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Teaching Medical Anthropology

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In the decade since becoming a full time professor, medical anthropology has been one of my core courses. I have taught it seven times.  Although the basic structure of the course remains similar, emphases have shifted over time. Perhaps I can best highlight the evolution of the course through a discussion of readings I use since readings are the backbone …

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#SoComplicatedSyllabus – Check it out and please contribute!

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“I have to tell you, it’s an unbelievably complex subject…Nobody knew that health care could be so complicated,” said Donald J. Trump on Monday, February 27, at a press conference. This was his answer to a question about the then-seemingly stalled, but as of now reinvigorated, plans to repeal the Affordable Care Act, the 2010 health care law that …

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Biofinance: Speculation, Risk, Debt, and Value from Bios: A conference report

How does the financialization of life itself figure as a new means of producing value in modern technoscience? That is the question that motivated Kirk Fiereck to convene the panel “Biofinance: Speculation, Risk, Debt, and Value from Bios” at the 2016 American Anthropological Association meeting in Minneapolis, Minnesota this November. Fiereck, panelists Melina Sherman, Danya Glabau, and Emily Xi Lin, …

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Book Forum — Nayanika Mookherjee’s The Spectral Wound: Sexual Violence, Public Memories, and the Bangladesh War of 1971

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Andrew Brandel has organized an extraordinary and diverse set of commentaries on Nayanika Mookherjee’s The Spectral Wound: Sexual Violence, Public Memories, and the Bangladesh War of 1971 (Duke University Press, 2015). Each intervention is a path that moves outward from Mookherjee’s remarkable study, finding ways through the brambles of memory and history. We hope you enjoy. — Todd Meyers, …

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Alice Street’s “Biomedicine in an Unstable Place: Infrastructure and Personhood in a Papua New Guinean Hospital”

alice street biomedicine coverBiomedicine in an Unstable Place: Infrastructure and Personhood in a Papua New Guinean Hospital

by Alice Street

Duke University Press, 2014, 204 pages

Social anthropologist Alice Street’s first book is a sensitive ethnography of personhood and recognition in Madang Hospital, an under-resourced provincial hospital in Papua New Guinea. The book shows how doctors, nurses, and patients endeavor to make …