Lectures

Surviving COVID-19

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Survival. Perhaps the word carries more weight today than ever. We are all engaged in this exercise of collective survival. Many of us have found ourselves forced to become accustomed to the unwelcome novelty of the burden of extreme uncertainty. And it is only now that we can understand what it means to live in vulnerability. We now found ourselves …

Books

Book Forum: Therapeutic Politics of Care in Asia

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The six review essays in this collection emerge from a joint launch of five books and one dissertation/ book-in-progress and a panel at the recent annual meeting of the Association for Asian Studies. In these meetings, each author provided a reading of another’s text, then revisited their own work in light of the resonances and dissonances that arose.  

Addressing lab-based …

Lectures

Pains, pleasures, and a new electric wheelchair

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A Wednesday in May 2017, Vienna, Austria

The door opens. Behind it is Frau Schöbel, a tiny woman in her early seventies.[1] Through her glasses, her eyes are piercing. Her lipstick is impeccable and matched to the scarf tied around her neck. 

Frau Schöbel is one of the people I met on the dialysis unit at the City hospital …

Lectures

The ‘chronic’ lives of failing organs: afflictions of ambivalent care in Mexico

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Life has always been difficult, Maria del Rosario told me, but she coped. That was before all the sickness. When her mother’s kidneys began to fail, she felt traumatised, utterly overwhelmed. No matter what she or anyone else did to help, it was no good. Their lives simply fell apart.[i]

Maria, a single mother of two, lived in Balcones …

Lectures

Chronic caring in unstable landscapes

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The current ‘end of AIDS era,’ referred to as Treat All in policy circles,is characterized by the primary aim of identifying and putting all HIV-positive people on antiretroviral treatment (ART) as quickly as possible following diagnosis (Kenworthy, et al 2017). Under Treat All, life-long pharmaceutical treatment is increasingly initiated in healthy bodies as part of a broad …

Lectures

Chronic living: ethnographic explorations of daily lives swayed by (multiple) medical conditions

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On the 12th of January 2020, the World Health Organization confirmed that the “mystery virus” which, according to reports from China, had infected some 50 people in the city of Wuhan, was not SARS following the genetic sequencing of a “novel coronavirus”. Within two weeks, Wuhan’s hospitals were overwhelmed, and the city was sent into lockdown as health authorities …