Healing/ Coping/ Caring


  • Bettina Wahrig, Braunschweig University of Technology, Germany, b.wahrig[at]tu-braunschweig.de
  • Chia Longman, Ghent University, Belgium, Chia.Longman[at]UGent.be
  • Marianne Schmidbaur, Goethe University Frankfurt, Germany, schmidbaur[at]soz.uni-frankfurt.de
  • Barbara Orland, University of Basel, Switzerland, barbara.orland[at]unibas.ch

  • In 1970, the Boston women’s health collective published a book that was later republished under the now-famous title Our Bodies, Ourselves. This became a turning point in the women’s health movement. The book was noteworthy in that it covered such a range of health and sexuality issues, including sexual orientation, birth control, pregnancy, violence and abuse, menopause and ageing. Transnationally, it has been one of the most important books since the second wave feminist movement. It aimed at empowering and coping with constraints on different levels, not only within the public space of professional institutions but also within private spaces of self-help and mutual support.
    In the meantime, some of the issues the book raised have transformed mainstream discourses in health politics, such as global claims on reproductive rights and national and transnational guidelines for the inclusion of women in preclinical and clinical tests. However, gender inequality has remained a global and regional marker of difference/exclusion in the fields of health and care.
    Inadequate access to both physical and mental healthcare is still very much related to gender, race, class and other intersectionally connected categories of inequality.

    However, the political character of the feminist health movement has transformed gender itself. Feminist inquiries bring into focus Transgender Studies, Food Studies, Disability Studies, Biopolitics and other fields that relate to questions of caring, coping, healing and well-being within intersectional and transnational perspectives. Seemingly, technologies of reproduction are becoming commonplace in the Global North and are simultaneously creating megastructures of economic disparity.
    They are creating global networks of caring and reproducing, with striking similarities when compared to animal breeding.
    Care in its broad sense is also connected to gender, ethnic, geographical and racial disparities.

    We welcome papers that address concepts and practices of healing, coping and caring in a broad range of settings and contexts and invite scholars from a variety of disciplines, e.g.:
  • History,
  • Medicine
  • physical and mental Health Care,
  • Disability Studies,
  • Sociology,
  • Political Science,
  • Psychology,
  • Philosophy,
  • Education,
  • Literature,
  • Ethnology/Anthropology,
  • Media Studies,
  • Religion and Spirituality
  • to discuss their research in a lively feminist environment.


  • 1. Remembering/Representing/Signifying
  • 2. Destructing/Reconciling/Transforming
  • 3. Teaching/Learning/Facilitating
  • 4. Legislating/Politicising/Institutionalising
  • 5. Networking/Solidarising/Bridging
  • 6. Playing/Watching/Observing
  • 7. Embodying/Performing/Affecting
  • 8. Investigating/Analysing/Measuring
  • 9. Healing/Coping/Caring
  • 10. Believing/Moralising/Reasoning
  • 11. Working/Struggling/Organizing

  • Back to: Overview call for papers