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Beauty

In the late 1990s, a group of Japanese researchers set out to investigate whether small-scale gold mining operations near the shores of East Africa’s Lake Victoria were resulting in mercury contamination of local fish and human populations. The group included Dr. Masazumi Harada who began his medical career in the early 1960s by studying the devastating effects of severe mercury …

Books

Book forum: Emilia Sanabria’s Plastic Bodies: Sex Hormones and Menstrual Suppression in Brazil

This article is part of the series:

We are very pleased to bring you a set of thoughtful engagements with Emilia Sanabria’s remarkable book, Plastic Bodies: Sex Hormones and Menstrual Suppression in Brazil (Duke University Press, 2016).  As you’ll see from the commentaries, Plastic Bodies is already well on its way to becoming a touchstone in the medical anthropology and STS literatures on gender, bodies, and pharmaceuticals.…

Features

Beauty’s Knowledge: Hawthorne’s Moral Fable “Rappaccini’s Daughter”

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Nathaniel Hawthorne’s story “Rappaccini’s Daughter” is a nineteenth-century moral fable that sets the fruits of experimental knowledge against obligations to humanity, and stages a dramatic encounter between these two apparent goods. In many ways, the moral it offers seems familiar, and could be recognized by anyone with even a passing familiarity with contemporary bioethical debates. It features a mad scientist’s …

BooksFeatures

Top of the Heap: Zoë H. Wool

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For this installment of the Top of the Heap series, I spoke with Zoë H. Wool, who is a medical anthropologist and assistant professor at Rice University in Texas.

The invitation to contribute to the Top of the Heap felt like such a treat…and then sent me into a tailspin of professional anxiety (Alexander I. Stingl laid out the dilemma …

Features

Top of the Heap: Anna Waldstein

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[For this installment of the Top of the Heap series, I spoke with Anna Waldstein, who is an ecological anthropologist and lecturer in medical anthropology and ethnobotany at Kent University, UK.]  

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In response to discussions with my colleagues about ways to encourage our students to read more ethnographies, I designed a new assignment for “Anthropology of Health, Illness and Medicine,” …

Features

Three Millimeters

The first time I encountered Judy I was with Dr. Erlich, gathering fact sheets about vulvar pain conditions. Dr. Robichaud, the other physician at the Vulvar Health Clinic (VHC)[i], and a new resident entered the pod in a white-coated blur—animatedly conferring, hastily scribbling on forms that they were pulling from file cabinets, and getting on the phone to …