Studies of biomedicine (a subarea of science studies) has long been defined in terms of social studies of biomedicine (social studies of science). Over the years, some, but alas not many, scholars (including myself) have tried to infuse some awareness of the individual and personal dimensions of biomedicine.

Now, an interdisciplinary conference titled ‘Turning Personal’ at the University of Manchester, 16-17 September, promises to take the discussion a step forward by providing a forum for the discussion of how social research can incorporate more complex and multi-layered accounts of personal lives into academic writings and analyses:

It has been argued that we now have a sociology without real people and the same may be said of some sister disciplines and although there have always been threads of work which re-imagine the personal (eg biographical work) there is more to be done and said about capturing some of the more detailed aspects of personal lives, as well as theorising personal life more cogently.

Topics include (e.g.) emotions and emotional spaces, escape(s) from intimacy, relationships/ relationality/ connectedness, virtual lives and second lives, impersonal lives, writing / researching / theorising the personal. Keynote speakers include Carol Smart (Uni Manchester), who works on how people conduct their personal lives, Tia DeNora (Uni Exeter), who is interested in musical selves in musical spaces, and Ann Phoenix (Institute of Education, London). Send abstract submission (here) to  before 1 April.

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