Under the title “The Political Stakes of Cancer: New Contexts, New Subjectivities”, an early career workshop was held at King’s College London on 7-8 June 2022. The participants – 17 early career researchers and 7 established scholars – spent the two days investigating cancer in various social, political and geographical formations, rethinking how, and in what contexts, we study cancer. The workshop generated a global conversation on the stakes, forms, milieus and imaginaries within which cancer appears, lives and operates.
Participants were drawn from across the globe, researching in more than 24 countries, including Brazil, Russia, South Africa, Haiti, China and the United States. The papers explored topics ranging from swampy infrastructures in Russia, temporalities of watchful waiting in Haiti, masculinities and prostate cancer in Tanzania, Qigong and cancer care in China, pain, morphine and cancer treatment in South Asia, indigenous metaphors for cancer care in South Africa and many more. As discussants, the workshop brought together some of the most experienced scholars currently working in the field: Noemi Tousignant, Cecilia Van Hollen, Kirsten Bell, Marissa Mika, David Reubi and Carlo Caduff. Ruth Prince was the keynote speaker. Together, they examined the stakes of cancer research on a dedicated panel. In addition to the papers and discussions, the workshop also led to the creation of a network on cancer research, which will facilitate continued engagement on the themes of the workshop, and create a growing community exploring the political stakes of cancer.
The workshop was organised by Shagufta Bhangu, Thandeka Cochrane and Fabien Provost, postdoctoral scholars at the Department of Global Health and Social Medicine at King’s College London and was financially supported by the Social Science & Public Policy Faculty Research Fund, the GHSM Impact Fund and the Culture, Medicine & Power research group.