Features

Introduction: “Translating Vitalities: Spacecraft(ing)”

This article is part of the series:

Medical practice treats the body as an active field. Growth, pathology, healing, immune response, digestion, atrophy, arousal, pain, panic – none of these organic processes is stable, fixed, or indeed ‘a thing’; yet, they are all objects of interest for medicine. Medical intervention, whether it takes the form of an antibiotic or an acupuncture treatment, interrupts a flow of causes …

Features

Tu Youyou and the Nobel Prize

When I interviewed Professor Tu Youyou in 2005 — in her office at the Chinese Academy of Traditional Chinese Medicine, the work unit within which she had spent her entire life after completing a doctorate in chemistry at Beida (the University of Beijing) — I did not expect her to receive any further awards, and certainly neither the Lasker nor …

Features

Putting Science in its Place

In some corners of anthropology, it has been said that science studies lacks a robust sense of place. But many capable ethnographers have brought labs, hospital suites, and production facilities to life, giving readers a granular sense for what distinguishes these sites from other milieux. What, precisely, might be missing? Consider the word “place.” As science studies scholars have repeatedly …

Lectures

Plenary talks from the 2010 SCA conference

Videos of several of the plenary talks from this year’s Society for Cultural Anthropology conference on Natureculture — which Stephanie Lloyd recently reported on for Somatosphere — are now available for viewing and listening on the Cultural Anthropology journal website and on a Vimeo site.

I am embedding videos of the talks by Judith Farquhar and Donna Haraway below, …

Features

Thinking through Other Worlds: An Interview with Mei Zhan

Following up on my review of her recent ethnography Other Worldly: Making Chinese Medicine through Transnational Frames, I was able to pose a series of questions to Mei Zhan about the book and about future projects. Mei Zhan is an Associate Professor of Anthropology at the University of California, Irvine.

Matthew Wolf-Meyer: The cornerstone of your argument in …

Books

Mei Zhan’s Other-Worldly: Making Chinese Medicine through Transnational Frames

Duke University Press, 2009. 240 pgs, $22.95 (softcover)

I’m no scholar of traditional Chinese medicine, but every year in my Medical Anthropology undergraduate class I include an ethnography of Chinese medicine in an effort to debunk the idea that there’s anything “traditional” about traditional Chinese medicine. Over the years, I’ve …