Enacting Dependence

This article is part of the series:

One summer evening while I was conducting fieldwork on sign language interpreting in Hanoi, Vietnam, the board members of the Hanoi Deaf Cultural Group (HDCG1), all of whom are Deaf2, and Chi, a hearing Ha Noi Sign Language (HNSL3) interpreter, gathered around a long wooden table at one of Hanoi’s many upscale coffee shops. …


Politics by Other Means: Health in Việt Nam

My research in Việt Nam addresses how medicine, health, and disease function as political and cultural signifiers as well as telegraphing – in the form of epidemiological data and public health outcomes – important features of the socioeconomic order. While health and disease are highly politicized everywhere in the world, these issues take on intriguing significance in socialist and formerly …


Putting Science in its Place

In some corners of anthropology, it has been said that science studies lacks a robust sense of place. But many capable ethnographers have brought labs, hospital suites, and production facilities to life, giving readers a granular sense for what distinguishes these sites from other milieux. What, precisely, might be missing? Consider the word “place.” As science studies scholars have repeatedly …


Why I Make Ethnographic Films (Instead of Writing a Monograph…)

This post is largely unaltered from its original form on the new blog Psychocultural Cinema, which focuses on the intersection of medical and psychological anthropology with ethnographic and documentary filmmaking.

Orwell was once asked by his editor to address the question “why I write.” Orwell, in his typically clear and direct manner, listed a range of reasons, from personal …


Book review: Health Transitions and the Double Disease Burden in Asia and the Pacific

Health Transitions and the Double Disease Burden in Asia and the Pacific: Histories of Responses to Non-Communicable and Communicable Diseases

Edited by Milton J. Lewis and Kerrie L. MacPherson

Routledge Publishing, 2012

322 pp., US $155.00 (hardback)


The phrase “double disease burden” is one that has been increasingly used in modern public health discussions.  The concept applies to “developing …

In the Journals

Special Journal Issue: Culture, Medicine, and Psychiatry — Anthropologies of Clinical Training in the 21st Century

The June 2011 issue of Culture, Medicine, and Psychiatry is a special issue entitled, “Anthropologies of Clinical Training in the 21st Century.” Seth M. Holmes, Angela C. Jenks, and Scott Stonington, in their opening words, introduce the central question with which the issue’s articles grapple:

Throughout the 1970s and 1980s, medical anthropologists increasingly turned their attention to the examination