The podcast This Anthro Life recently spoke with Anita Hannig about the “craft” of writing and her new book Beyond Surgery: Injury, Healing, and Religion at an Ethiopian Hospital.
I recently participated in a field school run by the NAPA-OT subsection of the AAA in Antigua, Guatemala. The month-long project on which I worked interrogated the lack of effective communication between different providers of maternal healthcare in the country; biomedical practitioners (OBGYNs & doctors), and non-biomedically trained midwives (‘comadronas’). With one of the highest rates of maternal mortality in Latin America, overcoming boundaries to effective collaboration and referral networks between all medical providers in Guatemala is a key global health concern.
This is Part II in our series on UCL Medical Anthropology outreach over the summer. Daniel Newman participated in the UCL Widening Participation Regional Summer Challege (see Part I for more) co-taught by Caroline Ackley and Katja Holtz. Daniel wrote about gender identity for his final essay. In Defence of Gender Identities By Daniel Newman…
This is Part I in our series on UCL Medical Anthropology outreach over the summer. We partnered with UCL Widening Participation. If you’d like to know more about the work of the Access and Widening Participation Team, please see their website. UCL Medical Anthropology Outreach: Regional Summer Challenge By Caroline Ackley and Katja Holtz For…
How do people with different forms of disabilities live the everyday? How do you dress, undress, cut your food or shake people’s hands when you have rheumatoid arthritis? How do you figure out where to get on or off the bus or pay for something at the cash when you are blind? How do you move about when your balance is affected by a painful illness? What possibilities emerge for living, sensing, thinking, and performing the everyday differently when disability enters the stage? These are the questions that drive my research and ethnographic curiosities.
An objective of my research sought to understand whether a concept of ‘mental health’ exists amongst the TCiE (in contrast to the Western definition of mental health that has been developed by UN/WHO). Interestingly, the UN definition appeared incomplete to respondents as it fails to address ethics.
Some results from my research in Ethiopia are now available, ahead of publication in African Studies Review. The paper, co-authored with Lucie Buffavand, is a product of several years work in the lower Omo valley, where a massive hydroelectric dam and sugar plantations are reshaping the landscape and people’s opportunities to live within it. We investigated the experience of people subjected to a campaign of ‘villagization’ – resettlement associated with the establishment of plantations on lands previously used for farming, herding, and foraging.
I am essentially interested in what these profound socio-demographic shifts mean for people who do not have children, as well as for those who do. What does parenthood or non-parenthood look like in this context, where modern families might be unrecognisably different from those that were common just a generation ago? How common is non-parenthood and how is it viewed? What does parenthood mean to women and men with children?
Eight PhD colleagues from the Anthropology Department joined the adventure to go to Snowdonia to bond, write and share. This is just the first stop in a series of social and academic activities that look to pilot, and eventually install, a fieldwork curriculum at UCL for the research degrees that contain a considerable fieldwork component.
Every year, UCL’s doctoral students in Medical Anthropology present their research plans and latest findings to fellow staff and students at an annual seminar. The latest PhD day was held on 6th June and the diverse programme demonstrated once again the breadth and depth of research in our department.
I selected my field – or, rather, my field selected me – after I read an article in the international edition of Der Spiegel,published in May 2013. The article claimed that in ‘austerity Greece’, the wealthy segments of the population “are having more face-lifts and breast implants than anywhere in the world”.
Liberating the Curriculum means letting student input play a large role in re-envisaging education. Creating an environment where education is informed by the rapidly changing academic and political climate. And, in which academics are learning and maintaining a dialogue with movements like ours that want Anthropology to more accurately represent its interlocutors.
As a researcher, I was formatting and analysing the interviews of the women who had participated in our project on ‘Investigating Trauma Therapeutic Interventions for Gender Based Violence in Afghanistan Using Traditional Story-Telling”. At the same time, the stories and the silencing betrayed the legacy of a culture rich in story-telling of creation and shared-ness.
Free film announcement
Dr. Sahra Gibbon’s course ANTH7020 Anthropologies of Science, Society and Biomedicine incorporates a blog diary in the module design. Students write blog posts focusing on various health technologies in the fields of genetics, biotechnology and the life/medical sciences. Through blogs students are able to experiment with writing style, conduct research into health technologies that interest them, and creatively analyse health technologies by connecting with a wider audience.
I found that religion played a crucial role in the way sadness was understood and resolved: symptoms that otherwise might have been described as evidence of a depressive episode were often understood in those more religiously committed within the framework of the Dark Night of the Soul narrative, an active transformation of emotional distress into a process of self-reflection, attribution of religious meaning and spiritual growth.
During my fieldwork I was also fortunate and privileged to work with residents of Santa Cruz, Rio de Janeiro, in their struggle against industrial pollution in their neighbourhood.
I’m midway through the fieldwork phase of my PhD research, currently based here at the headquarters of Medical Detection Dogs, a charity that trains dogs to detect human diseases such as prostate cancer.
Dr. Aaron Parkhurt’s course ANTH2009 Anthropology of the Body explores how bodies make, and are made by, physical movements and historical moments, and thinks through what the human body is becoming in a contemporary, more than human world.
James Fairhead from the University of Sussex gave the final talk of the Spring 2017 Medical Anthropology Seminar Series. His talk was titled ‘Understanding social resistance to Ebola response in the Forest Region of the Republic of Guinea: An anthropological perspective.’