Features

Disability as Diversity: A New Biopolitics

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We’re a medical anthropologist and a literary critic, and while our research interests seemingly have little overlap, we found ourselves engaged in a series of conversations about how the language of diversity shapes representations of disability and reproductive politics, and how this representation stems from the biopolitical management of life in the twenty-first century. In the short essay that follows, …

Books

Book Forum–Jeanne Favret-Saada’s The Anti-Witch

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The Anti-Witch cover

 

In The Anti-Witch, Jeanne Favret-Saada revisits fieldwork she first described in her classic Deadly Words: Witchcraft in the Bocage in a more reflective mode and conceptually ambitious mode. Made available as an open-access monograph by HAU Books, this translation introduces English-language readers to Favret-Saada’s encounters with the “dewitcher” Madame Flora and outlines the foundations for an anthropology

Features

After the End of Disease: Rethinking the Epidemic Narrative

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In conversations with people living with polio in Hungary, I often encountered members of the tight-knit community referring to themselves as “dinosaurs”. We are a breed that is about to die out, they said. Nobody gets polio anymore, some added, and they were right – epidemics, even sporadic wild polio cases disappeared from the country in the 1960s. Their words …

Features

Creative Collaborations: The Making of “Lissa (Still Time):  a graphic medical ethnography of friendship, loss, and revolution”

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Is there a widely accessible yet conceptually rigorous way to convey anthropological insights into the lived complexities and bioethical dilemmas that attend managing chronic illness in two vastly different contexts: the contemporary Arab world, and the United States? As it turns out, there is: comics. At the time we began to explore this question, we had both been excited by …

Features

Manufacturing neglect: What happens to drugs once the epidemic has passed?

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We like to think that drugs help put an end to disease, although in the aggregate this is seldom the case. However many individual infections and infestations might have been cured by timely doses of antibiotics, antifungals, antiparasitics, or antivirals, very few diseases have been eradicated because of biomedical therapeutics. Yaws, a chronic treponemal disease now limited to 14 countries …

Features

Autism Spectrum Disorders in Global, Local and Personal Perspective: a conference report

Last September, a group of scholars gathered at the State University of Rio de Janeiro for “Autism Spectrum Disorders in Global, Local and Personal Perspective: A Cross-Cultural Workshop”. The event was organized by Clarice Rios, a postdoctoral fellow at the State University of Rio de Janeiro, and Elizabeth Fein, a professor of psychology at Duquesne University, and funded by the …