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Lectures

Ask-Me-Almost-Anything (AMAA): Centering Student Engagement with Ethnographic Monographs

This article is part of the following series:

“Why is this a book?” The student who volunteered this question during a class discussion could not have known how meaningful – and unsettling – I found the earnest query. Their curiosity, I think, stemmed from the observation that each of the chapters could have existed independently as articles. They were also interested in whether anthropologists typically embraced other formats …

Categories
Books

Burning Questions

“Why couldn’t a Batswana author or scholar, someone already in Botswana, have written this kind of book?”

A student in my course, “Feminist Perspectives on Global Capitalism,” posed this question on the daily discussion forum in response to Julie Livingston’s Self-Devouring Growth. This was at my former institution. The classes taught by my colleagues and me in feminist studies …

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Lectures

Medical anthropology applied to education in socio-health professions: From the enchantment of technology to the enchantment of the encounter

This article is part of the following series:

“If you want to understand what a science is, you should look for the first instance not at its theories and its findings, and certainly not at what its apologists say about it, you should look  at what the practitioners of it do,” wrote Clifford Geertz (1973, p.311). To contribute to the continuous redefinition of medical anthropology, we will present …

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Lectures

Teaching the social determinants of health during the COVID-19 pandemic

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I teach an undergraduate course called Cultural diversity, structural barriers, and multilingualism in clinical and healing encounters at the University of Chicago. The title is a mouthful, and the course can be thought of as one that combines medical anthropological perspectives and a social determinants of health framework. A social determinants of health framework examines the “causes of the causes” …

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Lectures

Eating in Class: Notes on Nourishment and Decolonial Pedagogy

This article is part of the following series:

It’s a common adage, following Lévi-Strauss, that “food is good to think with.” A class assignment that includes food-centred ethnographic presentations expands the scope of such thinking into embodied and institutional memory. Below I describe such a class feast prepared by second-year social anthropology students at Sol Plaatje University in 2019 (one of two post-Apartheid South African Universities). The idea …

Categories
Features

Justice, Science, and Pedagogy

This article is part of the following series:

As we consider the role of justice in pedagogy and scholarship, I want to ask a simple but difficult question:

What is our ethical task?

Do we desire to be right? Do we desire to be powerful? Do we desire to be empathetic and other-oriented?

Earlier in my academic career, I understood my pedagogical task to be equipping students to …

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