Workshop 16-17 September

Virtuous Suffering: New perspectives on the Ethics of Suffering for Critical Global Health and Justice

  • Venue: Leiden University, Kamerlingh Onnes Gebouw, room B016

Preliminary Programme

Monday 16 September 2019

11.30 Registration

12.00 Opening

12.30 Keynote Jeffrey Flynn: What’s Wrong With Alleviating Suffering?

14.30-15.30 Panel 1 Negotiating suffering (chair: Victoria Nyst)

  • “We always suffer from hunger and nakedness” Disability, social suffering, and international development in Kenya, 1940s-1980s (Sam De Schutter, Leiden University)
  • Ambiguities of suffering and coping in Uganda, 1980s-90s (Yolana Pringle, University of Roehampton)

16.00-17.30 Panel 2 Marginal suffering (chair: Monika Baar )

  • Adapting to suffering: the art and struggle of surviving everyday life with a disability in a ‘participation society’ (Ivonne Hoen, University for Humanistic Studies, Utrecht & Gustaaf Bos, VU University, Amsterdam)
  • Social justice and people with intellectual disabilities in contemporary Ukrainian society (Hanna Zaremba-Kosovych, The Ethnology Institute of National Academy of Sciences of Ukraine)
  • Pains from the Conflicting Views of Blindness: traditional cultural and scientific views of blindness versus the experiential views of the blind (Thomas Tajo, independent researcher)

18.30 Dinner with speakers, discussants and chairs

Tuesday 17 September 2019

10.00-11.00 Panel 3 Religious suffering (chair: David Kloos)
  • Faithful suffering and Christian humanitarianism in rural Zambia (James Wintrup, University of Oslo)
  • Waiting at the end of life: the narrative navigation of care and suffering in Aceh, Indonesia (Annemarie Samuels, Leiden University)
11.30-12.30 Panel 4 Narrating suffering (chair: Anna Derksen)
  • Appropriating Suffering: According Positive Value to the Suffering and the Consequent Realisation – A Case Study of Post-traumatic Growth of Individuals in Literature (Goutam Karmakar, Barabazar Bikram Tudu Memorial College)
  • Destroying and creating subjectivity through suffering and pain at the end of life with dementia (Natashe Lemos Dekker, University of Amsterdam)
14.00-15.30 Panel 5: Strategic Suffering (chair: Lidewyde Berckmoes)
  • Victimhood and the visibility of suffering in the aftermath of road accidents in Italy (Irene Moretti, Leiden University)
  • The Suffering of the Violent, Entitled, and Powerful: Using Suffering to Avoid Responsibility (Allysa Lake, Fordham University)
  • Suffering responsibility. Moral agency in court cases with disabled convicts (Paul van Trigt, Leiden University)
15.30-16.30 Drinks & bites + closing remarks


The workshop is initiated by Annemarie Samuels (Institute of Cultural Anthropology and Development Sociology) and Paul van Trigt (Institute for History) and hosted by the research team of the ERC project ‘Rethinking Disability: the Global Impact of the International Year of Disabled Persons (1981) in Historical Perspective’, based in the Institute for History at Leiden University.

If you want to visit a panel or keynote lecture (organized as lunch seminar), please send an email to

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