As global leaders in aging studies, six members of the Trent Centre for Aging & Society (TCAS) travelled to Graz, Austria in April for “Aging Graz 2017,” the first joint conference of the European Network in Aging Studies (ENAS) and North American Network in Aging Studies’ (NANAS).
“It was the largest gathering yet of its kind and I found the experience to be an exhilarating combination of scholarship and conviviality. Trent University was very well represented and key to both,” said Dr. Sally Chivers, an English Literature faculty member, member of the TCAS and attendee at the conference.
Melissa Baldwin, M.A. candidate in Canadian Studies and Indigenous Studies, and Dr. May Chazan, Canada research chair in Gender and Feminist Studies, hosted a panel based on their upcoming book on aging activism. The panel also featured poetry by Anishinaabe writer, scholar, and recent Trent graduate, Waaseyaa'sin Christine Sy.
Dr. Barbara Marshall, professor of Sociology, presented on Queering Aging Futures, and on the ways digital self-tracking devices like fitbits bring 24/7 monitoring of the body home, stressing the pressure on aging individuals to constantly monitor their health in the interest of mitigating future risk.
Professor Chivers showcased her forthcoming book Care Home Stories, and presented on the movie “The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel,” part of a book-in-progress edited by Dr. Stephen Katz, professor of Sociology, on “Ageing and Everyday Life.”
Professor Katz’s ongoing critical age studies work was fundamental to the conference, very often quoted as the motivation scholars had found to join age studies, to take new directions with their research, or to think differently about later life. In addition to presenting papers on cultural gerontology and music tied to memory, Prof. Katz was part of a plenary panel discussion that challenged the way we have all been thinking about age studies, how it came to be, and where it needs to go next.