Lectures

What A 1993 Outbreak Can Tell Us About Interdisciplinary Approaches to Pandemic Preparedness

In 1993, the Four Corners region of the Southwestern United States experienced an unknown virus outbreak that killed its victims within 48 hours. While the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) turned to biomedical science to understand the mysterious virus, the affected Indigenous community turned to their own history. Ultimately, Navajo oral history offered answers that streamlined the research process and …

Lectures

Emergent Anthropology: Reimagining U.S. Medical Anthropology in Theory and Practice

The American Anthropological Association website identifies four subfields of anthropology (archaeology, biological, cultural, linguistic) and reserves a separate section for “applied and practicing anthropology.” In our collective experience, we have found this division between ostensibly “academic” and “applied” anthropology problematic, as it limits the possibilities of a broadly conceptualized and enacted medical anthropology that is more continuous than categorical. We …

Lectures

Doing and Seeing: Cultivating a “Fractured Habitus” through Reflexive Clinician Ethnography

Introduction

The tension between critical theoretical innovation and on-the-ground, practical application has animated intense debate in medical anthropology (Scheper-Hughes 1990). Epistemological and methodological conflicts cropping up at the intersection of medicine and anthropology, though central considerations for all medical anthropologists, represent an inescapable source of tension for MD/PhD clinician-ethnographers. While innovative manuscripts produced by such scholars (Wendland 2019) have illustrated …

Lectures

The Thinness of Care: The Promise of Medical Anthropology in MD/PhD Training

In the mid-twentieth century, recognizing the growing need for innovations born of clinical experience, pathways for training MD-PhD physician-scientists emerged in the hopes that this hybrid training could produce novel insights into disease and ultimately, treatments. In the years since formal MD/PhD training programs were established, a growing number of institutions have established pathways for a combination with non-traditional disciplines, …

Lectures

Working in a Fracture Zone: Learning to Research Mental Health from Multiple Cultures

We are an ensemble cast. As such, it is perhaps appropriate that one of the first places where we all came together as a team had at one point been a set for a Canadian television show. Now the buildings are owned by the First Nations, an Anishinaabek community, with whom we were partnered. We came together through a series …

Lectures

COVID-19 and The Lessons Anthropology Learned from HIV/AIDS

This article is part of the series:

On April 24, 1980, Ken Horne, a San Francisco resident, was reported to the Center for Disease Control (CDC) as a young man suffering with an old man’s disease, Kaposi’s sarcoma. Subsequently, in 1981, the CDC identified Horne as the first patient in the US of what would (in 1982) come to be called AIDS. By June 5, 1981, a …

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