Lectures

“Hygiene” is the Future: Lessons from “Post”-Cholera Haiti

This article is part of the series:

This essay is about paying respect. In 2018, after my first summer of preliminary fieldwork in the Artibonite region of Haiti, I returned disappointed and disillusioned. With the intention of studying local health related issues in the port city of Saint-Marc, the projects that were seemingly possible for me were ones I wanted to avoid. As a typical graduate student, …

Lectures

Covid-19: scales of pandemics and scales of anthropology

This article is part of the series:

Outbreak, epidemics, and pandemics are technical terms from epidemiology. They are used for temporal, geographical, and quantitative classification of infectious diseases. These terms are fundamental for establishing surveillance and control, defining levels of attention and protocols of action. In the case of Covid-19, for example, when several people in Wuhan showed symptoms of a serious and unknown respiratory infection in …

Features

Lifetimes

This article is part of the series:

“It’s only Veria who can bathe our old mama,” remarked mama’s daughter-in-law with gentle amusement. “Because Veria is blind. You know how modest mama is. She doesn’t want anyone to see her private parts.” Veria’s devoted care for her mother extends far beyond bathing. Recently she decided that those who stay with mama were neglecting her. She collected the old …

Features

Disability from the South: Toward a Lexicon

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In this series, we work to broaden the horizons of an emergent anthropology of disability[1] by taking two considerations as the starting point for a conversation. On the one hand, we respond to Jean and John Comaroff’s (2012) provocative call for “theory from the South,” or grounding the location of social theory-making outside dominant Euro-American spaces, assumptions, and priorities. On …

Features

The Power and Precarity of Global Health Partnerships

A recent issue of Medicine Anthropology Theory devoted to the critique of global health partnerships (GHPs) raises a question of great significance to many Somatosphere readers: ‘In real world partnerships… after proposed innovations are tested, community health workers are trained, or an intervention has been piloted, what happens next?’ (Okeke 2018, 10). All too often, the answer is ‘little if …

Features

Laboratory capacity building and the open hardware movement

This article is part of the series:

Through my work in African laboratories I am regularly made aware of the challenging equipment shortages faced by research laboratories in many low/middle-income countries (LMICs). This extends far beyond the absence of “state-of-the-art” equipment and shiny, new models regularly produced by commercial companies. These shortages include the availability of what would normally be considered ubiquitous laboratory equipment – PCR machines, …