VITAL - The Vitality of Disease. Quality of Life in the Making

PI Professor MSO Ayo Wahlberg

VITAL is a five-year (2015-2020) project funded by the European Research Council. It comprises four complementary ethnographic studies each of which zeroes in on specific situations where the improvement of morbid living is at stake. The goal of the project is to generate insights into how ‘quality of life’ is assembled, mobilised, negotiated and practiced. An important component of the VITAL project is also to develop a form of ‘assemblage ethnography’ that will allow us to follow ‘quality of life’ around as it circulates in media, policy, doctor’s consultations, patient training sessions, clinical trials, patient associations and homes. 



Ayo Wahlberg. PI

Professor, MSO - Department of Anthropology, University of Copenhagen


Ayo Wahlberg focus on the different ways herbal medicine (in Vietnam and the UK) and reproductive medicine (in China and Denmark) have been mobilized, normalized and routinized.



Anna Mann

PostDoc - Department of Anthropology, University of Copenhagen


Anna Mann focus on the “Living with” project. Anna’s work is situated at the intersection of science and technology studies and anthropology. She investigates how ‘the good’ is created through ethnographic case studies that are set in Western Europe.



Jieun Lee

Postdoc - Department of Anthropology, University of Copenhagen


Jieun Lee focus on the relation between technoscientific knowledge production, ordinary practices and affects in and outside of labs, and changing conceptions of body, time, and life in contemporary South Korea


Natasja Kingod

Postdoc - Department of Anthropology, University of Copenhagen


Natasja Kingod focus on how mPatients approach online-offline peer support in daily life with chronic illness with particular attention to illness-associated communities on the social media platform Facebook. She investigates the entanglement of and boundaries to the online-offline realm, processes and practices of knowing and doing, as well as patient activism and hacktivism.  


Laura Louise Heinsen

Research Assistant - Department of Anthropology, University of Copenhagen



Stay CONNECTed; Digital technologies and rehabilitation in Danish dementia care

(2018 -2020, Velux Foundation)

PI Associate Professor, Nete Schwennesen


The aim of this project is to investigate the digitalization of dementia care. It takes its point of departure in new digital technologies, such as GPS trackers, sensor technologies, communication technologies and affective technologies, and explores the socio-material processes through which bodies with dementia, health professionals, algorithms and digital devices are assembled together, and come to mediate new forms of care and ‘repertories’ of being human.


Nete Schwennesen. PI

Associate Professor - Department of Anthropology, University of Copenhagen


Schwennesen investigates the design and use of digital technologies for elderly citizens in need of care in the Danish Welfare State. She is interested in the gap between the techno-scientific imaginaries that drives the current ‘push’ towards digitalization of elderly care, and the socio-material processes through which care is reconfigured and new  forms of ageing citizenship  is produced

Department of Anthropology, VITAL - Ă˜ster Farimagsgade 5 - 1353 - Copenhagen K - +45 35334347 -