Against Health: Resisiting the Invisible Morality

Venue: Rackham Graduate School

Location: Ann Arbor, Michigan, United States

Event Date/Time: Oct 12, 2006 End Date/Time: Oct 13, 2006
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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 commercial 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 National
Center in HIV Social Research at the University of New South Wales, and
Carl Elliott, 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
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], and Nicholas King [Case
Western]), 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.

required. Details, including transportation and lodging information,
coming SOON to the conference website:


Conference Chair: Jonathan Metzl, Associate Professor of Women's
Studies and Psychiatry, University of Michigan,

Conference Organizer: Sacha Feirstein,


915 E. Washington St.
Ann Arbor
United States