Lectures

The new trial communities: challenges and opportunities in preconception cohorts

The Excavating the Biosocial series has so far focused on birth cohorts as ethnographic object (Gibbon and Pentecost 2020). In this post, I explore the expansion of interest in the early life period, particularly for Developmental Origins of Health and Disease (DOHaD) research, to include ‘the preconception period.’ Recently, interest in this period has produced new kinds of trial communities …

Lectures

Becoming Intergenerational in Birth Cohorts: kinship and the remaking of participation

In recent years birth cohorts have become an invaluable context, resource, tool and ‘technology’ of an emerging terrain of biosocial science, given the unique opportunity they provide to study how the life course is intergenerationally shaped. As many contributors for this series have highlighted, the what and how of biological and social transmission between kin are of central concern in …

Lectures

The Limits of Warmth: Cultural Adaptation and the Politics of Temperature in a Bolivian Hospital

This article is part of the series:

In the small municipal hospital in the Bolivian highland town of Machacamarca (a pseudonym), the chilly air of the Andes seeps into the building, traveling through the thin walls and tile floors. The delivery room, situated next to the surgery ward, is especially cold; the air makes the metal gurney sitting in the middle of the room icy to the …

Lectures

‘A world that counts’: The rise of infographics in global maternal health campaigns

Infographics have become a ubiquitous feature of the contemporary global health landscape, crowding the presentations and exhibition halls of conferences, the pages of annual reports, and the websites of non-governmental organizations (NGOs). For the anthropologist studying global health policy and practice, they are a powerful sensory and aesthetic element of the ethnographic field.

Infographics are the product of data visualization …

Lectures

Health Insurance for the poor: insights from the Kenyan coast

Promotional materials from the global campaign to achieve Universal Health Coverage by the year 2030. Copyright UHC2030 – reproduced here under ‘fair use’ for academic purposes.

“Health for All?” critically explores global moves towards Universal Health Coverage and its language of rights to health, equity, social justice and the public good. Highlighting emerging ethnographic and historical research by both young

Lectures

The Protective Dualism: Maternal Knowledge Practices of the Zika Crisis in Puerto Rico

This article is part of the series:

For Spanish click here.

“So, we have had other mosquito-borne illnesses for a long time, like dengue and chikungunya, and now all of a sudden we should delay childbearing and tourists should not come here. Right…this is suspicious to us.”

Celeste, Puerto Rican birth activist and maternal and infant health care provider

To understand the skepticism regarding the …