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 …


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 …


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 – …


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” …


Videos from "Science and Technology Studies: the Next 20 Years"

This past April Harvard’s Program on Science, Technology and Society hosted a conference “reflecting on the past twenty years of STS graduate study, and looking ahead to the next twenty.”  As the organizers explained in the meeting abstract:

“The meeting is in part a stock-taking. After two decades of increased
public funding for STS, what can we say about


SPA Panel on Political Subjectivity – April 1, 2011, Santa Monica

This article is part of the series:
The biennial meeting of the Society for Psychological Anthropology this year took place from March 31 to April 3 in Santa Monica, California. Below you will find audio recordings of a panel myself and Byron Good had put together on the topic of political subjectivity. Terry O’Nell requested that her presentation not be published here due to ethical concerns regarding …