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Knowledge of living

It is time we anthropologists of biomedicine broaden our analytical scope. If it is the case that there is more to life than DNA, cells, tissues and organs; that there is more to disease than mutations, dysregulations and dysfunctions, then how is it that social studies of medicine have attained such a bio bent in recent decades? Of course, medicine …

FeaturesTeaching Resources

Intimate, Familiar and Strange, or Why I Don’t Teach a Class on Sleep

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One of the insights into teaching provided to me by Donald Morse, one of my undergraduate professors, was to never teach the same class twice. But, simultaneously, not to overburden oneself by developing a new course every year. His model, which I’ve entirely stolen, was to teach one-third texts he knew intimately, one-third texts he was familiar with, and …

BooksFeatures

Book Forum––Sameena Mulla’s “The Violence of Care”

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From rape as a tool of terror in situations of war and armed-conflict, to the largely unchecked epidemic of sexual assault on and off college campuses, “rape” finds its way into our collective political and social (and popular and legal and cultural and aesthetic) consciousness.  In a study that is exhaustive, intimate, and exacting, Sameena Mulla’s The Violence of Care:

Features

Entangled in the collaborative turn: observations from the field

If there really has been a ‘collaborative turn’ between the social and biological sciences, then the stakes of that turn are still very much to be negotiated. ‘Collaboration,’ of course, is not a practice or a structure simply to be aimed for: like all ethical and methodological commitments, collaboration is made in the turning – and thus the actual forms …

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Ebola 2014. Chronicle of a well-prepared disaster

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A French version of this piece was originally published in Libération on 18 September 2014.

“It is useless to laboriously interpret disaster movies in terms of their relation to an ‘objective’ social crisis or even to an ‘objective’ phantasm of disaster,” wrote Jean Baudrillard in 1981. “It is in another sense that (…) it is the social itself that, in …

Features

From the dragon’s perspective: an initial report on China’s response to the unfolding Ebola epidemic

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Mariatu

On a steamy mid-August afternoon, Mariatu Kargbo, a Sierra Leonian expat residing in Beijing, stood at the front of a packed hotel ballroom. As reported by Xinhua News (新华网), Kargbo addressed the crowd, saying:

I know everyone has come because they would like to support us, but I really didn’t know that today so many people would come, thank you