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Routes to wellbeing: Inviting novel (re-)imaginings of therapeutic mobilities

Cornelia Guell (University of Exeter Medical School)
Tessa Pollard (Durham University)
Sarah Bell (University of Exeter)
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Short abstract:

Geography and anthropology increasingly recognise the role of human and more-than-human mobile entities in coproducing everyday environments of health. In this session, we will explore how cross-disciplinary dialogue can encourage transformative approaches to the study of therapeutic mobilities.

Long abstract:

Geographies and anthropologies of health and illness are increasingly sharing valuable theoretical insights, methods and analytical lenses to understand how people's endeavours to "live well" are shaped by the dynamic places through which daily mobilities are enacted, adapted or resisted. Cross-disciplinary dialogues are encouraging novel (re-)imaginings of the concepts of "therapeutic landscapes" and "therapeutic mobilities", integrating important conceptual insights from, for example, actor-network theory, social practice theories and biopolitics, which place varied emphasis on self-hood, bodies, objects, places and structures. One line of enquiry has been a growing interest in the role of more-than-human entities in coproducing the everyday environments in which we all live and move. These range, for example, from the bicycle lanes or parts that speed up our active bodies, the calls of resident birdlife that inspire us to pause and slow down our daily commute, to global systems and trade agreements that designate local healthy foods in the Global South for export markets, exchanged for processed, low quality brands from the Global North. We invite papers that bring geography and anthropology into productive conversation to explore how the mobility of ideas, norms, objects, people and other living entities support the performance and growth of "therapeutic mobilities". How do such flows promote opportunities to experience a sense of health and wellbeing for some, while perhaps foreclosing such opportunities for others? We welcome both traditional papers and creative - e.g. visual or spatial - approaches that encourage more transformative perspectives to the study of therapeutic mobilities.

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