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Encounters of Violence and Care: Central American Transit Migration through Mexico

A polarized emphasis on origin and destination in international migration studies has left the process of transit itself relatively under-theorized. Taking transit as a site of inquiry moves us as migration scholars beyond the binaries of push/pull factors and origin/destination countries. As medical anthropologists, we are interested in the analytical implications of studying zones of transit for the way we …

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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 …

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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 …

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How the Face Became an Organ

On July 3 of this year, the face became an “organ”. Changes to US Federal health policy came into effect, moving face transplantation into the jurisdiction of medical procedures governed and administrated by the agencies that oversee the US national transplant system – the Organ Procurement and Transplant Network (OPTN) and the United Network for Organ Sharing (UNOS). This policy …

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Remaking Local Biologies in an Epigenetic Time

Premise and Summary

This is a very provisional text,[1] part of a broader book-length research (forthcoming from Palgrave in 2015) on ‘political epistemology’, a construct I use to investigate the coproduction of epistemological facts and socio-political values in the history of the life-sciences (e.g.: how certain views of heredity, development, nature/nurture potentially favor certain political values and …