline to submit a paper to the VANDA conference in Vienna (from September 23-26) ends on June 1st. I would like to remind you to take a look at our panel 39. Images as Evidence (of what)? The Body at the Intersection of Science and Art which seeks to inspire interdisciplinary dialogue at the intersection of Medical and Visual Anthropology, Medicine and the Arts.

We are looking forward to contributions in diverse formats, including collaborative and experimental projects.

Images as evidence (of what)? The Body at the Intersection of Science and Art Conveners: Sophie WAGNER, Barbara GRAF Scientific images of the human body hold a distinct status as being reliable mediums, even though we often dont know, or partially ignore, what kind of image it is and how it has been made (Canals 2020). This is true for visualizations that serve as referential witness micro photography, x-rays, MRI, CT-scans or endoscopic images and visual strategies that put together data on the basis of synthesis, ordering knowledge in abstract tableaus, transforming it into calculable figures, graphs or diagrams (Mersch 2006). They serve as evidence in clinical decision making, as tool for governmental practices, and legitimize policies. Bodies are dissected, screened and measured, promising transparency (Strathern 2000), creating a sense of hyper certainty (Fox 2000), and fostering the idea of medicine as exact science. With this panel we aim to discuss current modes of engaging with the human body visually, examining this framing of bodies, beings and lives in general as calculable and predictable. We want to examine the terrain of both the visualizations of diseases, and articulations of individual illness experiences, which have proven to be particularly useful in supporting the patient-doctor communication. We ask: how can we critically engage with image-making embedded in discourses of certainty and trust? Following the Images of Care collectives manifesto (Pieta and Favero 2023), we understand visual culture - how we see, how we are able, allowed, or made to see, and how we see this seeing or the unseen therein (Foster 1988:ix) as being shaped by ongoing dialogues between biology, culture and politics. We invite scholars and practitioners to present works, which explore bodily processes, corporeal sensations and illness experiences. We highlight an interdisciplinary perspective, hoping to inspire dialogue across professional boundaries, inviting anthropologists who follow collaborative and experimental approaches (Fortun et al. 2021), visual artists, health-care professionals, and patient advocates. Contact: sophie.wagner@univie.ac.at

Warm regards, Sophie Wagner and Barbara Graf


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