In the Journals

Historical Trauma: a special issue of Transcultural Psychiatry

The latest issue of Transcultural Psychiatry is devoted to the concept of “historical trauma” in studies of Indigenous peoples in North America.  As Laurence J. Kirmayer, Joseph P. Gone, and Joshua Moses argue in their Introduction to the special issue:

“The notions of historical trauma, loss, and grief have drawn attention to the enduring effects of colonization, marginalization, and cultural

Books

Eirik Saethre’s Illness Is A Weapon

Illness Is A Weapon: Indigenous Identity and Enduring Afflictions

by Eirik Saethre

Vanderbilt University Press, 2013.  ix + 213 pp.

 

Eirik Saethre’s book, Illness Is A Weapon, is a welcome and crucial addition to the expanding anthropological research on the pervasiveness of chronic illnesses in indigenous communities, particularly in the face of colonization, structural violence, poverty, and constant illness …

Books

Claire Decoteau’s Ancestors and Antiretrovirals

Ancestors and Antiretrovirals:
The Biopolitics of HIV/AIDS in Post-Apartheid South Africa

by Claire Laurier Decoteau

University of Chicago Press, 2013, 324 pp.

 

The specter of “tradition versus modernity” returns as a conundrum for understanding and signifying HIV/AIDS in post-apartheid South Africa in Claire Decoteau’s sociological monograph, Ancestors and Antiretrovirals. Interpretive social scientists like Decoteau are well trained to …

Features

Medicine and Science, Unpredicted

It is somewhat predictable that at a weekend-long workshop medical anthropologists and STS scholars would, first, talk a lot about bodies and, second, discuss the politics of their knowledge production.  What is not predictable is what happens when the workshop also includes a few cultural anthropologists, philosophers, and medical doctors; and allows a much longer-than-usual amount of time for paper …

Features

The archaeology of past futures, or fieldwork by fragments

This series is an exercise in fieldwork through material fragments – of coming to grips with the present pasts of scientific institutions in the ‘tropics’. It is about what biomedicine leaves behind – rusted instruments, congealed and unlabeled bloods slides – and the losses, pleasures, failures, and desires these leftovers relay. It is about photographs, blueprints, monuments and archives – …

Books

Angela Garcia’s The Pastoral Clinic

The Pastoral Clinic: Addiction and Dispossession along the Rio Grande

by Angela Garcia

University of California Press, 2010. 264 pp., US$24.95 (paperback).

 

Angela Garcia’s magisterial, unsettling account of heroin addiction among a Hispanic community in Espanola Valley opens with a description of Nuevo Dias, a rural detoxification facility for drug users.  Accepting the executive director’s challenge to “work” …