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Subjectivity, Politics and Medical Anthropology: The 2010 Marett Lecture by Professor Byron J. Good

It has been a long time since I made my last contribution here. In addition to starting a new job I’ve been deeply involved with blogging and other online activities for the Green Movement in Iran. But I think it’s time for me to come back here, and as a way of working my way back into the topic of subjectivity and specifically political subjectivity which I had started last year, I thought I could start by sharing with you a great lecture that was given last week by my wonderful mentor and friend, Byron Good, on the topic of subjectivity and its relevance to medical anthropology and cultural psychiatry.

Professor Byron J. Good delivered this year’s Marett Memorial Lecture at Exeter College, University of Oxford, on April 30. The Marett Lecture series has been held at Oxford since 1947 in honor of Robert Ranulph Marett, and the list of lecturers reads like a who is who of leading anthropologists and philosophers, including E. E. Evans-Pritchard, Raymond Firth, Max Gluckman, Ernest Gellner, Fredrick Barth, Sherry Ortner, WVO Quine etc. (here’s the list of past presenters).

Last week Dr. Good re-delivered his Marett talk at Harvard, and that is the lecture you will hear here. I have taken the liberty of leaving certain parts of the meeting out, which includes some more commentaries and the Q&A segment. The file opens with MIT anthropologist, Michael MJ Fischer presenting Byron Good, and ends with a commentary also by Mike Fischer. This talk was given on September 17, and the title is, “Theorizing the ‘Subject’ of Medical and Psychiatric Anthropology.”

4 replies on “Subjectivity, Politics and Medical Anthropology: The 2010 Marett Lecture by Professor Byron J. Good”

Thanks so much for posting — any chance a text version of this lecture will be available in the near future?

Sorry for not having seen or responded to your comment earlier, Peter. To answer your question, I am not sure whether or when Byron may publish this as a paper, but the great news is that he will be working on expanding what is presented here into a book. Not sure how long that might take, but I think that's a wonderful idea. If you badly need the text for some reason, feel free to contact me directly.

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