Liberating (Medical) Anthropology

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.

Anthropologies of Science, Society and Biomedicine

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.

Book Launch: Sadness, Depression and the Dark Night of the Soul: Transcending the Medicalisation of Sadness

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.

Anthropology of the Body

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.

Welcome to Medical Anthropology at UCL

Welcome to Medical Anthropology at University College London. Medical Anthropology examines how health and well-being are socially and culturally constituted in comparative and transnational contexts and the ways in which culture influences the experience of illness, the practice of medicine and the process of healing for the individual and community. It explores how the experiences and perceptions of the body, self or notion of the individual or person influence the illness experience. It is also concerned with how cultural values and practices dynamically shape and are themselves shaped by biomedical research and practice and non-Western medicines and healing traditions. This blog presents current and emerging research within Medical Anthropology at UCL and abroad, and it offers a forum for exchange and discussion within social science and medical communities.

Medical Anthropology Seminar Series 2017

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.’

The Material Culture of Failure

What happens when objects behave unexpectedly or fail to do what they ‘should’? Even when materials, and the institutions in which they are embedded, perform mechanically in the way in which they were designed, they may fail to ‘socially’ do what is expected of them. Who defines failure? Is failure always bad? Rather than viewing concepts such as failure, incoherence or incompetence as antithetical to social life, this innovative new book examines the unexpected and surprising ways in which failure, for better or for worse, can lead to productive and creative results.

Revisiting Critical Medical Anthropology in Oaxaca, Mexico

In January a five day event co-organised by a team from UCL Medical Anthropology and CIESAS in Mexico in the beautiful surrounding of Oaxaca City was a chance to learn a lot more about not only how different traditions of CMA have evolved in Latin America but how those carrying out research in the UK, India, West Africa and beyond are engaging, challenging and re-invigorating the space and shape of CMA .