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Books

We All Have a Little Bit of Lead

In Daniel Renfrew’s new book Life Without Lead, the statement “we all have a little lead” was deployed in millennial Uruguay to radically different effect. It was used by public health officials to quell parents’ anger and simmering political volatility in the face of widespread childhood lead contamination in many of Montevideo’s poorest neighborhoods. These officials diminished the children’s …

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Lectures

Bioethnography and the Birth Cohort: A Method for Making New Kinds of Anthropological Knowledge about Transmission (which is what anthropology has been about all along)

This article is part of the following series:

© Elizabeth F. S. Roberts

These are pots and dishes. They transmit food and love. They transmit lead. They transmit class. They transmit enduring inequality and new forms of environmental degradation. These transmissions are conveyed through food, love, and chemical leaching. These pots are for sale in working class neighborhoods in Mexico City. They are passed around in families. They …

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Features Teaching Resources

Syllabus: Nature/Culture Now!

This article is part of the following series:

Nature Culture Now!, an upper division anthropology lecture course at the University of Michigan, traces the trajectory of nature/culture debates in American anthropology through modules on race, sex, and health and disease. The course is co-taught by a biological anthropologist, and myself, a cultural/medical anthropologist. The impetus for Nature/Culture Now! came from a formative experience I had as an undergraduate …

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Features

Acknowledging the Palestinian Public Health Crisis: Why Signing onto the Academic Boycott Makes Sense for Medical Anthropologists

Dear fellow medical anthropologists,

We have learned that medical anthropologists are currently under-represented, as compared to other sub-fields, in their support for the AAA academic boycott resolution.[1] We write to ask you to seriously consider joining us in signing on. Let us explain why we see this as an issue over which medical anthropologists should be concerned. Palestinians in …

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Features

Bio-Ethnography: A Collaborative, Methodological Experiment in Mexico City

This article is part of the following series:

In 1993, a team of U.S.-based environmental health researchers partnered with public health officials in Mexico to form ELEMENT (Early Life Exposure in Mexico to Environmental Toxicants). The project aimed to study the effects of chemical exposures, particularly lead, on fetal and childhood growth and neurological development in what the United Nation then designated as the most polluted city on …

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Features

Petri Dish

The petri dish was made for separation.  It was developed for culturing microorganisms while separating them from airborne contaminates.  As part of its ability to make separations between the contaminated world outside and the uncontaminated world inside, the dish also assisted in separating individuals from disease.  These days, it’s getting harder for petri dishes to maintain these separations.

Julius Richard …

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