Current Network Convenors are Francesco Diodati (Independent Researcher), Simone Anna Felding (German Center for Neurodegenerative Diseases) and Swetlana Torno (Max Planck Institutute for the Study of Religious and Ethnic Diversity). Network communication is managed by Irina Kretser (St. Petersburg State University). To find out how to get involved, follow this link.
How do technologies shape elder care, especially when it is practiced at a distance? How do they influence what (health) care comes to mean and how it should be done to be considered good care? As an Anthropology and Science and Technology Studies researcher, I use ethnographic methods to explore how everyday digital and specialized health technologies participate in formal and informal elder care.
In February 2020, I defended my PhD thesis on everyday digital technologies in elder care among Indian transnational families. My doctoral research has been funded through the TransGlobalHealth Joint Degree program by the European Commission, and AISSR, University of Amsterdam. Previously, I obtained a MA in Health and Society in South Asia from Heidelberg University. Besides academic publications, my
research has been presented in the Huffington Post, Madras Courier, and Vrij Nederland, and on websites such as Somatosphere and AllegraLab. Currently, I am working on a book project based on my doctoral thesis, and I am also developing my new project on live and robot animals in elder care.
Erik Bähre is economic anthropologists and associate professor at the Institute of Cultural Anthropology and Development Sociology, Leiden University. He does research on finance, money, and markets and contributes to debates about the organisation of solidarity and care. His research is mainly on South Africa and Brazil and shows how people use financial services and products to take care of kin. This raises fundamental questions regarding the expectations of and everyday experiences with markets when organising care, especially when confronted with rapid ageing and limited social support networks. When and how do people use markets to fill the care gap, and in which circumstances do market mechanisms make it more difficult for people to take care of one another? His ethnographic approach thus offers insight into how money and finance strengthen solidarity but also lead to new forms of exclusion.
Erik Bähre is the Principle Investigator of the ERC Consolidator project ‘Moralising Misfortune: A comparative anthropology of commercial insurance’ (2016-2022). He published on economic anthropology, solidarity, conflict and kinship and is the author of Money and Violence: Financial Self-Help Groups in a South African Township (Brill, 2007) and Ironies of Solidarity: Insurance and the Financialization of Kinship in South Africa (Zed Books, 2020).
In my position as an assistant professor at the Department of Public Health at the University of Copenhagen, I specialise in studies of health systems and public-health policies with a focus on the sociocultural entanglements of individual health practices. With an emphasis on people’s subjective experiences of health and ageing, my research also investigates how the Danish healthcare sector, hospitals, and municipal authorities can improve professional practices by recognising the complexity of older people’s life histories as well as the individual needs and priorities they express in their personal narratives.
I am part of the interdisciplinary Center for Healthy Aging (CEHA), where my research also focuses on how health and social policies targeting older people influence the sociocultural dynamics of later life in Denmark. In general, I am interested in elucidating how public-health policies, programmes, and initiatives affect both health professionals and older people in their everyday lives.
I have a Ph.D. in Ethnology and a Master’s degree (cand.mag.) in Applied Cultural Analysis, both from the University of Copenhagen. Originally from the United States, where I worked on Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C., before developing a career in publishing and corporate communications, I have lived in Denmark since 2008.
Jason Danely is Reader in Anthropology at Oxford Brookes University (UK). He is founder and first co-convenor of EASA AGENET (2018–2020). Jason has been President of AAGE (2016–2018) and convener of the AAA Aging and the Life Course Interest Group (2016–2020). He is currently Chair of the IUAES/WAU Scientific Commission for Aging and the Life Course.
Jason is author of Aging and Loss: Mourning and Maturity in Contemporary Japan (Rutgers 2014) and editor with Caitrin Lynch of Transitions and Transformations: Cultural Perspectives on Aging and the Life Course (Berghahn 2013). Jason’s work on aging and care in Japan has been published in anthropology journals, including Cultural Anthropology, Medicine Anthropology Theory, and Ethnos. He has conducted comparative research on unpaid caregivers of older family members, resulting in a monograph titled Fragile Resonance: Caring for Older Family Members in Japan and England (Cornell University Press, forthcoming). His most recent work looks at older ex-offender resettlement in Japan and England.
Josien de Klerk
Josien de Klerk is a medical anthropologist and associate professor at Leiden University College, The Hague. Her research areas include ageing, chronic illness, HIV/AIDS, informal care, self-care, wellbeing and enhancement through the lens of kinship-studies and critical global health. Josien obtained her PhD from the University of Amsterdam in 2011. Her PhD and subsequent postdoctoral research centered around aging in the era of AIDS in Kenya and Tanzania, looking at informal care, including self-care, of both affected and infected older people in rural and urban settings. Her long-term ethnographic fieldwork is the basis of critical analysis of the politics around aging and care in the treatment-dominated AIDS landscape in East-Africa.
Josien teaches the course Ageing and Society at Leiden University College, the Hague. Josien is committed to community-engaged teaching and research. In that capacity she is a member of the Knowledge Exchange Platform on Age-Friendly Cities in the Hague, the Netherlands.
Francesco Diodati is a PhD candidate in Cultural and Social Anthropology at the University of Milano-Bicocca, Italy. His main research interests are aging, family care, community care, home-care services, caregiving fatigue.
Francesco’s PhD research project aimed to investigate the political and moral implications of the recognition of caregiving fatigue in Northern Italy. Exploring caregiver self-help groups, communities for mutual-help and social services training courses for professional home-care workers, he studied how narratives of caring fatigue are involved in the negotiation of traditional family responsibilities to care for elderly parents, and which are the political implications of this negotiation for the broader elderly care system. He also examined the way differently positioned social actors recognize the boundaries between family and professional care. In 2020, his manuscript Recognizing Caregiving Fatigue in the Pandemic: Notes on Aging, Burden and Social Isolation in Northern Italy received the Margaret Clark Award (Co-winner) from the Association of Aging, Gerontology and the Life-Course (AAGE).
Annelieke Driessen is assistant professor of medical anthropology at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine (LSHTM). In her work, she is interested in contributing to ways of researching and learning from care practices that enable ways of living and dying with long-term health conditions which are valued by those involved.
Annelieke currently holds a research fellowship funded by The Healthcare Improvement Studies Institute (THIS Institute), in which she explores patient experiences of intensive care with COVID19 in the UK.
Simone Anna Felding is a PhD candidate at the German Center for Neurodegenerative Diseases (DZNE-Witten) specializing in health, technology and dementia. She is a social anthropologist carrying out research into the implementation of social robots for people with dementia in nursing homes as part of the Marie-Curie ITN programme DISTINCT. In her PhD she is conducting an ethnographic fieldwork in Danish nursing homes who have already implemented pet robots into their daily routines as well as a scoping review on social robots in nursing homes. Besides working at DZNE Witten, she is also collaborating with the Karolinska Institute, Alzheimer Europe and the Department of Anthropology at the University of Copenhagen in her PhD.
Alessandro Gusman (PhD, Social Anthropology) is a medical and religious anthropologist, and Assistant Professor of Anthropology at the Department of Cultures, Politics and Society at the University of Turin. His research focuses on the presence of Pentecostalism in Uganda, on Congolese religious experience in Kampala, and on ageing and end-of-life care in the Italian context. He has recently developed an interest for informal intergenerational care by integrating the point of view of caring children, ageing parents and care professionals.
Alessandro is the author of the books Pentecôtistes en Ouganda. Sida, moralité et conflit générationnel (Karthala, 2018) and Antropologia dell’olfatto (Laterza 2004), and coeditor of Strings Attached: Aids and the Rise of Transnational Connections in Africa (Oxford University Press, 2014). His work has appeared in several national and international journals.
Aksana Ismailbekova completed her dissertation at the Max Planck Institute for Social Anthropology, Halle, Germany. Based on her PhD dissertation, she wrote her monograph Blood Ties and the Native Son: Poetics of Patronage in Kyrgyzstan, which was published by Indiana University Press in 2017. Ismailbekova is a research fellow at Leibniz-Zentrum-Moderner Orient (ZMO), Berlin. Her current research work focuses on kinship, aging, inter-generational care, migration.
Saurav Kumar is UGC Junior Research Fellow in the Department of English, Banaras Hindu University, Varanasi, India. He has recently submitted his Ph.D. thesis titled “Fiction as Gerontological Resource: A Critical Study of Select Novels”. His areas of interest are literary and cultural gerontology, post-structuralism, transcultural humanities and vegan studies. His recent publications include research articles in The Gerontologist and Indian Journal of Gender Studies (forthcoming), chapters in the volumes The Routledge Companion to Humanism and Literature (Routledge 2022), Transcultural Humanities in South Asia: Critical Essays on Literature and Culture (Routledge 2022) and The Routledge Handbook of Vegan Studies (2021), and an English translation of a Hindi story, “Palang”, in Indian Literature (2021), the bimonthly journal of Sahitya Akademi.
Dr Matthew Lariviere is Lecturer in Social Policy at the University of Bristol. Matthew’s research explores the possibilities of digital technology within social care and ageing futures. In 2020, the N8 Research Partnership recognised Matthew with a New Research Pioneer Award for this research on emergent technologies to support ageing in place.
Deeply committed to interdisciplinary and non-academic engagement, Matthew has presented his work to academics, policy and practice partners, and the public across the UK, Europe, Australia, and North America. He is the Chair and EU representative for IDIH Global’s Inclusive Living Expert Group, an international consortium and fora for digital technology and healthy ageing. He was a Co-Convenor of the European Association of Social Anthropologists’ Age and Generations Network (AGENET) from 2020 to 2022.
Since January 2020, Matthew has been the Reviews Editor for the International Journal of Care and Caring. He regularly reviews for multiple peer-reviewed journals on topics related to ageing, digital health, and care. Matthew is an elected Fellow of the Royal Anthropological Institute.
Annette Leibing is a medical anthropologist (PhD U Hamburg, Germany), who had her first academic position at the Institute of psychiatry at the Federal U Rio de Janeiro. There she founded and directed, during five years, the CDA – a multidisciplinary centre for mental health and aging, with a special focus on dementia. After a postdoctoral fellowship at McGill University (Dept. Social Studies of Medicine), funded by a Guggenheim felowship, she is now full professor at the Nursing faculty at Université de Montréal. Her research focuses on issues related to aging, by studying – as an anthropologist – Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease, aging and psychiatry, pharmaceuticals, elder care and, stem cells for the body in decline, among others.
At the moment, her research focuses mainly on the prevention of dementia in different national and social contexts – undertaken in Canada, Germany, and Switzerland (and, part of a different project, also in Brazil), among other topics, covering the materiality of prevention (w/ Barbara Rossin), preventive technologies and digital biomarkers, policies of prevention, the situated brain, etc.
Some recent publications covering different topics: Leibing, A. and S. Schicktanz (eds.). Preventing Dementia? Critical perspectives on a new paradigm of preparing for old age. New York/Oxford, UK: Berghahn, 2021; Leibing, A. Recognizing older individuals – An essay on critical gerontology, Robin Hood, and the COVID-19 crisis. Special section about “COVID-19 and aging bodies”, Anthropology & Aging 41(2): 221-229, 2021; Leibing, A. The Turn Towards Prevention – Moral Narratives and the Vascularization of Alzheimer’s Disease, New Genetics & Society, CriticalStudies of Contemporary Biosciences, 39(1): 31-51, 2020; Leibing, A., Tournay V, Aisengart Menezes R et RF Zorzanelli – How to fix a broken heart: Cardiac disease and the ‘multiverse’ of stem cell research in Canada. BioSocieties 11(4): 435–457, 2016; Katz, Stephen and A. Leibing – ‘Lost in time like tears in rain’: Critical Perspectives on Personhood and Dementia. In: Critical Dementia Studies: Affinities, Resistances and Alliances. Linn Sandberg and Richard Ward (eds.). Routledge, in press.
Dr Lara McKenzie is a Research Fellow in the School of Social Sciences at The University of Western Australia. Her research focuses on Australia, particularly on gender, age, love, kinship, family, reproduction, and cultural change. Lara’s book, Age-dissimilar couples and romantic relationships: Ageless love?, explores age-dissimilar couples in Australia. She is also the author of a recent 25-year review of research on such couples in the Journal of Family Theory and Review.
In addition, Lara has undertaken research on inequality and cultural difference in universities. She recently conducted a study on recent PhD graduates’ experiences of looking for stable academic work, and her writing here addresses the themes of gender, age, family, precarity, and audit practices, with publications in Social Anthropology and Gender and Education. She is currently undertaking research for the project ‘Coronavax: Preparing community and government for COVID-19 vaccination’. Lara is a current board member of the Council of Humanities, Arts, and Social Sciences (CHASS) in Australia. She heads the Virtual Centre for Kinship Research—a virtual, multidisciplinary centre facilitating global scholarly exchange and collaborations—launching in 2022.
Monika Palmberger holds a PhD from the University of Oxford (2011), for which she conducted long-term fieldwork in Bosnia and Herzegovina. Presently she is a senior research fellow and lecturer at the Department of Social and Cultural Anthropology at the University of Vienna, Austria, and an associated research fellow at the Interculturalism, Migration and Minorities Research Centre at the University of Leuven, Belgium. Her research focuses on ageing and care, (forced) migration, memory and generation as well as on digital ethnography.
Monika Palmberger is co-founder of the Digital Ethnography Initiative and co-speaker of the “Working Group Migration and Memory” of the Memory Studies Association. Between 2017 and 2020 she was co-speaker of the “Age and Generations Network” of the European Associations of Social Anthropologists. She is author of the book How Generations Remember: Conflicting Histories and Shared Memories in Post-War Bosnia and Herzegovina (2016) and coeditor of the books Care across Distance: Ethnographic Explorations of Aging and Migration (2018) and Memories on the Move: Experiencing Mobility, Rethinking the Past (2016).
Barbara Pieta is a PhD candidate at Max Planck Institute for Social Anthropology in Halle, Germany. During her ethnographic fieldwork in a town in Northeast Italy, she explored how people who live with dementia and their family members seek to maintain fragile balance between autonomy and care. The main goal of this doctoral project has been to examine how public health policies affect (or not) local narratives and practices of care, and how emic debates about (inter)dependence shape the politics of ethnographic representation in the context of dementia.
Expanding on these fieldwork experiences, Barbara, together with Cristina Douglas, Maria Vesperi and Matthew Lariviere is currently working on the project and a publication, which aims to provide a collective response to ethical challenges that ethnographers encounter in their work with older adults living with cognitively impairing conditions. In 2021, Barbara also coordinated the inaugural edition of the Aging and Visual Anthropology (AVA) Award. From 2020 to 2022, together with Matthew Lariviere (University of Bristol), she was a convenor of the EASA’s Age and Generations Network AGENET).
Carrie Ryan is a Lecturer in Biosocial Medical Anthropology at University College London. Her research focuses on the intersection of ageing, care, and play. She is currently working on a project titled ‘Ageing Playfully.’
Victoria Kumala Sakti
Victoria Kumala Sakti is an anthropologist and postdoctoral research fellow at the Max Planck Research Group ‘Ageing in a Time of Mobility’, hosted by the Max Planck Institute for the Study of Religious and Ethnic Diversity, Germany. She obtained her PhD in Social and Cultural Anthropology at the Freie Universität Berlin, Germany. Her research interests are at the intersections of ageing and forced migration in the global South; emotion, memory and violence; mental health and wellbeing, and translocal (im)mobilities.
Victoria’s current research project examines ageing experiences in displacement among older East Timorese people and in relation to kinship and social bonds in Indonesia and Timor-Leste, where she has conducted research since 2010.
Dora Sampaio (PhD Sussex) is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Human Geography and Spatial Planning, Utrecht University. Previously, she was a member of the Research Group ‘Ageing in a Time of Mobility’ at the Max Planck Institute for the Study of Religious and Ethnic Diversity. She has been researching the intersections of ageing and migration for over a decade. She is particularly interested in the challenges of care(ing) under stringent migration regimes, uneven access to transnational mobility over the life course, and inter and intra-generational relationships within and across borders.
Dora’s recent publications include ‘caring by silence’ (Journal of Intergenerational Relationships), which explores communication strategies among transnational families and how silence is enacted as care practice for ageing parents; and ‘languages of othering’ (Ageing & Society), which discusses transnational cultures of ageing and processes of othering in a context of return migration. She is developing a new research line on age(ing), urban displacement and socio-spatial inequalities. She has conducted research in Brazil, Portugal, the UK and the United States.
Marta Scaglioni is Postdoc Researcher at the University of Milan-Bicocca (Italy) and holds a PhD in Anthropology from the University of Bayreuth (Germany) in cotutelle with the University of Milan-Bicocca. Her PhD dissertation focused on the heritage of slavery in Tunisia, tackling issues of race and racism among Black slave descendants. She is currently working on phenomena of ageing among Egyptian migrants in Italy, with a geographical focus on the city of Milan. During the last two years, her research interests and ethnography shifted to gendered forms of care within the Egyptian diaspora at the time of COVID-19. She is inquiring the Gender Care Gap and the increase in the Care Burden among Egyptian women, through a cross-cultural analysis of ideas of care.
Ieva Stončikaitė (PhD, 2017) is an independent early career researcher in cultural / literary age studies. Ieva was a pre-doctoral researcher at the University of Fribourg (Switzerland) and TCAS (Trent University, Canada), and is a member of ENAS (European Network in Ageing Studies) and the research group Dedal-Lit of the University of Lleida (Spain), where she taught as an adjunct lecturer at the Department of English and Linguistics. She has presented her research in international conferences and scholarly journals, such as The Gerontologist, Journal of Aging Studies, Journal of Tourism and Cultural Change and Life Writing. She is also a Chief Guest Editor for a Special Issue ‘Ageing as a Unique Experience: Interdisciplinary Approaches to Ageing and Later Life from Social and Humanities Perspectives’ of Societies, an international open access journal of sociology, published quarterly online by MDPI (open submissions till 31/12/2021).
Ieva is interested in interdisciplinary age studies with a special focus on later-life creativity, cultural / literary gerontology, social dancing, senior leisure tourism, ageism, and arts-based research on ageing. Additionally, Ieva is a founder of an NGO InterAGE that focuses on intergenerational dialogue, ageing and social inclusion.
Swetlana Torno is an anthropologist and a postdoctoral research fellow at the Max Planck Institute for the Study of Religious and Ethnic Diversity (MPI-MMG), where she is a member of the Research Group ‘Ageing in a Time of Mobility’. She obtained her doctoral degree in Social Anthropology from Heidelberg University having previously studied Anthropology, Geography and Biology at the Universities of Tübingen, Germany and McGill, Canada. Before joining the MPI-MMG, she was associated member of the Heidelberg Centre for Transcultural Studies (HCTS) and held a doctoral scholarship at the Cluster of Excellence ‘Asia and Europe in Global Context’, both at Heidelberg University. Swetlana’s research focuses on ageing, mobility, intergenerational relations, care, and gender in Central Asia, where she has extensive ethnographic fieldwork experience.
Swetlana’s publications include Family Matters: The Making and Remaking of Family during Conflict Periods in Central Asia (with Sophie Roche and Said Reza Kazemi), and How Relations Make Persons: Rituals Accompanying Childbirth and Socialization of Infants in Kyrgyzstan. She is currently working on various dissertation-related publications, among them her book manuscript Aspirations, Obligations, Linked Lives: Care and Women’s Life Courses in Tajikistan. Within the scope of her postdoctoral project, she investigates the relational mobility of elderly people from Tajikistan in the context of mass labor migration.
Peter van Eeuwijk
Peter van Eeuwijk is a social anthropologist (BA, MA and PhD, University Basel; Privatdozent/PD Dr. Habil., University Zurich) and historian (BA, MA, University Basel). He holds a postgraduate degree in development policy studies (MA; Federal Technical University/ETH Zurich). After post-doctoral studies in Australia, the Netherlands and Indonesia, he works as senior lecturer, senior researcher and project leader at the University Basel (Institute of Social Anthropology; Swiss Tropical and Public Health Institute), University Zurich (Department of Social and Cultural Anthropology) and Albert-Ludwigs-University Freiburg i.Br. (Department of Social Anthropology).
Beside Medical Anthropology and Epidemiology/Public Health his scientific fields involve anthropology of aging, urban anthropology, engaged anthropology, political ecology, sustainable development, science and technology studies (STS) of biomedicine, qualitative/mixed methods, and health social sciences particularly in Southeast Asia, East/West Africa and Melanesia. Since 2000, he conducts extensive research on aging, health and care (incl. old-age vulnerability and resilience) in urban and rural Indonesia and Tanzania. Other research fields are neglected tropical diseases, non-communicable illnesses and zoonotic diseases in Southeast Asia and Sub-Sahara Africa. He is faculty member of the Swiss School of Public Health (SSPH+). He acted as vice-chair of ‘Medical Anthropology Network’ EASA and is board member of ‘Medical Anthropology Switzerland/MAS’.
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Christine Verbruggen is a historian (2005) and social and cultural anthropologist (2018), born, raised, and residing in Belgium. Her master’s thesis research on dwelling as world-building with dementia in a nursing home as ‘milieu’ (2018), explored the potential of new materialist and post-phenomenological methodologies and epistemologies, to disrupt the boundedness of the ‘person with dementia’ as a unit of care, policy, and research. She continues fundamental research on the second nature of dementia and personhood in her PhD research with people with the diagnosis of dementia in a daycare center in Flanders (KU Leuven, 2019-2024). Here, she ethnographically follows – and co-creates – the inclusive trajectories people with dementia generate as they move through different spheres of belonging. Exploring the ‘uncanny’ as a possible sphere for encounters in difference, she pays particular attention to the affectivity and intra-activity of processes of (dis)integration and transformation. She is also interested in discursive formations of old age identities, the ethics of research with ‘vulnerable’ populations, health assemblages, anthropologies of care, and post-critical theory.
As a member of the editorial team of the Journal of Anthropology and Aging (AAGE), Christine gladly promotes interesting new work in the field of anthropology of aging and the life course.
Ľubica Voľanská is a senior research fellow at the Institute of Ethnology and Social Anthropology of the Slovak Academy of Sciences in Bratislava. Her main area of interest comprises ethnological/anthropological research within historical anthropology, intangible cultural heritage, intergenerational relations, family memory, kinship and family, old age, and (auto) biographical research. She focus mainly on the connection between the “big” history and the lives of individuals in the context of the social structures they are a part of.
Ľubica’s current projects are related to social networks of senior citizens in the urban environments, ageing in place, design for all ages and intergenerational relationships in the times of the Covid 19 pandemic. She authored the book „V HLAVE TRIDSAŤ, V KRÍŽOCH STO.” Starnutie v autobiografiách v Bratislave a Viedni. [„OLD BODIES, YOUNG MINDS“. Ageing in Autobiographies from Bratislava and Vienna.], 2016. The work focuses on old age and ageing in autobiographical texts and other ego-documents in both cities.
Anita von Poser
Anita von Poser is Professor of Psychological Anthropology with a focus on ‘Migration, Psyche, and Aging’ at the Institute of Social and Cultural Anthropology, FU Berlin. She is also PI within the Berlin-based Collaborative Research Center Affective Societies: Dynamics of Social Coexistence in Mobile Worlds. Anita holds a DPhil in Anthropology from the University of Heidelberg. Before joining FU Berlin, she was MaxNetAging postdoctoral fellow at the MPIs for Demographic Research/Rostock and Social Anthropology/Halle. Anita specializes in the anthropology of empathy, emotions, and affects, care, aging, and diversity, migration and im/mobility, as well as foodways. She has conducted long-term research both in Oceania and diasporic life-worlds between Berlin and Vietnam. Furthermore, she has experience in engaged and interdisciplinary collaborations with colleagues from the psy-disciplines.
Anita is the author of Foodways and Empathy: Relatedness in a Ramu River Society, Papua New Guinea (2013, Berghahn Books), and she has (co-)published several chapters and journal articles, e.g., Care as Process: A Life-course Perspective on the Remaking of Ethics and Values of Care in Daiden, Papua New Guinea (2017, Ethics and Social Welfare) or The Power of Shared Embodiment: Renegotiating Non/belonging and In/exclusion in an Ephemeral Community of Care (2020, Culture, Medicine, and Psychiatry).