Call for Papers for a Special Issue in the Journal of Aging Studies

Topic of the Special Issue: The Growing Older of Humans, Non-Humans, and More-than-Humans

This special issue is aimed at broadening the study of aging by addressing three main points. First, aging is almost exclusively associated with humans. Human aging is heavily stereotyped as physical and cognitive decline and technologies are portrayed as salvific because enabling people to intervene and pursue countering and reversing aging. Such a view echoes in policy discourses promoting “active and healthy aging” or “aging in place”, especially in the Global North. Second, human beings become older with multiple others, like objects, technologies, animals, plants, digital data, etc. Not only non-humans accompany human aging; they actively contribute to physical and emotional assistance and support, like in the case of care-robots or therapy pets. Third, humans and more-than-humans become-older-together with infrastructures they intra-act with. Technologies become old(-fashioned) and obsolete, buildings and infrastructures get old too and disclose their material vulnerability and need for maintenance and repair (ie. care). Non-humans can also die; some literally, like companion animals, who are often mourned by their humans; some figuratively, like technological artefacts, which turn into waste potentially dangerous when becoming obsolete and accumulating in the environment without decomposing.

This special issue aims to broaden current perspectives on aging by engaging with these three aspects. In particular, the purpose is (1) questioning the notion of aging as a purely human matter, (2) framing aging in an assemblage with non-human and more-than-human beings, (3) exploring how the concept of aging can be applied to non-/more-than-humans.

We invite theoretical, empirical, or methodological papers that can contribute to the development of a cutting-edge interdisciplinary framework on aging to cope with the urgency of our present times to integrally redefine human-non humans-more than humans relationships.

Guest editors:

Dr. Michela Cozza, PhD
Mälardalen University, Västerås, Sweden
(Keywords: Ageing, Posthumanism, Postqualitative inquiry, Qualitative methods, Science and Technology Studies)

Dr. Anna Wanka, PhD
Goethe University Frankfurt / Main, Germany
(Keywords: un/doing age, material gerontology, practice theories, social inequalities, mixed-/multi-methods research)

Manuscript submission information:

The Journal of Aging Studies’s submission system will be open for submissions to our Special Issue from 15 March 2023. When submitting your manuscript please select the article type “VSI: Aging together-with”. Please submit your manuscript before 15 December 2023.

All submissions deemed suitable to be sent for peer review will be reviewed by at least two independent reviewers. Once your manuscript is accepted, it will go into production, and will be simultaneously published in the current regular issue and pulled into the online Special Issue. Articles from this Special Issue will appear in different regular issues of the journal, though they will be clearly marked and branded as Special Issue articles.

Please ensure you read the Guide for Authors before writing your manuscript. The Guide for Authors and link to submit your manuscript is available on the Journal’s homepage.

Inquiries, including questions about appropriate topics, may be sent electronically to Dr. Michela Cozza


Assemblage; Body, Things, Space; Care, Caring; Human, Non-human, More-than-human; Matter, Materiality