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Health in the Andes

Edited by Joseph W. Bastien and John M. Donahue, Health in the Andes was first published by the American Anthropological Association in 1981. The book includes chapters on Andean ethnomedicine and the metaphorical relations between sickness societies and land.

This printed book is available in the AAA online store at a special member price of $12.00. Order your copy, today!

Read about Health, Well-being and Happiness in March AN

A frame from video footage of the dance workshop Moving Stories, Moving Bodies. Read more in Michelle Chatman's March AN essay "I Still Got Joy: Black Women’s Strength and Resilience after Breast Cancer." Photo courtesy Raji Mandelkorn

Read this month’s thematic series on health, well-being and happiness on the Anthropology News website. This month we’re pleased to start the series with essays by:

Be sure to check the AN website throughout March for more in this series by Valerie Ann McMillan, Lisa Meekison Reichenbach and Inga Treitler.

Share what you think about any contribution to AN – rate any post on the AN website by clicking on the stars that appear under the title. AAA members are also invited to post comments to start or contribute to a discussion about any of the essays.

AN Thematic Series on Health, Well-Being and Happiness

Notions of health, well-being and happiness are intertwined in how people approach and view their lives. The March 2012 issue of Anthropology News seeks contributions that explore these notions, particularly in this time of many uncertainties and changes around the world—economic, political, societal, medical, environmental, and more. How do we seek out good health, well-being and happiness? How are medical systems and healing systems interpreted, used and adapted? How do people meet health challenges, such as increased chronic illnesses and the obesity epidemic? How do preventive practices help move people towards well-being? How is health and well-being connected to notions of happiness? What are different interpretations of satisfaction and fulfillment? And how do notions of success and happiness changing? What does it mean to live a good life? We invite proposals to consider these questions and more in exploring health, well-being and happiness from a uniquely anthropological perspective.

For guidelines and submission details, see the Call for Proposals.

AAA Member in the News

Paul Stoller, AAA member, is an anthropology professor at West Chester University. He regularly brings anthropology to the forefront by blogging for the Huffington Post. Dr. Stoller’s most recent post is about how his anthropological experiences have challenged him to manage his cancer diagnosis. Below are snippets from his post. Visit the blog for the complete story. Thank you Paul!

Photo courtesy of West Chester University

It was 10 years ago today that I was diagnosed with lymphoma, a cancer of the white blood cells…I was informed that although follicular lymphoma — the most common sub-type of non-Hodgkins lymphoma — responds well to treatment, it remains incurable.

In one day my world was turned upside down. Until my diagnosis, I thought little about illness, and less still about my mortality. For years I had followed a healthful regimen. I ate lots of fresh vegetables, consumed only small amounts of red meat, drank moderate amounts of alcohol, exercised regularly and enjoyed a satisfying personal and professional life. I was not a prime candidate for cancer. And yet there I was, in a cold and sterile examination room — a relatively young man with an incurable disease. My life would never be the same.

After nine months of treatment, CT spans indicated that I was in remission — a strange place to be. In remission, you are — for the most part — free of symptoms, but you are not “cured.” Somewhere between sickness and health, you are told to come back every six months for CT scans to determine if you have remained cancer-free — or not…In remission, you get to be like a defendant in court, waiting for what seems like a life or death verdict — not an easy place to be.

There is, of course, no perfect way for cancer patients to deal with such existential upheaval. Some people in remission become more religious. Others may change their occupations, learn a new language, take up a new hobby or decide to travel more frequently. Because I’m an anthropologist, I attempted to cope with remission’s uncertainties by revisiting my experiences as a young researcher in West Africa, where I spent many years as an apprentice to a traditional healer. That process eventually resulted in a book about my confrontation with cancer, “Stranger in the Village of the Sick: A Memoir of Cancer, Sorcery and Healing,” in which I wrote about how West African ideas about illness and health helped me to confront cancer and cope with living in the sometimes confusing and always nebulous state between sickness and health — between what I like to call the village of the healthy and the village of the sick.

Read more…

Have you been in the media recently? Be sure to contact us! We’d like to add you to our Members in the News.

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