In the Journals

"Keywords" in Current Anthropology

The latest issue of Current Anthropology includes an interesting new section called “Keywords.” Like the book by Raymond Williams after which it is named, the new section contains essays discussing terms which are both “significant, binding words in certain activities and their interpretation” and “indicative words in certain forms of thought,” (Willams 1976 cited in Aldenderfer 2011).  The

In the Journals

A special issue of Medical Anthropology on "Medical Travel"

The latest Medical Anthropology is a special issue on “Medical Travel” — a topic which has received surprisingly little attention from medical anthropologists until now.  In their editorial to the issue, Carolyn Smith-Morris and Lenore Manderson write:

“As the authors of this issue of Medical Anthropology illustrate, the ability of people to find and exploit new health care markets outside


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 …


Ethan Watters’ Crazy Like Us: The Globalization of the American Psyche

Crazy Like Us: The Globalization of the American Psyche
By Ethan Watters

Free Press, 2010. 306 pgs, $26.00 (hardcover)

Reviewed by Katinka Hooyer (University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee)

Over the last decade, the globalization debate has become as much a part of the public as the academic sphere, with research journalists contributing greatly to the shaping of public opinion. While talk about …


More on exporting American madness

Ethan Watters, whose recent article in the New York Times Magazine was discussed at length here and at Neuroanthropology, has a new piece on the globalization of US mental illness diagnoses.  This one appears in New Scientist and focuses on a couple of themes not addressed by the Times Magazine article: namely, the transformation of psychiatric ideas about depression …


The globalization of biopsychiatry

This Sunday’s New York Times Magazine includes an excellent article about the globalization of American ways of conceptualizing, treating, and indeed, experiencing mental illness. In “The Americanization of Mental Illness” science journalist Ethan Watters tells a story which, in these neuro-obsessed times, we rarely encounter in popular publications: a narrative about how many experiences of suffering and distress …