An international interdisciplinary conference provocatively titled AGAINST HEALTH will take place in the Rackham Amphitheater on the University of Michigan campus on October 12-13 2006. The conference will call on the expertise of a vast array of disciplines to examine the ways in which the category of "health," the norms associated with "health," and the social functioning of those norms are, in some instances, at odds with human well being. Of particular interest are the ways that certain appeals to health risk authorizing, justifying,and immunizing from possible criticism an array of practices and power relations that would otherwise be vulnerable to challenge. We aim to explore, thus, how politics, ideologies about race, gender and class,social norms and mores, and economic structures all work to define "health" in ways that benefit certain groups of people while excluding others.
The two-day format will encourage the broadest possible exchange among participants and presenters. Day one features a panel of four experts(Dorothy Roberts, Kirkland & Ellis Professor of Law at Northwestern Law School, Kathleen LeBesco, assistant professor of communication arts at Marymount Manhattan College and author of Revolting Bodies: The Struggle to Redefine Fat Identity, Susan Kippax, head of the NationalCenter in HIV Social Research at the University of New South Wales, CarlElliott, Professor of Bioethics at the University of Minnesota). Each panelist will speak for roughly twenty minutes at a large communal panel in the morning, and then lead an interactive workshop in the afternoon.
Other day-one highlights include an opening address by the Cornell literary scholar Richard Klein and a lunchtime keynote by the former U.S. Surgeon General M. Joycelyn Elders.
Highlights of day two include a series of interactive seminars(featuring, thus far, Rebecca Herzig [Bates College], Roddey Reid [UCSD], Sarah Jain [Stanford], Brad Lewis [NYU], Eric Rofes [Humboldt State], Kane Race [UNSW], Petra Kuppers [UM]), a keynote address by Susan Love (Clinical Professor of Surgery at the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA), and a raucous closing party.
This conference is organized through the University of Michigan's Program in Culture, Health and Medicine, which is housed in the UM Institute for Research on Women and Gender.
ALL EVENTS ARE FREE AND OPEN TO THE PUBLIC. Advance registration required. Details, including transportation and lodging information, coming SOON to the conference website: http://www.umich.edu/againsthealth
Conference Chair: Jonathan Metzl, Associate Professor of Women's Studies and Psychiatry, University of Michigan, firstname.lastname@example.org
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