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Kick-off Meeting Leiden University Medical Anthropology Network

How do people experience health, illness and wellbeing? How do health interventions travel across the globe? How are health inequalities embodied, created and subverted through institutional structures and public spaces? These are several of the core questions that medical anthropologists work on. Leiden University has medical anthropologists in various faculties and departments. To foster interfaculty collaborations and explore common ground for working interdisciplinary on health-related themes in Leiden and beyond, the Leiden University Medical Anthropology Network has been set up.

On the 30th of August, medical anthropologists kicked off the new network Leiden University Medical Anthropology Network to connect the highly active and societally impactful medical anthropologists in the different faculties and departments. The goal is to foster interfaculty collaborations and to find common ground for working interdisciplinary on health-related topics in Leiden and The Hague, Leiden-Delft-Erasmus, and beyond.

Common themes of our expertise

Some of the common themes of our expertise both in the Netherlands and globally are policies and practices of care; politics of health interventions; aging and the life course; health institutions and insurance; and health at the intersections of gender, class, race, ability and religion. In order to understand people’s experiences, perspectives and priorities, and how these relate to health policy and inequality, we use a range of qualitative methods. Next to the classic ethnographic toolkit of participant observation and in-depth interviews, these include narratives, participatory action research, and focus groups, but also creative multimodal methodologies such as drama, video and graphic art, as well as discourse and document analysis and archival research.

After this inspiring start, network participants look forward to further strengthening medical anthropological research and teaching at Leiden University.

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