Web Roundups

New medical anthropology blogs

A couple of new medical anthropology blogs have been launched recently.

The SMA has started up “Voices from Medical Anthropology” — which aims to foster discussions on disciplinary self-definition.  In a recent post, SMA president Carolyn Sargent asks “Who are we in the public imagination?” and asks readers to comment on how they explain their work to non-anthropologists.  Additionally, she writes, “I hope that on this blog we can exchange thoughts about “what is at the core of medical anthropology?”

Another recently launched site is “Access Denied: A Conversation on Unauthorized Im/migration and Health,” the self-described aim of which is to “stimulate dialogue about a vital global health challenge: unauthorized migrants’ and immigrants’ lack of access to health care services.” In their introduction to the blog, the contributors write:

“This collaborative blog grew out of a “Take a Stand” initiative from the Critical Anthropology of Global Health interest group of the Society for Medical Anthropology.  It is part of a broader effort within anthropology to make our research relevant beyond the academy and contribute to public policy conversations.  We encourage you to read and comment on the position paper produced by this group that talks about the complex problem of unauthorized im/migration and health and suggests how more anthropologists might get involved.  Though this effort was initiated by a group of anthropologists, we hope that the blog itself will engage academics from other disciplines as well as public health practitioners, activists, policymakers, and interested members of the community,” (Access Denied 2009).

The posts so far have been very substantive and impressive.  Sarah Willen (Southern Methodist University) has written several in-depth “news round-ups“–which are really news analyses. Didier Fassin contributes a piece titled “Illegal Immigrants as the Last Frontier of Welfare,” and Peter Guarnaccia has written an opinion piece: “Health Care Reform Is Intimately Linked to Immigration Reform.” Additionally, the site includes several pages of resources on issues of migration and health: an extensive working bibliography, a list of web resources, and even a set of suggested “action steps” for those interested in fostering public discussion of these issues.  Overall, it’s a really impressive and focused site, very much worth a visit.