Features

Against Sick States: Ebola Protests in Austerity Spain

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A few months ago, the independent Spanish online newspaper El Diario published a cartoon entitled “Ebola in Madrid”. It showed a health worker, camouflaged in a green protection suit, wearing a white head shield and goggles, leaning over a patient almost completely hidden under the sheets of the hospital bed. The huge hospital room is deserted and empty, …

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Persistent pathogen: A conference report of anthropological research on tuberculosis

Dirlikov_WTD Image_Somatosphere(1)

The 2013 World TB Day theme was “Stop TB in my lifetime,” calling attention to both the goal of virtually eliminating tuberculosis (TB) by 2050, as well as the Stop TB Partnership, established in 2000, through which global antituberculosis activities are coordinated. Despite this valiant slogan, tuberculosis control is at an important crossroads. In 2012, there were an estimated …

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Conference Synopsis: The End of biodetermism? New Directions for Medical Anthropology

End of Biodeterminism

What is biodeterminism? Has it ended and did it ever exist? Earlier this month at Aarhus University, these seemingly straightforward questions resulted in three days of fascinating conversation during a conference titled “The End of biodetermism? New Directions for Medical Anthropology.”  The event, co-organized by the Centre for Cultural Epidemics (EPICENTER), the Interacting Minds Centre for the Study of

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On Relevance (The Very Idea)

As someone who thinks and works on the edges of the social sciences I am always curious about—and fascinated by—the ways in which ideas, feelings, propositions, demands, and attachments of various kinds have dynamically contributed and continue to contribute to articulating both the knowledge-practices of social scientific disciplines and the habits or ethical sensibilities that inform those forms of inquiry …

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On gloves, rubber and the spatio-temporal logics of global health

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On the 5th of September, 2014, the blog Konakry Express recounted a report from Mme Fatou Baldé Yansané that there are severe shortages of gloves in health facilities in Guinea. Mme Baldé Yansané writes that midwives have only one or two pair of gloves each week. As a consequence, they have to reuse gloves or merely rub their hands with …

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Ebola and emergency anthropology: The view from the “global health slot”

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Hoses spraying disinfectant, white spacesuits, and police roadblocks: these are the tangible technologies of expertise in West Africa. Amid images of ongoing efforts to contain Ebola, I find myself asking: What is the role of the medical anthropologist in a global health emergency? What expertise can we contribute? As of 1 October 2014, the World Health Organization (WHO) counts 7178 …