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Biomedicine in museums

At the margins of life and death

By January 30, 2012No Comments

As I wrote the other day, Medical Museion hosts the Graduate Programme of Medical Science and Technology Studies here at the University of Copenhagen.

Now we are proud to announce a graduate course titled ‘At the Margins of Life and Death’, to be held 21-23 August 2012.

The aim of the course — which is organised by associate professor Mette Nordahl Svendsen and professor Lene Koch from the Section of Health Services Research here in Copenhagen — is to present “notions, materialities and regulations of life and death in the laboratory, in the clinic, and among patients and users of medical science and technology”.

Looking at “how borders between life and death are established in socio-material practices”, the course “takes up issues of suffering, dignity and the quality of life related to medical science and technology”, and will be structured around three themes: beginnings of life, extensions of life, and endings of life:

“The life in question may be the cell, the embryo, the newborn, the comatose, the old, the demented, the research animal. Analytically and methodologically the course draws on sociological, historical, and anthropological approaches to practices of life and death”.

The course is aimed at doctoral students from public health and the social sciences and gives 5,2 ects credits. The course format is lectures in the mornings, student presentations and discussions in the afternoons.

Invited lecturers include professor Sharon Kaufman, Dept of Anthropology, History and Social Medicine, UCSF and professor Lynn Morgan, Mount Holyoke College, Massachusetts.

It costs 4,680 DKK for students who are immatriculated at the Copemhagen Graduate School of Health Sciences. Register before 15 May 2012 via

On acceptance participants will be asked to submit a paper of five pages by the 1st of August. Papers should describe how the PhD project takes up the theme of life and death. During the course each participant will have 20 minutes to present his/her paper, which will be followed by comments from resource persons as well as a general discussion. Admission for Ph.D. students will be allocated on a first-come, first-served basis. Applications from external participants will be considered after the closing date. The application must be sent via the web-application.

More information from Mette Nordahl Svendsen.

(featured image by bitzcelt)

Thomas Söderqvist

Author Thomas Söderqvist

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