The Human Sciences Research Council (HSRC)

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Medicine and the Politics of Knowledge situates South Africa - including its history of stances and political formations around HIV/AIDSin the broader context of questions relating to science, medicine, human experimentation, and structural violence, all of which shape the cases in the book. Putting South Africa in the context of other cases of contention and contestation about science and medicine in India, Latin America and China helps us to understand the particular history of the South African case itself.

Conceived in response to the urgency of bioethical debates in medical anthropology, this ethnographic collection touches the borders of anthropology, philosophy, and public health. At a time in world history where medicine and medical practice is deeply contested in the everyday as well as in juridical terms, this book makes an essential contribution to global debates about tradition, about science, and about the politics of knowledge production.

Open Access

Product information

Format : 235mm x 168mm (Soft Cover)
Pages : 208
ISBN 10 : 978-07969-2392-9
ISBN 13 : 978-07969-2392-9
Publish Year : 2013
Rights : World Rights

List of figures
Acknowledgements
Acronyms and abbreviations


INTRODUCTION
Medicine and the politics of knowledge: Beyond the microscope
Susan Levine

ETHNOGRAPHY FROM SOUTHERN AFRICA

The rings around Jonathan's eyes: HIV and AIDS medicine at the margins of administration
Oliver Human

True believers or modern believers: HIV science and the work of the Dr Rath Foundation
Christopher Colvin

Testing knowledge: Legitimacy, healing and medicine in South Africa
Susan Levine

Biomedical and traditional knowledge in the search for healing in Namibia
Diana Gibson and Estelle Oosthuysen

ETHNOGRAPHY FROM THE GLOBAL SOUTH

Believing sceptically: Rethinking health-seeking behaviours in central India
Helen Macdonald

Experimentalité: Pharmaceutical insights into anthropologys epistemologically fractured self
Donna Goldstein

Knowledge in translation: Global science, local things
Judith Farquhar

POSTSCRIPT
Trees, webs and explosions: The analogical imperative in the politics of knowledge
Fritha Langerman

Christopher J Colvin is a senior research officer in social sciences and HIV/AIDS, TB and STIs at the University of Cape Town's (UCT) School of Public Health. He has a PhD in socio-cultural anthropology from the University of Virginia and a master's degree in public health (epidemiology) from UCT. He has lectured in anthropology and public health at Columbia University and several South African universities and was a UCT postdoctoral fellow in health and human rights. His research areas include HIV and AIDS and masculinity, health systems reform, community mobilisation and health activism, community health workers and qualitative research methodology.

Judith B Farquhar is Max Palevsky Professor of Anthropology and Social Sciences and Chair of the Department of Anthropology at the University of Chicago. Her research areas include traditional medicine, popular culture and everyday life in contemporary China. Anthropological areas of interest include medical anthropology, the anthropology of knowledge and of embodiment, critical theory and cultural studies, and theories of reading, writing and translation.

Diana Gibson is a trained anthropologist specialising in the field of medical anthropology. She lectures in the Department of Anthropology and Sociology at the University of the Western Cape. She has published in national and international peer-reviewed journals on hospital ethnography, transformation of the South African healthcare system, ex-combatants and trauma, gender, sexuality and reproductive health, masculinity, gender-based violence, tuberculosis and the use of plant medicines among the Ju/'hoansi San in Namibia, as well as on the literacy and numeracy practices of farm workers in the Western Cape.

Donna Goldstein has written extensively on the intersection of race, gender, poverty and violence in Brazil. She is the author of the critically acclaimed Laughter Out of Place: Race, Class, Violence, and Sexuality in a Rio Shantytown (University of California Press 2003), which focuses on the lives of impoverished domestic workers who deploy humour and laughter as strategic forms of resistance in their day-to-day struggle for survival. Currently, she is writing about pharmaceutical politics, bioethics, regulation and neoliberalism in Argentina, Mexico, Brazil and the United States.

Oliver Human is a PhD candidate in the Department of Anthropology and Sociology at the University of Amsterdam. His current dissertation examines the moral and political effects of human rights-based HIV counseling on HIV-positive prisoners and ex-prisoners in South Africa. Prior to this, Oliver completed a PhD, which was concerned with the notions of 'novelty', 'complexity' and 'the event', at Stellenbosch University.

Fritha Langerman is an associate professor at the Michaelis School of Fine Art, University of Cape Town. Her interdisciplinary research interests include printmaking, the scientific representation of the body, curatorship and the display and ordering of information. Her first solo exhibition, The Dissection (Castle of Good Hope, 1996) focused on biomedical visual representation and authorship of the human body. Since then, her projects have focused on taxonomies of the visual such as Lexicons and Labyrinths: The Iconography of the Genome (2003), Curiosity CLXXV (2004), Knowledge Chambers (2007/8) and Subtle Thresholds at the South African Museum (2009/10). The challenges of the display of natural history within a contemporary world continue to drive her production.

Susan Levine is a senior lecturer in the School of Gender and African Studies, Anthropology and Linguistics at the University of Cape Town. She has written extensively on the political economy of children's work in South Africa's wine industry. Her current research focuses on children's subjective experiences of living with infectious illness in sub-Saharan Africa. The recipient of a Distinguished Teacher's Award in 2011, Dr Levine is renowned for her experimental pedagogy in teaching medical anthropology.

Helen Macdonald is a social anthropologist and a lecturer at the University of Cape Town. Currently, she is engaged in a writing project that builds on interests in belief and scepticism, alternative healing, intimate spaces of personal fear, witch accusations, memory and narrative, historical discourses of criminality and law, and state-society relations in Chhattisgarh, India.

Estelle Oosthuysen is a qualified pharmacist and pilot and an independent researcher. She has been working in Namibia for the past 20 years and is particularly interested in plants as medicines.

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