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Countries in sub-Saharan Africa were once dismissed by Western experts as being too poor and chaotic to benefit from the antiretroviral drugs that transformed the AIDS epidemic in the United States and Europe. Today, however, the region is courted by some of the most prestigious research universities in the world as they search for “resource-poor” hospitals in which to base their international HIV research and global health programs. In Scrambling for Africa, Johanna Tayloe Crane reveals how, in the space of merely a decade, Africa went from being a continent largely excluded from advancements in HIV medicine to an area of central concern and knowledge production within the increasingly popular field of global health science. Drawing on research conducted in the U.S. and Uganda during the mid-2000s, Crane provides a fascinating ethnographic account of the transnational flow of knowledge, politics, and research money—as well as blood samples, viruses, and drugs. She takes readers to underfunded Ugandan HIV clinics as well as to laboratories and conference rooms in wealthy American cities like San Francisco and Seattle where American and Ugandan experts struggle to forge shared knowledge about the AIDS epidemic. The resulting uncomfortable mix of preventable suffering, humanitarian sentiment, and scientific ambition shows how global health research partnerships may paradoxically benefit from the very inequalities they aspire to redress. A work of outstanding interdisciplinary scholarship, Scrambling for Africa will be of interest to audiences in anthropology, science and technology studies, African studies, and the medical humanities.
This collection is dedicated to the diagnostic moment and its unrivaled influence on encompassment and exclusion in health care. Diagnosis is seen as both an expression and a vehicle of biomedical hegemony, yet it is also a necessary and speculative tool for the identification of and response to suffering in any healing system. Social scientific studies of medicalization and the production of medical knowledge have revealed tremendous controversy within, and factitiousness at the outer parameters of, diagnosable conditions. Yet the ethnographically rich and theoretically complex history of such studies has not yet congealed into a coherent structural critique of the process and broader implications of diagnosis. This volume meets that challenge, directing attention to three distinctive realms of diagnostic conflict: in the role of diagnosis to grant access to care, in processes of medicalization and resistance, and in the transforming and transformative position of diagnosis for 21st-century global health. Smith-Morris’s framework repositions diagnosis as central to critical global health inquiry. The collected authors question specific diagnoses (e.g., Lyme disease, Parkinson's, andropause, psychosis) as well as the structural and epistemological factors behind a disease’s naming and experience.
A thought-provoking examination of death, dying, and the afterlife Prominent scholars present their most recent work about mortuary rituals, grief and mourning, genocide, cyclical processes of life and death, biomedical developments, and the materiality of human corpses in this unique and illuminating book. Interrogating our most common practices surrounding death, the authors ask such questions as: How does the state wrest away control over the dead from bereaved relatives? Why do many mourners refuse to cut their emotional ties to the dead and nurture lasting bonds? Is death a final condition or can human remains acquire agency? The book is a refreshing reassessment of these issues and practices, a source of theoretical inspiration in the study of death. With contributions written by an international team of experts in their fields, A Companion to the Anthropology of Death is presented in six parts and covers such subjects as: Governing the Dead in Guatemala; After Death Communications (ADCs) in North America; Cryonic Suspension in the Secular Age; Blood and Organ Donation in China; The Fragility of Biomedicine; and more. A Companion to the Anthropology of Death is a comprehensive and accessible volume and an ideal resource for senior undergraduate and graduate students in courses such as Anthropology of Death, Medical Anthropology, Anthropology of Violence, Anthropology of the Body, and Political Anthropology. Written by leading international scholars in their fields A comprehensive survey of the most recent empirical research in the anthropology of death A fundamental critique of the early 20th century founding fathers of the anthropology of death Cross-cultural texts from tribal and industrial societies The collection is of interest to anyone concerned with the consequences of the state and massive violence on life and death
Synthesizing Hope opens up the material and social world of pharmaceuticals by focusing on an unexpected place: iThemba Pharmaceuticals. Founded in 2009 with a name taken from the Zulu word for hope, the small South African startup with an elite international scientific board was tasked with drug discovery for tuberculosis, HIV, and malaria. Anne Pollock uses this company as an entry point for exploring how the location of scientific knowledge production matters, not only for the raw materials, manufacture, licensing, and distribution of pharmaceuticals but also for the making of basic scientific knowledge. Consideration of this case exposes the limitations of global health frameworks that implicitly posit rich countries as the only sites of knowledge production. Analysis of iThemba identifies the problems inherent in global north/south divides at the same time as it highlights what is at stake in who makes knowledge and where. It also provides a concrete example for consideration of the contexts and practices of postcolonial science, its constraints, and its promise. Synthesizing Hope explores the many legacies that create conditions of possibility for South African drug discovery, especially the specific form of settler colonialism characterized by apartheid and resource extraction. Paying attention to the infrastructures and laboratory processes of drug discovery underscores the materiality of pharmaceuticals from the perspective of their makers, and tracing the intellectual and material infrastructures of South African drug discovery contributes new insights about larger social, political, and economic orders.

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