CALL FOR PAPERS
Special Issue GENDER AND MEDICINE
Curare. Journal of Medical Anthropology
Guest editor: Barbara Wittmann, University of Bamberg
Emerging from critical feminist initiatives and the women's health movement in the last third of the 20th century, central questions about whether, how and why genders become ill differently have gained more and more recognition in medical research, teaching, and practice. Under the term "gender medicine", corresponding perspectives and with them the shift away from the orientation of the male body as the medical-pharmaceutical norm have come into focus. The topic not only attracts scientific awareness but is also features in media reports and popular scientific advice literature. In the 2010s for example, the system-immanent ignorance of women-specific heart attack symptoms attracted widespread public concern, which in turn contributed to cardiology's pioneering role in the field of gender-sensitive research.
As Anne Hammarström and Ellen Annandale already pointed out when examining the unclear use of "sex" and "gender" in medical journals in 2012, the homogenisation of corresponding perspectives under gender medicine can also be understood as a "conceptual muddle". Particularly contributions from the humanities and social sciences therefore critically highlight the essentialist perpetuations of deterministically categorised men's and women's bodies and biologistic-binary perspectives that are associated with this relatively young medical field. At the same time, the development of gender-sensitive medicine challenges patriarchal relationships and male-dominated perspectives strongly anchored within the discipline – a process that is far from complete, given its still nascent struggle for institutional establishment and recognition. The devaluation of so-called "women's complaints" shaped by medical history, exclusion of non-male test persons in pharmaceutical studies or a culturally and systemically determined lower recognition of mental problems among men are only a few of many examples that can be mentioned here. These show the necessity of simultaneous social, cultural, and historical research within this field.
For the Special Issue, we welcome contributions with a clear empirical focus that deal specifically with both the development of the still relatively young medical discipline of gender-sensitive research, as well as contributions that situate the topic of gender and medicine in a broader social and historical context. Possible topics could be the examination of related historical developments, categorical attributions and the associated norms and hierarchies, medical (non-)knowledge regimes, power relations and, above all, the effects on and perspectives of the patients concerned. The issue aims to explore approaches from ethnology and cultural studies as well as possible interdisciplinary perspectives.
Abstracts (max. 2,000 characters) of planned contributions (English or German) should be submitted to firstname.lastname@example.org by 10 July 2023. Subsequent submission of contributions is planned by the end of November 2023. The journal, Curare, is published in open access format, and all contributions undergo a peer review process before publication.