Lectures

Cues for Ethnography in Pandamning Times: Thinking with Digital Sociality in the Covid-19 Pandemic

This article is part of the series:

Covid-19 has made the world strange. For many, efforts to stall the pandemic have initiated an unprecedented enclosure of our lives within the familiar walls of our homes, while simultaneously increasing our reliance on digital media to maintain personal and professional connections. This reordering of social worlds and blurring of boundaries between our public lives and private spaces raises a …

Features

A Viral Education: Scientific Lessons from India’s WhatsApp University

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We know of allopathy, and homeopathy, but how about cowpathy? The last is a line of consumer goods that feature the healing properties of the sacred “Hindu” cow – its urine, dung, and milk. As we face COVID-19, India has seen a resurgence in “Vedic” science. Members of the All India Hindu Mahasabha symbolically offered a cup of sacred …

Lectures

Practices, knowledge, and the next pandemic: a lesson from a failed participatory public health intervention

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My time doing public health work in Guatemala in the 1990s and early 2000s has shaped how I think about emergencies. Working for an underresourced health system, my sensation was that we were always trying to implement new programs in the midst of a perpetual institutional crisis. On top of that, we would have to leave everything to deal with …

Lectures

By Desperate Measures Relieved?: Public Health, Prisons, and the Politics of Life

This article is part of the series:

As COVID-19 continues to claim lives and devastate economies, experts have been contemplating strategies for accelerating the development of a vaccine. A paper published in March in the Journal of Infectious Disease advocates the use of human challenge trials—which involve vaccinating a small number of volunteers and “challenging” them with a deliberate infection of the virus—in order to bypass the …

Lectures

What Type of Governmentality is This? Or, how do we govern unknowns

This article is part of the series:

In Le Temps, a French newspaper, anthropologist Julie Billaud wrote that the governance of COVID-19 represents “a move towards a biopolitical mode of governance that aims to manage human collectives through statistics, indicators, and other measurement tools.”[i] Others are less convinced. Social theorist Joshua Clover has written in Critical Inquiry, a French online journal,that COVID-19 represents not …

LecturesTeaching Resources

How to teach anthropology in a pandemic?

This article is part of the series:

“… a deadly pestilence is in our town, strikes us and spares not, and the house of Cadmus is emptied of its people while Black Death grows rich in groaning and lamentation… Raise up our city, save it and raise it up… If you rule this land… better to rule it full of people than empty. For neither tower nor