Social Studies of Medicine Writing and Publishing Workshop in Asia

Posted on June 27, 2023

Social Studies of Medicine Writing and Publishing Workshop in Asia

Call for Participation –deadline July 31, 2023

Writing and Publishing Workshop on the Social Studies of Medicine in Asia – to be held at the University of Chicago Francis and Rose Yuen Campus in Hong Kong on January 18-20, 2024

The key aim of this in-person workshop is to build the writing and publishing capacity of early-career scholars (ECS) based at institutions in Asia who are working in the fields of social studies of medicine (particularly medical anthropology, medical sociology, medical history and STS) and are interested in publishing in English-language journals. This workshop is led by a transnational team of mid-career scholars and editors as well as senior scholars. They include three UChicago scholars representing different approaches to the social studies of medicine: Zhiying Ma (social work, editorial board member of EASTS), Eugene Raikhel (medical anthropology, founding editor of Somatosphere and editorial board member of Transcultural Psychiatryand The Social History of Alcohol and Drugs), and Michele Friedner (medical anthropology and disability studies, editorial board member of Medical Anthropology). The team also includes Junko Kitanaka from Keio University, Tokyo (medical anthropology, editorial board member of Medical Anthropology Quarterly, Medical Anthropology, Transcultural Psychiatry, and BioSocieties), Wen-Hua Kuo from National Yang Ming Chaio Tung University in Taiwan (STS, former Editor in Chief of EASTS and coming Associate Editor of SSS), Clara Han from Johns Hopkins University (medical anthropology, editor of the Fordham University Press book series Thinking from Elsewhere, editorial board member of Mana: Estudos de Antropologia Social and Korean Anthropology Review), Claire Edington from UC San Diego (medical history), and Nikolas Rose from the Australian National University and University College London (Editor in Chief of BioSocieties, remote participation).

The specifics of the workshop will take shape in response to the papers that the ECSs bring to the table. The participating editors will draw on their diverse expertise in order to suggest appropriate social science and biomedical journals to early-career scholars and give multi-stage guidance for how to pursue publishing in them. Selected participants will be provided with full or partial airfare support to Hong Kong, accommodation as well as lunch and dinner during the 3-day workshop.

We plan a highly interactive 3-Day Workshop. The first half day will consist of flash introductions of every participant and an information session, where the editors will highlight key aspects of the submission and general review process for journals. The second full day will consist of small-group intensive feedback sessions on works in progress. Each ECS will briefly present the paper’s main arguments and ideas of potential journal for submission. A designated editor then provides constructive and focused feedback on the paper-in-progress. Other ECS’s can also provide feedback, in which they are encouraged to take a perspective as if they were peer reviewers. The workshop will close in the third half-day by strategizing the next steps of actual submission and reflecting on the experience as a group.

Participants should fill out the google form below (with a CV and an 800-1000 word abstract for the article that they plan to develop in the workshop as attachments). The deadline is July 31, 2023:

If you have any questions, please email Junko Kitanaka ( and Zhiying Ma (

Acceptance decisions will be made by the workshop organizers. We are looking for ECS, who are Ph.D. candidates or junior scholars within five years of getting their doctorates (for those who have gone over the five-year limit due to challenging circumstances such as parenting, caregiving and illnesses, please send an explanation). We will be selecting about 10 scholars from within Asia and a few from North America and Europe. Decisions will be based primarily on the strength of the abstracts submitted, with some consideration of topical, institutional, and geographical balance and of who would benefit most from participation in the workshop. Participants will submit a full draft of their papers by November 30, 2023


The interdisciplinary field of social studies of medicine, which can include medical anthropology, medical sociology, medical history as well as STS (science and technology studies), is becoming increasingly globalized, and Asia has emerged as one of the hubs for research and writing in this genre. This is a welcome transformation, reflected in a range of research collaborations and the establishment of specialized journals such as the journal East Asian Science and Technology Studies (EASTS). Social scientific perspectives are increasingly sought after in medical education in Asia; for instance, medical anthropology and sociology have become part of the mandated curriculum in medical schools in Japan.

However, there still remain barriers for many non-native speakers of English in Asia when trying to publish their research in international journals. While research communities in North America, Europe and elsewhere often show interest and do try to reach out to engage with scholars in Asia and vice versa, the channels for communication remain highly limited. At the same time, communication among Asian researchers working in different countries within Asia is also limited. Despite the growing number of fields within Asia and despite the rise of internet communication which has radically transformed the landscape of intellectual communication, the flow of communication and knowledge remains rather unidirectional, with knowledge still being disseminated from the intellectual power centers in North America and Europe, while knowledge output from Asia remains fragmented. There is thus tremendous potential to decolonize knowledge production in these fields and to help cultivate mutual dialogues and partnerships among scholars of different regions. This is particularly the case with young scholars who are trying to build a career in the rapidly transforming field of social studies of medicine.

To overcome these barriers, de-parochialize North American and European knowledge, and help local young scholars cultivate their careers and promote their work at the global level, we propose to conduct a writing workshop led by a team of mid-career scholars and editors in the fields of social studies of medicine to be held at the University of Chicago Francis and Rose Yuen Campus in Hong Kong, specifically for early-career scholars (ECS’s) based at institutions in Asia, and a smaller number of ECS’s based at institutions in the United States who are committed to internationalizing the field. This workshop will be a transformative opportunity both for the early-career scholars participating, and for the publication venues.

The workshop is funded by the University of Chicago Provost’s Global Faculty Awards as well as the Japanese government’s Kakenhi grant no. JP21H05174.

It is co-sponsored by the Global Social Medicine network.

We’d also like to thank Prof. Anne Pollock, the Chair of the Department of Global Health and Social Medicine at King’s College London, for the inspiration and the original proposal for a writing workshop for young scholars.