1. Week 17: Mon 14 January - TOPIC 1: What is 'global health?' 21 items
    This opening session offers an overview of the module and its requirements, as well as opening up a critical discussion on what we mean by terms like ‘global’, ‘health’, ‘public health’ and ‘global health’.We will ask what anthropologists can do to contribute to those debates, and if and why they should. We will also discuss if there is a universal right to health? And, if ‘human rights’ mean different things in different places, what do we mean by ‘rights’ in respect of health anyway? Athough students won’t necessarily have read extensively before the class this week, the readings below are also useful for thinking through the themes that emerge in subsequent weeks of the module

    2. Medical anthropology at the intersections: histories, activisms, and futures - Marcia Claire Inhorn, Emily A. Wentzell 2012 (electronic resource)

      Book Essential reading Read 'That Obscure Object of Global Health' by D. Fassin p95-115

    3. Making and Unmaking Public Health In Africa: Ethnographic Perspectives - R. Marsland

      Book Essential reading Read 'Who are the public in public health? Debating crowds, populations and publics in Tanzania'

    4. Anthropology and global health - Janes C R, Corbett K K 2009

      Article Essential reading

    5. ALSO IN

    6. A reader in medical anthropology: theoretical trajectories, emergent realities - Craig R Janes, Kitty K Corbett

      Chapter Essential reading Read Chapter 32, pp 405-415, Anthropology and Global Health.


    8. The New World of Global Health - Jon Cohen 2006

      Article Recommended reading

    9. The Challenge of Global Health - L. Garrett 2007

      Article Recommended reading

    10. Culture and global change - Tracey Skelton, Tim Allen 1999

      Book Recommended reading Understanding Health. In: Culture and Global Change, pp: 70-83

    11. Monographs

    12. Infections and inequalities: the modern plagues - Paul Farmer 1999

      Book Recommended reading

    13. Blind spot: how neoliberalism infiltrated global health - Salmaan Keshavjee 2014 (electronic resource)

      Book Recommended reading

    14. Films

    15. Bill Gates on Progress in Global Health 2009

      Audio-visual document Recommended reading

    16. Water of Ayolon Vimeo Wednesday, August 26, 2009 at 10:50 AM EST

      Audio-visual document 


      Must medical anthropologists also be global health activists?


  2. Week 18: Mon 21 January - TOPIC 2: Plagues and epidemics 16 items
    How is it that some diseases and conditions come to be dubbed ‘epidemic’ – or even ‘pandemic’ – and others, despite affecting large numbers of people, do not? What is the difference between an epidemic, pandemic and syndemic? How do epidemiologists understand the terms ‘risk factors’, ‘risk groups’ and ‘core groups’? How does the wider social, economic and political context shape understandings of risk?

    2. Plagues and Epidemics: Infected Spaces Past and Present - D. A. Herring

      Book Essential reading

    3. and/or

    4. Epidemics: science, governance, and social justice - Sarah Dry, Melissa Leach 2010

      Book Essential reading

    5. Plus some of…


    7. Biocommunicability and the Biopolitics of Pandemic Threats - Charles L. Briggs, Mark Nichter 10/08/2009

      Article Recommended reading

    8. Asian flus in ethnographic and political context: A biosocial approach - Arthur M. Kleinman, Barry R. Bloom, Anthony Saich, Katherine A. Mason 04/2008

      Article Recommended reading

    9. When People Come First :Critical Studies in Global Health: Critical Studies in Global Health - João Biehl

      Book Recommended reading Read 'The Next Epidemic: Pain and the Politics of Relief in Botswana’s Cancer Ward' by J. Livingston; pp.182-206

    10. Epidemics and ideas: essays on the historical perception of pestilence - Megan Vaughan

      Chapter Recommended reading Read Chapter 11, pp 269-302, Syphilis in colonial East and Central Africa: the social construction of an epidemic.

    11. Monographs

    12. FOCUS QUESTION: How well are the ethnographic examples of epidemics you have explored explained effectively by dominant narrative frameworks? What are the implications of looking at outbreaks of disease in this way?

  3. Week 19: Mon 28 January - TOPIC 3: Migration, ethnicity and global health 11 items
    Globalization brings with it increased movement of ever larger numbers of people across geographical borders, with varying implications, imagined and real, for public health. At the same time, fears about contagion from ‘the other’ – which, as we saw last week, have long historical roots – feedback into public debates about migration and ethnic identity. In looking at specific ethnographic examples, we also consider the health challenges that face those who cross national borders…

    2. Structural Vulnerability and Health: Latino Migrant Laborers in the United States - James Quesada, Laurie Kain Hart, Philippe Bourgois 07/2011

      Article Essential reading

    3. Monographs

    4. Fresh fruit, broken bodies: migrant farmworkers in the United States - Seth M. Holmes 2013 (electronic resource)

      Book Recommended reading

    5. Film

    6. FOCUS QUESTION: On what are global health fears linked to migration based? And what health problems might face migrants themselves?


  4. Week 20: Mon 04 February - TOPIC 4: Constructing global health problems: the case of FGM or ‘female circumcision’ 10 items
    How do broader debates about child health, reproductive health, human rights, sexual abuse and the place of women in society influence international responses to female circumcision? How has clinical, epidemiological and social anthropological research on female circumcision been influenced by these debates? Is it appropriate for the WHO to refer to female circumcision as ‘female genital mutilation’ and to promote the end of this practice? Or are those who prefer the term ‘female circumcision’ apologists for brutal human rights abuses? And what can anthropologists usefully contribute to these debates?

    2. Film clip 


      What can anthropologists contribute to debates about female circumcision? How appropriate is it to take a 'cultural relativist' position?


  5. Week 21: Mon 06 February - TOPIC 5: Reproduction, the state and infant & maternal health 8 items
    With upwards of 10 million children across the world dying before their fifth birthday – the majority of them in poor countries – while elsewhere conception itself has been transformed by increasingly sophisticated technologies, does it make sense to think about issues of reproduction and maternal health as the same thing globally? This session considers problems of maternal and infant health and the approaches anthropologists might develop and use to make sense of them

    2. Where and why are 10 million children dying every year? - Robert E Black, Saul S Morris, Jennifer Bryce 06/2003

      Article Essential reading

    3. Reproduction, globalization, and the state: new theoretical and ethnographic perspectives - C. H. Browner, Carolyn Fishel Sargent 2011 (electronic resource)

      Book Essential reading 'Towards Global Anthropological Studies of Reproduction: Concepts, Methods, Theoretical Approaches' pp 1—17

    4. Cosmopolitan Conceptions: IVF Sojourns in Global Dubai - M. C. Inhorn 2015

      Book Recommended reading

    5. Ways of Knowing about Birth in Three Cultures - Carolyn Sargent and Grace Bascope 1996

      Article Recommended reading

    6. FOCUS QUESTION: What can the study of maternal and infant health tell us about broader social issues?

  6. Week 22: Mon 18 February - TOPIC 6: Dealing with disability on a global stage 5 items
    If disability, as some disability scholars and activists have claimed, has nothing to do with the body and everything to do with social responses to negatively-construed bodily differences, then it would stand to reason that disability would be constituted in different ways across the globe. In exploring the validity or otherwise of that claim, in this class we will consider whether it might also be the case that scholars have been too slavishly committed to models designed to explain disability in Western post-industrial revolution societies. Might, for example, there be more local forms of knowledge that could help us overcome the ethnocentric qualities of sociological models – and, if so, how might these help us to think about global health more generally?
    1. ESSENTIAL: 

    2. Medical anthropology at the intersections: histories, activisms, and futures - Marcia Claire Inhorn, Emily A. Wentzell 2012 (electronic resource)

      Book Essential reading See chapter 7 Rapp & Ginsburg: Anthropology and the Study of Disability Worlds


      FOCUS QUESTION: How well geared-up is Disability Studies (DS) to studying 'disability' beyond western contexts? What can Anthropology offer to DS and vice versa?

  7. Week 23: Mon 25 February READING WEEK—no class this week 0 items
  8. Week 24: Mon 04 March - TOPIC 7: Disease in global perspective: leprosy and other stigmatised diseases 18 items
    From what, if anything, can we learn about managing new diseases from the management of long-established diseases that are seen as potential threats to global health – such as leprosy – and more recent ones, such as HIV/AIDS/? Students will be asked to compare the responses of the global health community to leprosy and AIDS/HIV and to consider what light one might throw upon the other.
    1. On leprosy:

    2. Leprosy and the State - James Staples 2007

      Article Recommended reading

    3. Interrogating leprosy 'stigma': why qualitative insights are vital 01.06.2011 Volume: 82 Issue: 2 Page: 91-97

      Article Recommended reading

    4. Curing their ills: colonial power and African illness - Megan Vaughan c1991

      Book Recommended reading Without the Camp: Institutions and Identities in the Colonial History of Leprosy Pp. 77-100.


      On AIDS/HIV

    6. Will to live: AIDS therapies and the politics of survival - Joäao Guilherme Biehl, Torben Eskerod c2007

      Book Recommended reading

    7. AIDS and Metaphor: Toward the Social Meaning of Epidemic Disease 01.10.1988 Volume: 55 Issue: 3 Page: 413-432

      Article Recommended reading

    8. The embodiment of inequality - Didier Fassin 2003-6

      Article Recommended reading

    9. Risky business: The cultural construction of AIDS risk groups - Nina Glick Schiller, Stephen Crystal, Denver Lewellen 1994-5

      Article Recommended reading

    10. When People Come First :Critical Studies in Global Health: Critical Studies in Global Health - João Biehl

      Book Recommended reading Therapeutic Clientship: Belonging in Uganda’s Mosaic of AIDS Projects pp. 140-165


      FOCUS QUESTION: To what extent is historical knowledge necessary in devising programmes to manage, cure and/or eliminate major diseases?

  9. Week 25: Mon 11 March - TOPIC 8: Disease in global perspective: Ebola and beyond 11 items
    Having considered, last week the complex interplay of biological, social, economic, historical and political factors that contribute to how diseases are spread, understood, responded to and experienced, in this session - with guest lecturer Dr Julie Hastings - we consider how anthropologists have reacted to the more recent Ebola outbreaks, and how an anthropological approach might contribute to wider efforts to control Ebola as well as other emerging diseases.


    2. The largest ever epidemic of Ebola - Paul Farmer 11/2014

      Article Essential reading

    3. The Ebola Crisis and Post-2015 Development - Melissa Leach 08/2015

      Article Essential reading

    4. Ebola Response Anthropology Platform

      Website Essential reading Ebola response anthropology platform; There are a number of short, interesting articles on this site.



    6. Ebola in Liberia: An Epidemic of Rumors - Helen Epstein Helen Epstein Helen Epstein Helen Epstein Colm Tóibín Jed Perl Anne Applebaum Rachel Donadio Charles Baxter Riccardo Manzotti and Tim Parks David Shulman Charles Simic Zadie Smith Ahmed Rashid 2014

      Article Recommended reading

    7. Ebola, culture, and politics: the anthropology of an emerging disease - Barry S. Hewlett, Bonnie L. Hewlett c2008

      Book Recommended reading

    8. FOCUS QUESTION:  To what extent it is necessary to examine local knowledge(s) of disease(s) to promote effective biomedical interventions? Are anthropologists the only ones who can or should do this?


  10. Week 26: Mon 18 March - TOPIC 9: Global Mental Health: with a focus on suicide 24 items
    Psychologists tend to explain suicide as an individual phenomenon, closely linked to mental health. By contrast, from Durkheim onwards, sociologists and anthropologists have framed suicide in socio-cultural terms, with evidence that different societies engender different suicide rates – and for particular reasons – as different practices of suicide and self-harm. This session explores these arguments and their implications for global health.

      On mental health

    2. Mental Health and the Global Agenda - Anne E. Becker, Arthur Kleinman 04/07/2013

      Article Essential reading

    3. Global Mental Health: Anthropological Perspectives - Brandon A. Kohrt, Emily Mendenhall

      Book Recommended reading

    4. When People Come First :Critical Studies in Global Health: Critical Studies in Global Health - João Biehl

      Book Recommended reading “Labor Instability and Community Mental Health: The Work of Pharmaceuticals in Santiago, Chile.” pp. 276-301

    5. Afterword: Against "global mental health" - D. Summerfield 01/07/2012

      Article Recommended reading

    6. Contemporary states of emergency: the politics of military and humanitarian interventions - Mary-Jo DelVecchio Good, Byron J Good, Jesse Grayman

      Chapter Recommended reading Read pp. 241-266, Complex Engagements: Responding to Violence in Postconflict Aceh.

    7. Protest Psychosis : How Schizophrenia Became a Black Disease - Jonathan Metzl

      Book Recommended reading

    8. No health without mental health - Martin Prince, Vikram Patel, Shekhar Saxena, Mario Maj 09/2007

      Article Recommended reading


      On suicide

    10. Suicide and Agency: Anthropological Perspectives on Self-Destruction, Personhood and Power (Studies in Death, Materiality and the Origin of Time) - Daniel Münster

      Book Recommended reading 'The Anthropology of Suicide: Ethnography and the Tension of Agency' pp3-26

    11. Suicidology as a Social Practice - Scott J. Fitzpatrick, Claire Hooker, Ian Kerridge 03/07/2015

      Article Recommended reading



    13. Global Mental Health Documentary, Jagannath Lamichhane 1/4/2016

      Audio-visual document Recommended reading

    14. FOCUS QUESTION: Does it make sense to think about suicide as a mental health problem?

  11. Week 27: Mon 25 March - TOPIC 10: Health, Rights and Entitlements 8 items
    Is there a universal right to health? And, if ‘human rights’ mean different things in different places, what do we mean by ‘rights’ in respect of health anyway? How might they sit alongside civil, political or legal rights? Even if we can agree on that, what’s the use of acknowledging someone’s right to treatment, say, in settings where those treatments are beyond the reach of most people and beyond the capacity of the state to provide them? In addition, might the language of human rights – part of a globalising, neoliberal discourse framed by such notions as ‘empowerment’ – shoehorn us into particular ways of thinking about the distribution of health care that our ethnographic experiences might otherwise challenge? Do self-help groups and community-based rehabilitation programmes, for example, help people to access better healthcare, or do such initiatives merely shift responsibility from the state on to individuals? This week’s class pushes us to engage critically with taken-for-granted understandings of health rights…
    1. When People Come First :Critical Studies in Global Health: Critical Studies in Global Health - João Biehl

      Book Essential reading The ‘Right to Know’ or ‘Know Your Rights’? Human Rights and a People-Centered Approach to Health Policy; pp 91-108

    2. Blind spot: how neoliberalism infiltrated global health - Salmaan Keshavjee 2014 (electronic resource)

      Book Essential reading

    3. J. Staples, 'But what is a human rights approach?' Making sense of rights claims from an Indian disability NGO. [available on BBL]

    4. FOCUS QUESTION:  What right do people have to good health?


  12. Week 28: Mon 14 April 0 items
    There will be no formal lecture this week, but students are invited to come along to discuss plans for their essays due on 01 May (UG) and 22 April (PG) and to give feedback on the module overall.
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