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Six photos of my father at 91

I have chosen to tell a story based on six photographs I took of my father, Ivio Duranti (1918-2009) in the last year of his life. He was never diagnosed as having Alzheimer’s disease, but he definitely had some of the symptoms of dementia, including memory loss, disorientation, apathy, reduced speech production, and occasional hallucinations, even though he seemed able …

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Refraction of time

On a Thursday evening, five men gather around a dinner table. [1] Their host, a scientist from Surrey, England, has left them a note telling them to begin eating at 19:00 if he is not yet back himself. And so they do. They are in the midst of speculating about their hosts’ whereabouts when the door quietly opens. Their host

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Thinking with dementia. An introduction to the series

Fourteen stories 

This series is a collection of fourteen stories that are written to ‘think with dementia’. Over the past three years, six PhD students from the anthropology department at the University of Amsterdam have conducted ethnographic research on dementia care in the Netherlands. When the PhD projects came to a close, we organised a workshop to bring our work …

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Spacecraft(ing)

This article is part of the series:

“Who gave us the sponge to wipe away the entire horizon? What were we doing when we unchained this earth from its sun?” cries Nietzsche’s madman in a famous parable of The Gay Science. “Are we not continually falling? Aren’t we straying as though through an infinite nothing [5, 7]? Isn’t empty space breathing at us

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Why Does Everyone Hate Martin Shkreli?

The investor-boy-wunderkind-turned-pharmaceutical-CEO Martin Shkreli was the end of the year’s emblem of schadenfreude. Shkreli has been in the news regularly since September 2015 when his company, Turing Pharmaceuticals, announced plans to raise the price of decades-old toxoplasmosis drug Daraprim from $13.50 to $750 per pill. Public discussion about Turing’s pricing strategy prompted a congressional hearing on drug pricing and …

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Encounters of Violence and Care: Central American Transit Migration through Mexico

A polarized emphasis on origin and destination in international migration studies has left the process of transit itself relatively under-theorized. Taking transit as a site of inquiry moves us as migration scholars beyond the binaries of push/pull factors and origin/destination countries. As medical anthropologists, we are interested in the analytical implications of studying zones of transit for the way we …