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The Zero Trimester: Pre-pregnancy Care and the Politics of Reproductive Risk

In this engaging and well-researched study, sociologist Miranda Waggoner traces the emergence of and debates around pre-pregnancy care in efforts to improve birth outcomes in the United States. In 2006, the CDC made the decision to promote pre-pregnancy care, encouraging women to adopt health behaviors believed to foster healthy pregnancies, such as avoiding alcohol and […]

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Medicine in the Meantime: The Work of Care in Mozambique

Ramah McKay’s Medicine in the Meantime provides a nuanced account of the layering, sedimentation, and erosion of health-related projects in Mozambique. By including both public and non-governmental forms of care, McKay allows her readers to consider these forms of intervention together. While public health and global health are sometimes thought of as separate or parallel […]

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Attachments to War: Biomedical Logics and Violence in Twenty-first-century America

That modern war and modern medicine are fundamentally related is not on its own a controversial or novel claim, and certainly not for war-making institutions and groups themselves. Indeed, it was only thanks to the ascension of particular health and medical technologies in the late 19th and early 20th centuries—antisepsis, malaria mitigation, surgical anesthesia—that deliberately […]

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The Biopolitics of Beauty: Cosmetic Citizenship and Affective Capital in Brazil

Why does beauty matter in southern Brazil, and what is its relation to social order? In this multi-sited study, Alvaro Jarrín argues that beauty maps onto colonial schemas of race, class, and gender, in a context where public and private medicine bleed into and support each other. Beauty has become tied to social and economic […]

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Brilliant Imperfection: Grappling with Cure

In Brilliant Imperfection, disability studies scholar, activist, and poet Eli Clare weaves together what he calls a mosaic. This mosaic is made of slivers and shards of his own experiences as well as the experiences of other disabled people, animals, and nature in both the past and the present. In each shard, a different angle […]

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Landscapes of Power: Politics of Energy Development in the Navajo Nation

The Navajo (or Diné) of the American Southwest are some of the most extensively documented people in anthropology, and after over a century of study, one might think that there are no new insights that can be offered in an ethnographic account focusing on this group. Dana Powell’s Landscapes of Power, however, offers a fresh, […]

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The River Is in Us: Fighting Toxics in a Mohawk Community

The River Is in Us offers a sweeping analysis of the psychosocial and material effects of industrial contamination of the St. Lawrence River on the Mohawk community of Akwesasne. Deftly navigating the overlapping jurisdictions of upstate New York, Quebec, and Ontario, Hoover shows how Akwesasne Mohawks—themselves internally differentiated along an equally complicated tribal council versus […]

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The Look of a Woman: Facial Feminization Surgery and the Aims of Trans Medicine

In 1983, a San Francisco-based cranio-maxillofacial surgeon was approached by a colleague with an interesting problem. The question was how to help patients who had recently undergone male-to-female transsexual surgery on their genitals, but who continued to feel dissatisfied with their transformation because their faces still looked male. In the years that followed, Douglas Ousterhout became […]

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Indirect Action: Schizophrenia, Epilepsy, AIDS, and the Course of Health Activism

In this nearly post-neoliberal moment, at a time when people grappling with complex, life-altering health problems in the United States are all too readily dismissed as special interests or consumer groups, Indirect Action invites readers to reconsider the importance of a broadly conceived health activism. Following the work of Annemarie Mol, gender and women’s studies […]

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Imperfect Pregnancies: A History of Birth Defects and Prenatal Diagnosis

Contemporary expectations and experiences of pregnancy are influenced in no small part by prenatal diagnosis. Imperfect Pregnancies traces the history of prenatal diagnosis from the 1960s to the present. The focus is on what author and medical historian Ilana Lowy calls the prenatal diagnosis dispositif, following Michel Foucault, or the contexts and conditions that make […]

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