Features

The Testing Revolution: Investigating Diagnostic Devices in Global Health

This article is part of the series:

Image by Alice Street in collaboration with Jennifer Littlejohn.

The origins of laboratory medicine are often traced to the establishment of a small clinical laboratory in Guy’s Hospital, London, in 1828. Here, in a small side-room, medical students used sterilisers, incubators and microscopes to identify bacteriological organisms in biological samples taken from the patients in the ward next door. In …

Features

Poop

For colonial officials in British East Africa, African excrement endangered public health because Africans were reckless defecators. The world was their toilet, and they simply went where they pleased. Indeed, in 1866, David Livingston suggested Zanzibar be renamed “Stinkibar”: “The stench from a mile and a half to two miles of sea-beach, which is the general depository of the filth …

Web Roundups

Web Roundup: Water

Before I began graduate school, I worked in water-related public health, and have continued to follow the news around water. This month, some stories (mostly) about water.

Trump signed an order last week to “expedite” the construction of the Dakota Access Pipeline, which jeopardizes the water source for the Standing Rock Sioux Reservation, and for many others who drink water …

BooksFeatures

Material as opposed to what? Three recent ethnographies of welfare, biological labor, and human dignity

Catherine Fennell. Last Project Standing: Civics and Sympathy in Post-Welfare Chicago. Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 2015.

Kalinda Vora. Life Support: Biocapital and the New History of Outsourced Labor. Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 2015.

Gaymon Bennett. Technicians of Human Dignity: Bodies, Souls, and the Making of Human Dignity. New York: Fordham University Press, 2016

A new …

Features

Are We All Flint?

[This article originally appeared in Limn, Issue No. 7, “Public Infrastructures / Infrastructural Publics”.]

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For the past several decades, Flint, Michigan, has staggered under waves of deindustrialization, disinvestment, and abandonment that have left the city depopulated, its built environment in shambles, and its remaining residents reeling from high unemployment and crime rates, a decimated tax base, and dwindling municipal …