Books

Book review: Reimagining Global Health

Reimagining Global Health: An Introduction

Edited by Paul Farmer, Jim Yong Kim, Arthur Kleinman, Matthew Basilico

University of California Press, 2013, 478 pages

 

This textbook was written for an undergraduate course on global health at Harvard University, compulsory for those enrolled at Harvard Medical School. It aims to introduce ethical, social, economic, and political theories and …

Web Roundups

Web Roundup: Ebola

When I teach Medical Anthropology, we talk about globalization and infectious disease, with a focus on the increasing speed of global travel. Typically, I discuss a hypothetical epidemic that could accompany a traveller from a distant continent to the local airport. This year, a hypothetical epidemic will not be necessary. Instead, we have the rapid spread of Ebola, poised to …

Features

The Recent History of “Contagious Shooting” (1982-2006) and more recent events in Ferguson, Missouri

A version of this post first appeared on Stephen T. Casper’s blog, The Neuro Times.

In the decade since the “Decade of the Brain,” the neurosciences have acquired a spectacular cache in the humanities and social sciences. One need look no further than the work of Nikolas Rose and Joelle M. Abi-Rached, scholars who argue in their striking volume …

Books

Descombes’ The Institutions of Meaning

The Institutions of Meaning: A Defense of Anthropological Holism

by Vincent Descombes

translated by Stephen Adam Schwartz. Harvard University Press, 2014. 392 pp.

 

How is what is “in” our minds, as thought, also something that we share, communicate, and can understand? This question, however posed, must be fundamental for any anthropological approach to mental life. In the course of …

Books

Julie Livingston’s Improvising Medicine

Improvising Medicine: An African Oncology Ward in an Emerging Cancer Epidemic

by Julie Livingston

Duke University Press, 2012

 

Julie Livingston’s Improvising Medicine is a lucid, poignant, and devastating book about the stakes of a growing cancer epidemic in sub-Saharan Africa that is trailing the HIV/AIDS epidemic. This ethnography takes place mainly on the recently established oncology ward of Princess …

In the Journals

In the Journals (August 2014)

Welcome to the August 2014 edition of In the Journals, just in time to kick off the transition from summer back to the start of the academic year. Without further ado…

 

American Ethnologist 

Infrastructure and interpretation: meters, dams, and state imagination in Scotland and India

Leo Coleman

The technical infrastructures of modern life—energy, communications, transport—stand at the juncture …

Features

Pesticides and global health: ‘ambivalent objects’ in anthropological perspective

Pesticides: can’t live with them, can’t live without them

In Sri Lanka, producers of the illicit liquor kasippu sometimes suspend a bottle of pesticide above the vat during the fermentation process. It is believed the kasippu will absorb the potency of the pesticide and add to its strength, increasing drinkers’ intoxication and pleasure. But there is also a danger the …