Features

Exploring anthropologies of medicine and health across borders at 4S 2018

This year’s annual meeting for the Society for Social Studies of Science (4S) had an intriguing new component: an exhibition on the histories of STS in flux internationally, befitting the theme of transnational STS around which the conference was developed. The exhibition represents the various turns and epistemological orientations towards the critical studies of science and technology in locations decidedly

Features

Fed up security officers and drunk policemen in Nairobi

Greenwoods is a neighbourhood in Nairobi, Kenya, dotted with diplomatic residences. At the time of my research on public-private assemblages of security provision and the reconfiguration of citizenship in Nairobi, Greenwoods’ residents association was sponsoring a security partnership between the state police and a private security company, Maximum Security.[1] The night patrol team of Maximum Security regularly hosted two …

Features

Africa and the Epidemiological Imagination

In early September we hosted a workshop on Africa and the Epidemiological Imagination at University College London’s Institute of Advanced Studies’ Common Ground. The workshop was sponsored by the Wellcome Trust as part of a Senior Investigator award held by Professor Megan Vaughan on Critical Histories of Chronic Disease in Africa. We wanted to explore how the concept “transition” articulates …

Features

Thinking with spirits

During my first visit to Ghana in 1998, I was involved in a research project that looked at possible co-operations between healers and psychiatric clinics. I stayed in the healing camp of Prophet Abbam II, who was known in the area to heal patients with mental health problems. My presence at his healing church attracted many visitors, who kindly brought …

Books

Ramah McKay’s Medicine in the Meantime: The Work of Care in Mozambique

Medicine in the Meantime: The Work of Care in Mozambique

Ramah McKay

Duke University Press, 2018, 256 pages

 

The study of medical humanitarianism has grown tremendously in the last decade. Notable work has analyzed the debated ethical practice of Médecins sans Frontières (Redfield 2013), state uses of illness diagnosis as a pathway to citizenship (Ticktin 2010) and the way …

Features

The Power and Precarity of Global Health Partnerships

A recent issue of Medicine Anthropology Theory devoted to the critique of global health partnerships (GHPs) raises a question of great significance to many Somatosphere readers: ‘In real world partnerships… after proposed innovations are tested, community health workers are trained, or an intervention has been piloted, what happens next?’ (Okeke 2018, 10). All too often, the answer is ‘little if …