Volume 34 (2020) RSS feed for this section

Narkomania: Drugs, HIV, and Citizenship in Ukraine

J. Bryan Page I did not expect the tears. Here I was, reading an academic book at the behest of my life-giving journal, wading through the thoroughly expected discourse about familiar territory—marginalized drug users, policy aimed at suppressing them, imaginaries of addiction, socio–political upheaval, agencies of compassion, bureaucratic insensitivity, if not malevolence, controversies about methadone […]

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The Colonial Life of Pharmaceuticals: Medicines and Modernity in Vietnam

Alfred Montoya Trinity University At a conference at the Université Indochinoise in 1932, Hanoi director of municipal hygiene, Dr. Bernard Joyeux, asserted that the character of the indigenous population was a barrier to combatting the spread of disease. Citing the “legendary indifference of the Annamites,” treatable disease had run unchecked among the populace (1935, 332). […]

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Mobilizing Mutations: Human Genetics in the Age of Patient Advocacy

When scientists identify a genetic marker, what meaning does that marker have? In the early 21st century, genetic testing can identify a broad number of genetic mutations—trisomy 21, fragile X, various sex chromosome abnormalities, and a wealth of precisely named but colloquially difficult-to-say mutations like 16p11.2 deletion syndrome, 22q11.2 deletion syndrome (22q11.2DS), and 22q13 deletion […]

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Privileges of Birth: Constellations of Care, Myth, and Race in South Africa

Privileges of Birth: Constellations of Care, Myth, and Race in South Africa centers around the natural birth movement in South Africa, where births are largely determined by socioeconomic factors. Jennifer Rogerson argues for examining care in relation to race and privilege, specifically what care means in specific contexts. Privileges of Birth is an ethnography about […]

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War and Health: The Medical Consequences of the Wars in Iraq and Afghanistan

Craig Jones Newcastle University In Sinan Antoon’s recent novel The Book of Collateral Damage, Nameer, a young Iraqi scholar, meets Wadood, an eccentric bookseller, in the aftermath of the 2003 invasion of Iraq. Wadood is trying to catalog everything destroyed by war, from objects to humans, and when they meet, Wadood is working on the […]

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Synthesizing Hope: Matter, Knowledge and Place in South African Drug Discovery

Anita Hardon University of Amsterdam Readers of Medical Anthropology Quarterly who, like me, were impressed by the originality and scholarly rigor of Anne Pollock’’ previous monograph Medicating Race will be pleased to learn that she has written a new book, Synthesizing Hope: Matter, Knowledge and Place in South African Drug Discovery. Like Medicating Race, it […]

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Fault Lines of Care: Gender, HIV, and Global Health in Bolivia

Jennifer L. Syvertsen University of California, Riverside What happens when the HIV epidemic in a country is “small” by global comparisons? Who lives, who dies, and who decides? Carina Heckert’s Fault Lines of Care: Gender, HIV, and Global Health in Bolivia opens with the story of Gabriela, a young but gravely ill woman who, showing […]

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Avian Reservoirs: Virus Hunters and Birdwatchers in Chinese Sentinel Posts

Katherine A. Mason Brown University In this quirky and unsettlingly timely book (published just as COVID-19 was first emerging), Frédéric Keck explores the tense and complex relations among humans, birds, and microbes that have emerged in three Chinese-speaking territories: Hong Kong, Taiwan, and Singapore. He juxtaposes differing strategies for responding to emerging infectious disease threats […]

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African Medical Pluralism

Elizabeth Durham Princeton University Edited volumes in anthropology often aim to do one of two things: marshal diverse ethnographic evidence to establish a broader thematic claim or knit together a set of such claims into a theoretical intervention. African Medical Pluralism is a sterling example of the former that points to the necessity of working […]

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The Doctor and Mrs. A: Ethics and Counter-ethics in an Indian Dream Analysis

Douglas Hollan University of California-Los Angeles In many parts of the academy, psychoanalysis and the social sciences are thought of as two entirely separate enterprises; the former having to do with the relatively private, intrapsychic desires and imaginative wishes and fantasies of individual people, and the latter having to do with the social, cultural, political, […]

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