31 de marzo de 2016

Call for Papers (AAA 2016): Gendering the Body in Traditional Medicine: Rethinking Gender, Sexuality, and Sexual Health in Non-Biomedical Discourses and Practices

Type: Call for Papers
Date: April 8, 2016
Subject Fields: Anthropology, Health and Health Care, Sexuality Studies, Women's & Gender History / Studies, Public Health

Call for Papers - Session for the American Anthropological Association (AAA) 2016 Conference
Gendering the Body in Traditional Medicine: Rethinking Gender, Sexuality, and Sexual Health in Non-Biomedical Discourses and Practices
Co-organizers: Kristin Bright (Carleton University) and Venera Khalikova (University of Pittsburgh)
Discussants: Lucinda Ramberg (Cornell University) and Kristin Bright (Carleton University)
Studies of how gendered bodies are conceptualized and acted upon within non-biomedical traditions predominantly focus on male and/or female bodies. Scholars of what is often glossed as alternative or traditional medicine look, for example, at differences of therapeutic practices of male and female healers, the uses of ‘traditional’ and ‘herbal’ beauty and sexual health products, non-biomedical approaches to women’s reproductive health, or the circulation of therapeutic logics about semen retention, virility, and masturbation. Yet, rarely do such studies move beyond male/female bodies to look at the particular epistemological and social understandings of gender and sexuality through which such bodies are ‘treated.’ How do traditional medical practices vary not only in the ways they conceptualize genders but also understand ‘sexuality’ and ‘normality’? How do assumptions about heterosexuality and heteronormativity in various non-biomedical systems differ from one other or from those in biomedical modalities? How do practitioners of alternative/traditional medicine discuss, ‘treat,’ disregard, or accommodate gender variant and queer bodies? What biological, moral, social and political arguments are involved in discourses about heterosexual ‘health’ and homosexuality ‘cures’?
The challenge of answering these questions lies in the fact that the current literature on Ayurveda, Traditional Chinese Medicine, homeopathy, jamu, sowa-rigpa, Unani, yoga, and other therapeutic traditions offers little ethnographic and theoretical material on queer bodies. Therefore, in this panel we propose to explore the normative moral discourses and practices of gender and sexuality within non-biomedical traditions. Moving away from the studies, initiated by Foucault (1985), on biomedico-moral perspectives on non-normative sexuality, we invite papers that examine how different therapeutic traditions understand relationships between morality, sexuality, and health with regard to gendered bodies. What kinds of ‘moral symptomatology’ (Zhang 2007) and ‘biomorality’ (Alter 2000; 2011) are implicated in health discourses regarding normative and queer bodies? In addition to theoretical explorations, we invite panelists who will engage with rich ethnographic data. How do we make sense of the claims by popular yoga gurus in India that yoga can “cure” homosexuality? How do Chinese medicine conceptualize (and/or “medicalize”) ideal gendered bodies and sexual deviance? How is it that Ayurveda is deployed in discourses about gendered morality and sexual moderation, while Ayurvedic drug companies advertise drugs for boosting sexual performance? How do government authorities and herbal/traditional pharmaceutical industries define and seek to normalize gendered bodies and sexual practices? Are there economic, ideological, nationalist implications? How can these questions and phenomena shed light on non-biomedical approaches to ‘sexual health’? Finally, how can they contribute to our understanding of predominant biomedical discourses on gendered bodies and practices?
We warmly welcome researchers in diverse areas to join us - including gender and sexuality studies, medical anthropology, body and embodiment, medical pluralism, political anthropology, and anthropologies of morality and religion. Papers that explore the outlined topics in diverse regional and cultural contexts are welcome.
Please send the title of your paper and a 250 word abstract by April 8 to: vrk7@pitt.edu and kristy.bright@gmail.com