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Studying medical globalization: Historical and anthropological investigations

Joint workshop Globhealth/Freie Universität Berlin, Paris/Cermes3, February 22-23, 2016

Anthropologists and historians alike have been contributing to research and practice in the rapidly changing and expanding field of global health. In approaching the global as something translated in and emerging from local practices and local knowledge, both disciplines share common interests.

This workshop intends to explore how we can link the study of globalization processes in both disciplines to inquiries into the fields of medicine and health. In particular, we aim to discuss which theoretical and methodological frameworks can be applied to a critical analysis of the role of locality and local perspectives in the burgeoning field of medical globalization.

The following methodological and theoretical concepts can serve as entry points for the discussion:

Methodological entries
  • Ethnographic methods

  • Ethics and epistemologies

  • Working with/in archives

  • Temporal structure and narrative explanation

Theoretical propositions
  • The political economies of health and health care provision and their local articulations;

  • Material and social worlds such as laboratories, hospitals, enterprises, public health institutions, international organizations, etc.;

  • Different levels of circulations, flows, scapes, mobilities and connectivities.

This workshop aims to establish a fruitful interdisciplinary dialogue that

  • Provides opportunity for scholars working in fields of global health and medical globalization (ranging from PhD students to postdoctoral researchers) to present their research projects and engage in an intense exchange of ideas;
  • Emphasizes (but does not limit) its regional foci on East Africa and India;
  • Provides time for networking beyond the thematic workshop and for the consideration of future collaborations.
Papers to be presented:

Presented by Judith Schühle:
Caroline Meier zu Biesen, From coastal to global: The transnational circulation of Ayurveda and its relevance for Indo-African linkages
Presented by Caroline Meier zu Biesen:
Judith Schühle, The embeddedness in transnational therapy networks of migrated Nigerian physicians

Presented by Dominik Mattes:
Fanny Chabrol, An ethnographic study of hospital management of tuberculosis in northern Tanzania
Presented by Fanny Chabrol:
Dominik Mattes, The politics of normalization. Providing and Living a Life with Antiretroviral HIV Treatment in North-eastern Tanzania

Presented by Britta Rutert:
Vegard Sture, The Tuberculosis ‘Xpert’ Performed. Global Health discourse and local implications of a large-scale technology roll-out
Presented by Vegard Sture:
Britta Rutert, Re-Valuating Medicinal Plants and Indigenous Knowledge in post-Apartheid South Africa

Presented by Giorgio Brocco:
Ursula Read, Between care and control: exploring the emergence of ‘human rights’ as global form in contrasting sites of mental health care in Ghana, West Africa
Presented by Ursula Read:
Giorgio Brocco, Narrating New Identities: Albinism in the Wake of Humanitarian Reasons

Presented by Anitha Tingira:
Mandy Geise, From genetics to genomics in Mexico through an anthropological and historical lens
Presented by Mandy Geise:
Anitha Tingira, From Traditional Birth Attendants to Community Health Workers: Reflection of Politics of Maternal Health in Tanzania

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