FeaturesLectures

The Limits of Warmth: Cultural Adaptation and the Politics of Temperature in a Bolivian Hospital

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In the small municipal hospital in the Bolivian highland town of Machacamarca (a pseudonym), the chilly air of the Andes seeps into the building, traveling through the thin walls and tile floors. The delivery room, situated next to the surgery ward, is especially cold; the air makes the metal gurney sitting in the middle of the room icy to the …

FeaturesLectures

Birth cohorts, biosocial theory, and the politics of developmental disruption

How and with what consequences do young people push up against standardized views of “normal” and “healthy” development? To what extent can young people’s attempts to disrupt developmental norms be understood as political acts? I became intrigued by these questions while conducting long-term ethnographic research with a subset of young participants in the 1982 birth cohort study in Pelotas, Southern …

FeaturesLectures

Wounded Attachments: Intimacy, Infrastructure, and Harm in the National Public Hospital

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The first thing you see from the highway is a massive building. The Hospital is simply enormous. In front of the Hospital plaza is a roundabout. In the center of the roundabout, a big flag of Argentina flies high: the white and light blue stripes encase the symbol of the smiling sun, moving in the wind on some days and …

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Book forum: Michelle Murphy’s The Economization of Life

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Michelle Murphy’s The Economization of Life (Duke University Press, 2017) received the Ludwik Fleck Prize from the the Society for Social Studies of Science (4S) at the 2019 conference in New Orleans. Murphy’s book, recognized for its novelty, scholarly excellence, and contribution to science and technology studies, was also the subject of a panel of feminist thinkers who offered commentary …

FeaturesLectures

Interpreting Sexuality: Intellectually Disabled People and “Special” Educators in India

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 “Why does she like putting the glass bottle near her pee-hole? She couldn’t talk and tell us what was going on…what did she exactly want? What was in her mind?… [I]t was very hard to figure that out…but I had to keep working on this because we work with special children and we are special educators.”

Savita, a special educator …

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Intimate connections and singular embodiments: disability in times of the Covid-19 pandemic

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In Brazil, most state governors and city mayors in Brazil have been following the World Health Organization (WHO) guidelines and, in defiance of federal government protocol, have adopted policies of social isolation and distancing. To stay home with our families, going out only when necessary is an effective policy for care and prevention aimed at the “general population.” Still, when …