Medical anthropology has just as a long history in Europe as in North America, which remains yet to be explored. This is a crucial lacuna, as the beginnings of European medical anthropology shaped the research concerns that currently characterize the field in Europe.
Parallel to that, despite the significant contributions of continental European medical anthropologists, their work remains mostly unknown in the UK. While this lack in scholarly dialogue is partially due to language barriers (continental anthropologists tend to publish in languages other than English), the disconnection has deeper implications, and is rooted in the still incomplete understanding of the histories that moulded what are now locally-specific research agendas. The Royal Anthropological Institute's Medical Anthropology Committee hosted a conference to bring together over one hundred medical anthropologists from the UK and continental Europe in Oxford on 1-2 July 2010, including some of the founding scholars whose work was critical in establishing the field. A special issue reflecting the contents of this conference is in print with Anthropology and Medicine.
Furthermore, a two-day reunion conference “Medical Anthropology at Oxford: 10 years at the intersections” was held 23-24 June 2011. It brought together former masters’ students who reflected on their career and/or presented their current research. A Special Issue of the Journal of Anthropological Society at Oxford (JASO) will be published in summer 2015. For podcasts from several sessions of the conference, click here.
Finally, the initiative "Mobility for guest lecturers in medical anthropology at European universities" has in autumn 2014 once again been launched within the European Association of Social Anthropology, after Professor Elisabeth Hsu was re-elected into its steering committee. Their initiative is to enliven and strengthen existent links between medical anthropologists studying at European Universities, and us now under consideration for funding again. Information written for the first initiative (which got shortlisted for funding but due to a problem beyond our control never entered the final competition) can be found here and you can download the application form here.