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Strasbourg researcher awarded ECR Advanced Grant

Publication date: 17/05/16


Christian Bonah, professor, member of the Laboratory Societies, Actors, Governments in Europe (Sage) and of the Strasbourg Federation of Translational Medicine was awarded an ERC Advanced Grant in late March 2016.
It is the first grant of this type to be awarded to a project in the field of Social Sciences and Humanities at the University of Strasbourg. This funding of about €2.5 M over 5 years will allow this outstanding researcher to conduct an innovative project combining History of Medicine and Film Studies. This project entitled “Body Capital” seeks to better understand changes and continuities in the history of health intertwined with the history of media. “In general, historians rarely base their work on films. Yet the 20th century is often considered as the century of visual and mass communication. We have witnessed a real technological revolution that brought visuals into homes through television and the internet”, Christian Bonah explains. The innovative aspect of his work is the use of audiovisual elements as a source of information to understand how they shaped our health related self-understandings and practices. "Using news sources will generate a new point of view and might bring new information at the same time", he adds. The project focuses on four fields of investigation: food and nutrition; movement, exercise, sports; sexuality, reproduction, infants and dependency, addiction, overconsumption. “We chose to investigate the questions from the perspective of life phenomena instead of public health campaigns”, Christian Bonah continues. The project will explore and explain how and why understandings of body capital differ or overlap in various European countries (France, Germany and Great-Britain). “We must take into account the fact that we moved from a “political” society of nation-states to a market society throughout the past century; it certainly had an impact on media production and on body perception”, the scientist explains. The pioneering project will be conducted by a group of international researchers. Ten to twelve researchers could be hired at doctorate and post-doc level or intermittently to bring their expertise, transversal skills and vision. “From the start, this project was designed collaboratively with a German colleague from Berlin’s Max Planck Institute”, Christian Bonah concludes.


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