Graz 2017


Cultural Narratives, Processes and Strategies in Representations of Age and Aging

3rd ENAS Conference

1st Joint ENAS & NANAS Conference

9th International Symposium on Cultural Gerontology

University of Graz / Austria, April 27-30, 2017


Conveners: Josephine Dolan, Ricca Edmondson, Abigail Gardner, Ros Jennings, Ulla Kriebernegg, Roberta Maierhofer, Kate de Medeiros, Barbara Ratzenböck, Aagje Swinnen, Oana Ursulesku


The AgingGraz2017 conference, held between April 27th and April 30th 2017, was organized jointly by the European Network in Aging Studies and the North American Network in Aging Studies, at the University of Graz and the Medical University of Graz, Austria. This was the 3rd ENAS Conference, the 1st Joint ENAS & NANAS Conference, and the 9th International Symposium on Cultural Gerontology, as well as one of the biggest academic events in the field of Aging Studies since its beginnings in academia in the 1990s.


The conference language was English, and there were more than 300 participants from six continents: academics and researchers from over 120 universities, artists, independent researchers, and students, who looked at the emerging fields of Aging Studies and Cultural Gerontology from the aspects of different academic disciplines – anthropology, economics, history, language and literature, media studies, medicine, philosophy, politics, psychology, theology, sociology, and many more.


The conference was organized within the research project "Cultural Narratives, Processes and Strategies in Urban and Regional Representations of Age and Aging" a 3-year project funded by the Austrian National Bank (Anniversary Fund, project number: 15849). Furthermore, the sponsors and collaborators were: the Government of Styria, the Aging+Communication+Technologies Project (Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada, project number: 895-2013-1018), the Women, Ageing, Media Research Group (University of Gloucestershire, and the SIforAge Project.


The conference program was organized into four days of panel presentations (the total number of panels was 55), three keynote speeches, and one panel discussion. All the panels provoked lively discussions and aroused new possibilities of both collaboration and publication, although the panels were purposefully assembled in such a way as to reflect the need for interdisciplinarity and dialogue, which means that some of the panels contained presentations from very different disciplines and scientific approaches.


ENAS Keynote Lecture – David J. Ekerdt, University of Kansas: Aging in a World of Things (Thursday, April 27th, 9.30)


NANAS Keynote Lecture – Jane Gallop, University of Wisconsin – Milwaukee: The Phallus and its Temporalities: Sexuality, Disability and Aging (Friday, April 28th, 11.00)

ACT Keynote Lecture – Margaret Morganroth Gullette, Brandeis University: Ageism: The Attacks, the Hurt, The Opposition (Saturday, April 29th, 11.00)


Prof. Gullette's Declaration of Grievances:



Plenary Panel Discussion – Lives and Ideas: Reflecting Voices from Age/ing Studies (Thomas R. Cole, University of Texas; Roberta Maierhofer, University of Graz; Stephen Katz, Trent University), with a moderation by Barbara Ratzenböck (Friday, April 28th, 15.30)


Throughout the conference, participants could also see the works of artist Alex Rotas, based in the UK, at an exhibition entitled "Documenting the active aging body: from elite athletes to the less mobile." The photographs of athletes aged between 60 and 100, who still actively participate in national and international contests, in the sport disciplines they love, were exhibited in the foyer of the venue.


The AgingGraz2017 conference brought together the most prominent, as well as emerging scholars in the field of Aging Studies. One of the greatest outcomes of this event is the establishing of contacts between the various national and/or continental schools of thought in this field: through the collaboration for this event of the European Network of Aging Studies and the North American Network in Aging Studies, an agreement was reached to hold biannual conferences in the field of Aging Studies alternating between North America and Europe.

Conference Contact: