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Lectures

“There are worse places to spend a lockdown”: Privileged and at risk British retirees in Spain

This article is part of the following series:

It was a sunny Tuesday morning, at the beginning of March 2020. The dirt pétanque field in a Catalan coastal town was filled with English chatter about golf, gardening and the occasional Brexit reference. A new topic had infiltrated the conversation: COVID-19. As a group of British retirees living in Spain, most of the players were in their late 60’s …

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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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Features

Gun Cultures Reflect Broader Changes in American Society

This article is part of the following series:

Author’s Note: I originally wrote this article for my institution’s student-run literary magazine after the Parkland shooting. Our little community was engaged in passionate debate about “gun culture” and I had long wanted to write on the issue given my socialization and scholarship. This essay is an attempt to examine my own family’s social dynamics relative to larger societal shifts.

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Features

Pharmaceutical Prosthesis and White Racial Rescue in the Prescription Opioid “Epidemic”

This article is part of the following series:

Introduction

A U.S. public discourse of addiction as a disabling psychiatric condition (as opposed to a moral flaw or social deviancy) was codified into Social Security policy in 1972, following its emergence in post-war clinical science and popular media (Conrad & Schneider, 1980; Duster, 1970). In recent years, this discourse has taken divergent forms in policy and media debates surrounding …

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Features

Remaking Local Biologies in an Epigenetic Time

Premise and Summary

This is a very provisional text,[1] part of a broader book-length research (forthcoming from Palgrave in 2015) on ‘political epistemology’, a construct I use to investigate the coproduction of epistemological facts and socio-political values in the history of the life-sciences (e.g.: how certain views of heredity, development, nature/nurture potentially favor certain political values and …

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Books

Elizabeth Roberts’ God’s Laboratory

God’s Laboratory: Assisted Reproduction in the Andes

by Elizabeth F. S. Roberts

University of California Press, 2012, 273 pp.

 

In God’s Laboratory: Assisted Reproduction in the Andes, Elizabeth Roberts examines how science and spirituality are connected in the practice of in vitro fertilization (IVF) in Ecuador. This alone is a significant contribution to the anthropology of assisted reproduction, …

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