In the Journals

In the Journals…April 2012

The Journal of the History of Medicine and Allied Sciences has a new issue out this month with four new articles and an essay review:

Transforming Sexuality: The Medical Sources of Karl Heinrich Ulrichs (1825–95) and the Origins of the Theory of Bisexuality
Ross Brooks

Revisiting Black Medical School Extinctions in the Flexner Era
Lynn E. Miller and Richard M. Weiss

The Tuskegee Syphilis Study and the Scientific Concept of Racial Nervous Resistance
Christopher Crenner

“Confinement of the Higher Orders”: The Social Role of Private Lunatic Asylums in Ireland, c. 1820–60
Alice Mauger

The Global History of Rabies and the Historian’s Gaze: An Essay Review
Philip M. Teigen

In the most recent issue of Medical Anthropology, Bernhard Hadolta, Viola Hörbstb, and Babette Müller-Rockstrohc introduce a series of articles on “biomedical artifacts and practices.” As they write in the opening of their introduction:

Biomedical practices and the artifacts associated with them take up a central position in knowledge production, in organizing institutional (research and clinical care) settings, and in the experiences of users—both professionals and patients (Burri and Dumit 2006). As biomedical practices and artifacts increasingly circulate on a global scale, the above holds true for biomedicine as it is carried out in different contexts (Lock and Nguyen 2010). In this process, neither biomedicine nor its new contexts remain the same: as they are applied in diverse localities, biomedical practices and artifacts shape their recipient societies, for example, by altering existing practices, bodies, identities, and institutional structures. At the same time, they are shaped by the cultural, political, economic, and sociocultural forces articulated in these localities. The extent to which biomedical practices and artifacts remain the same or become something different in the course of their “appropriation”—be it at home, in clinical care, public health interventions, or in policymaking (Silverstone, Hirsch, and Morley 1992; Kirejczyk 2000; Whyte et al. 2002; Oudshoorn and Pinch 2005; Granado et al. 2011)—is therefore an empirical question.

The five articles that follow take up this question through a variety of ethnographic lenses. Babette Müller-Rockstroh explores the implications of technology transfer as she examines the ways that ultrasound techniques are taken up in Tanzania. Alvaro E. Jarrin examines publicly funded plastic surgery in Brazil. Fouzieyha Towghi describes the entanglements of technology-in-practice as she focuses on the administration of prostaglandins in Pakistan. Tracing the transnational movements of assisted reproductive technologies and those who seek them out, Marcia C. Inhorn, Pankaj Shrivastav, and Pasquale Patrizio illuminate the cultural logics impelling this “fertility tourism.” And, in the final article, Hanna Kienzler looks at assemblages of psychiatric knowledge in postwar Kosova.

Currently, available open access, the journal Philosophy, Ethics, and Humanities in Medicine contains several articles discussing the upcoming DSM-5, the most recent version of the diagnostic manual. Of particular interest is the opening of a multi-part series of conversations (or “pluralogues,” as they are calling them) taking up questions involving: “1) the nature of a mental disorder; 2) the definition of mental disorder; 3) the issue of whether, in the current state of psychiatric science, DSM-5 should assume a cautious, conservative posture or an assertive, transformative posture; 4) the role of pragmatic considerations in the construction of DSM-5; 5) the issue of utility of the DSM – whether DSM-III and IV have been designed more for clinicians or researchers, and how this conflict should be dealt with in the new manual; and 6) the possibility and advisability, given all the problems with DSM-III and IV, of designing a different diagnostic system.” This first part focuses on the first two questions, regarding the nature and definition of “mental disorder,” from a range of perspectives. Peter Zachar and Kenneth S. Kendler; Shadia Kawa and James Giordano; and Sabina Alam, Jigisha Patel and James Giordano also have articles discussing the DSM-5. Additionally, there are articles by Jennifer H. Radden (on “recognition” and rights among mental health consumers), Dan J. Stein (on a conceptual framework for thinking about psychpharmacological enhancement), and Geoffrey M. Lairumbi, Michael Parker, Raymond Fitzpatrick and Michael C. English (on the implications of global health iniatives for “resource poor” areas).

The current issue of Social History of Medicine has several interesting articles, including a section of reviews of anatomy-themed books and a review of Three Shots at Prevention: The HPV Vaccine and the Politics of Medicine’s Simple Solutions, edited by Keith Wailoo, Julie Livingstone, Steven Epstein and Robert Aronowitz. Two open access articles deal with musical hypnosis and midwifery, by James Kennaway and Alice Reid, respectively.

In the most recent volume of Social Science and Medicine, Lehoux, Daudelin, and Abelson make a call for scholarship within health policymaking that seeks to understand the complexity of citizens and their role in public health. Commentary and subsequent response are also provided.

Steven Shapin writes a discussion paper, entitled “The Sciences of Subjectivity,” in the April issue of Social Studies of Science. Additionally, the following articles are available:

A group theory of group theory: Collaborative mathematics and the ‘uninvention’ of a 1000-page proof
Alma Steingart

When humans are the exception: Cross-species databases at the interface of biological and clinical research
Sabina Leonelli

Credibility battles in the autism litigation
Anna Kirkland

On being all things to all people: Boundary organizations and the contemporary research university
John Parker and Beatrice Crona

Pharmaceutical prospects: Biopharming and the geography of technological expectations
Richard Milne

The May issue of Sociology of Health & Illness has a number of articles that may be of interest, including Dana M. Wilson-Kovacs and Christine Hauskeller’s work on clinician-scientists and Kristen Lovelock’s article, entitled “The injured and diseased farmer: occupational health, embodiment and technologies of harm and care.”

Finally, Transcultural Psychiatry has a special issue this month, exploring “cultural competence.” It is detailed on Somatosphere here.


One Response to In the Journals…April 2012

  1. Pingback: In the Journals… September 2012, Part 2 | Somatosphere

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