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Book Review: Ritual Retellings: Luangan Healing Performances through Practice

In Ritual Retellings, Herrman invites the reader to move into a longhouse, a single-room dwelling in which many families live, and be at the center of ritual events as they unfold in response to the uncertainty and contingency of everyday life among the Luangan of central Kalimantan, Indonesia, in the mid-1990s. The Luangan of Sembulan, […]

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Book Review: Necropolitics: Mass Graves and the Exhumations in the Age of Human Rights

Necropolitics chronicles the sociopolitical conditions of exhuming clandestine mass graves and the impact this has on the management of the dead and traumatic memory. This edited volume complements a rising number of contemporary books appearing in the social sciences and humanities stimulated by growing concerns related to humanitarianism, crimes committed against humanity, truth and reconciliation […]

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Book Review: Regulating Romance: Youth Love Letters, Moral Anxiety, and Intervention in Uganda’s Time of AIDS

Uganda’s success story in reducing HIV/AIDS infection rates in the 1990s is well known in the international public health community. The generational effects and legacy of intensive international interventions are less commonly teased apart from clinical dimensions of the illness in the country’s narrative. In Regulating Romance, Shanti Parikh uses the terrain of public health […]

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Book Review: Technicians of Human Dignity: Bodies, Souls, and the Making of Intrinsic Worth

In Technicians of Human Dignity, Gaymon Bennett presents an analysis of “the politics of intrinsic worth” in what might be considered second-generation Foucauldian terms. Neither a genealogy nor a history of the present but rather an anthropology or analytic of the contemporary, the book renders human dignity as an object of the anthropology of ethics. […]

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Book Review: Mental Health in the War on Terror: Culture, Science, and Statecraft

Much of Aggarwal’s thoughtful approach in this book is prefigured in its opening lines: “Foucault’s penetrating insights into the connections between knowledge and power, between science and politics, have gripped me since the declaration of the War on Terror. I entered medical school in 2000 and watched the 9/11 attacks unfold on live television” (p. […]

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Book Review: Doulas and Intimate Labour: Boundaries, Bodies, and Birth

Doula care is a sexy topic. Not a week goes by that some sort of media outlet, from National Public Radio to the New York Times, isn’t publishing something about doulas. Doulas have been around for centuries, but in the United States this descriptive word and accompanying profession was adopted in the 1980s. While a […]

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Book Review: Preaching Prevention: Born-Again Christianity and the Moral Politics of AIDS in Uganda

Preaching Prevention contributes to the growing literature on the response to AIDS in Africa by addressing the controversial emphasis on abstinence and faithfulness, rather than condoms, as modes of preventing infection. The first phase of PEPFAR (President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief) earmarked 80% of its massive resources for treatment; of the remaining funds for […]

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Book Review: Plasticity and Pathology: On the Formation of the Neural Subject

In pairing the terms “plasticity” and “pathology,” editors David Bates and Nima Bassiri invite us to see both terms with new eyes. The volume incites readers to explore how pathology may be a site of plastic creativity, a stance that disrupts the conventional binary in which pathology indicates a lack of plastic repair and transformation. […]

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Book Review: Prescribing HIV Prevention: Bringing Culture into Global Health Communication

In Nicola Bulled’s new book, Prescribing HIV Prevention, she challenges a basic assumption of public health research—that knowledge impacts behavior. Bulled uses both qualitative and quantitative methods to examine the impact that multiple competing sources of information about HIV prevention has on Basotho people’s knowledge about HIV, their sense of risk, and their sexual relationships. […]

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Book Review: Namibia’s Rainbow Project: Gay Rights in African Nation

Namibia’s Rainbow Project is a unique ethnographic book about the way an organization working for sexual health and rights recognition takes actions in an African country. The book is based on ethnography of many years among the Rainbow project (TRP), an organization active in the health and sexual rights sector in Namibia. It focuses on […]

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