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Calling all Discussion Groups and Anthropology Clubs: Let’s Talk About the March Issue of Open Anthropology!

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Has the new issue of Open Anthropology, The Social Life of Health, Illness, Medicine and Health Care, piqued your interest in anthropological understandings of health, illness, medicine, and health care? Are you interested in building the conversation on your campus or in your community? Throughout March and April, AAA is encouraging anthropology clubs and discussion groups to explore, debate and analyze contemporary issues of health, illness, medicine and health care based on the material included in the March issue of Open Anthropology.

We’d then like to hear from you! Send us stories, videos, and/or photographs that highlight and illustrate the depth, liveliness and creativity of your discussion. Two submissions will be selected to be featured on the AAA blog in May.

Jump start your conversations using these questions:

  • In what ways does the idea of the “social life of” health, illness, medicine and health care that frames the specific articles in this issue of Open Anthropology, offer a way to shift public conversations on these issues?
  • How can anthropology help identify omissions in policy and public conversations regarding health and health care?
  • In current public conversations and contemporary policy debates on health, illness, medicine and health care, how are inequality and violence engaged with- or ignored? Using these articles, how can anthropologists use ethnography to shed light on inequality and violence?
  • How have these articles intersected with your own research and/or research interests?
  • How are anthropologists across the four fields of anthropology writing about the social life of health, illness, medicine and health care? Beyond the articles presented in this issue of Open Anthropology, what additional research, theories and concepts will help us illuminate our views of health, illness, medicine and  health care?

Please submit your stories and/or photographs to Jennie at jsimpson@aaanet.org by April 30th. We look forward to your submissions!

Open Anthropology – The Social Life of Health, Illness, Medicine and Health Care: Anthropological Views

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Open Anthropology, a digital-only, public publication of the American Anthropological Association, is proud to announce the release of its third issue. In this edition, The Social Life of Health, Illness, Medicine and Health Care: Anthropological Views, editor Alisse Waterston (John Jay College, CUNY) curates eleven articles and three book reviews of anthropological works that encompass today’s health care debate, access to insurance and quality health care, social inequity, and historical perspectives on medicinal practices and well-being across cultures.

In her prefatory remarks, Waterston reflects on the national health care conversation, noting that “(t)he whole mess – the fights, the threats, the web crashes – was successful in capturing the public’s attention,” and is left to wonder if the cacophony served to distract the public from the key issues around access to health care. Editor Waterston offers a selection of anthropology articles that “help defamiliarize the ‘normal,’ that make strange the familiar, a process that can lead to new insights, understandings, and positions.”

At a time when the issues of health care and insurance are on the national agenda, Open Anthropology provides cross-cultural information and historical perspective to inform national and global health care policy and practice. Anthropologists recognize that when it comes to health care, “We are all in the same frail boat,” as Gerald D. Berreman notes in his article featured here. Others document obstacles to health and well-being as well as success stories in the effort to provide quality health care to all.

Content in Open Anthropology is culled from the full archive of AAA publications, curated into issues, and will be freely available on the internet for a minimum of six months, permitting users to read, download, copy, distribute, print, search or link to the full text of these articles. Each issue is dedicated to topics of interest to the general public, and that may have direct or indirect public policy implications.

Open Anthropology is available at http://www.aaaopenanthro.org

Examples from Malaria Control in Refugee Camps

As mentioned in our April 25th blog post in honor of  World Malaria Day, AAA recognized this important day with a special virtual issue of Medical Anthropology Quarterly. This special edition re-released articles which demonstrate ways that ethnography and human behavior studies help to change care management and public health policy.

Approximately half of the world’s population is at risk of malaria, particularly those living in lower-income countries, according to the World Health Organization (WHO). The WHO calculates that every 30 seconds a child dies of malaria. By joining the global movement to roll back these staggering statics on malaria, anthropologists serve as catalyst around the world to research the medical and cultural impacts of this disease and share their findings to help count malaria out.

Over the coming weeks, each article will be featured here on the AAA blog. Here is the fifth of seven highlighted articles:

A Practical Discussion of Applied Public Health Research in the Context of Complex Emergencies: Examples from Malaria Control in Refugee Camps
Holly Ann Williams and Peter B. Bloland
NAPA Bulletin, May 2001

This article offers examples from malaria control research because malaria is a pressing public health problem in many emergency situations, both those caused by conflict as well as by natural disasters. Each year there are an estimated 300-500 million clinical cases of malaria worldwide and, depending on the epidemiologic conditions, health and social consequences from malaria can be quite severe, particularly in sub-Saharan Africa.

To read the entire article, click here.

More Student Opportunities: Academic Diversity Fellowship & LGBT Health Summer Institute

The NASA listserv continues to circulate great opportunities for anthropology students. They’ve recently featured Penn’s Postdoctoral Fellowships for Academic Diversity. Successful candidates will receive highly mentored scholarly and research training as well as courses and workshops to enhance their research skills and prepare them for a faculty position in a major university. PhD between 2007 and 2010 required. Fellows receive a stipend of $43,000+ for three years, annual research and travel allowances, relocation funds, and insurance benefits.

The Fenway Institute and Boston University School of Public Health are accepting applications through May 31 for a July 26-August 20 Summer Institute in LGBT Population Health in Boston. They expect to select 12-16 graduate students and 3-6 early career scholars for the program, which will “provide participants with foundational training in interdisciplinary theory, knowledge and methods for conducting population research in sexual and gender minority health.” There is no tuition cost (grant-funded) and free housing is available.

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