Course Schedule and Readings

DettwylerFarmerHahn & InhornMoermanScheper-HughesWiley & Allen


Week 1 (Aug. 26) Introduction and Overview

Wiley & Allen, Ch. 1-2 (p. 1-35)

Hahn & Inhorn, Introduction (p. 1-31)

Holtz, T. H., Holmes, S., Stonington, S., & Eisenberg, L. (2006). Health is still social: Contemporary examples in the age of the genome. PLoS Medicine, 3(10), e419.

Leslie, C. (2001). Backing into the future. Medical Anthropology Quarterly, 15(4), 428-439.

Lock, M. (1998). Menopause: lessons from anthropology. Psychosomatic Medicine, 60(4), 410-419.

Hemmings, C. P. (2005). Rethinking medical anthropology: How anthropology is failing medicine. Anthropology & Medicine, 12(2), 91-103.

Further reading

Trostle, Ch. 1-2

Lieban, R. W. (1977). The field of medical anthropology. In D. Landy (Ed.), Culture, disease, and healing: studies in medical anthropology. (pp. 13-31). New York: Macmillan.

Inhorn, M., C. (2007). Medical anthropology at the intersections. Medical Anthropology Quarterly, 21(3), 249-255.

Week 2 (Sept. 2) Ecology, Adaptation, and Evolution

Wiley & Allen, Ch. 4 (p. 71-106)

Trevathan, W. R., Smith, E. O., & McKenna, J. J. (2007). Introduction and Overview of Evolutionary Medicine. In W. R. Trevathan, E. O. Smith, & J. J. McKenna (Eds.), Evolutionary Medicine and Health: New Perspectives (pp. 1-54). New York: Oxford University Press.

McDermott, R. (1998). Ethics, epidemiology and the thrifty gene: biological determinism as a health hazard. Social Science and Medicine, 47(9), 1189-1195.

Singer, M. (1996). Farewell to adaptationism: unnatural selection and the politics of biology. Medical Anthropology Quarterly, 10(4), 496-515.

Further reading

Wiley, A. S. (1992). Adaptation and the biocultural paradigm in medical anthropology: a critical review. Medical Anthropology Quarterly, 6(3), 216-236.

Nesse, R. M. & Williams, G. C. (1998). Evolution and the origins of disease. Scientific American, 279(5), 86-93.

Brown, P. J., Inhorn, M. C., & Smith, D. J. (1996). Disease, ecology, and human behavior. In C. F. Sargent & T. M. Johnson (Eds.), Handbook of medical anthropology: contemporary theory and method. (Revised ed., pp. 183-218). Westport, CT: Praeger Publishers.

Week 3 (Sept. 9) Culture, Political Economy, and Health

Singer, M., Valentin, F., Baer, H., & Zhongke, J. (1992). Why does Juan Garcia have a drinking problem? The perspective of critical medical anthropology. Medical Anthropology, 14(1), 77-108.

McElroy, A. (1996). Should medical ecology be political? Medical Anthropology Quarterly, 10(4), 519-522.

Leatherman, T. (2005). A space of vulnerability in poverty and health: political-ecology and biocultural analysis. Ethos, 33(1), 46-70.

Lock, M. & Scheper-Hughes, N. (1996). A critical-interpretive approach in medical anthropology: rituals and routines of discipline and dissent. In C. F. Sargent & T. M. Johnson (Eds.), Handbook of medical anthropology: contemporary theory and method. (Revised ed., pp. 41-70). Westport, CT: Praeger Publishers.

Martin, E. (1992). The end of the body? American Ethnologist, 19(1), 121-140.

Kleinman, A., Eisenberg, L., & Good, B. (1978). Culture, illness, and care: clinical lessons from anthropologic and cross-cultural research. Annals of Internal Medicine, 88, 251-258.

Further reading

Garro, L. (2000). Cultural meaning, explanations of illness, and the development of comparative frameworks. Ethnology, 39(4), 305-334.

Lock, M., Freeman, J., Chilibeck, G., Beveridge, B., & Padolsky, M. (2007). Susceptibility genes and the question of embodied identity. Medical Anthropology Quarterly, 21(3), 256-276.

Week 4 (Sept. 16) Health Transitions

Martin, D. L. & Goodman, A. H. (2002). Health conditions before Columbus: Paleopathology of Native North Americans. Western Journal of Medicine, 176(1), 65-68.

Bloom, B. R. (2005). Public health in transition. Scientific American, 292(9), 92-99.

Barrett, R., Kuzawa, C. W., McDade, T., & Armelagos, G. J. (1998). Emerging and re-emerging infectious diseases: the third epidemiologic transition. Annual Review of Anthropology, 27, 247-271.

Koivusalo, M. (2006). The impact of economic globalisation on health. Theoretical Medicine and Bioethics, 27(1), 13-34.

Navarro, V. (1999). Health and equity in the world in the era of "globalization". International Journal of Health Services, 29(2), 215-226.

Godoy, R., Reyes-García, V., Gravlee, C. C., Huanca, T., Leonard, W. R., McDade, T. W. et al. (2009). Moving beyond a snapshot to understand changes in the well?being of Native Amazonians: Panel evidence (2002-2006) from Bolivia. Current Anthropology, 50(4), 563-573.

Anderson-Fye, E. P. (2004). A "Coca-Cola" shape: cultural change, body image, and eating disorders in San Andrés, Belize. Culture, Medicine & Psychiatry, 28(4), 561-595.

Popkin, B. M. (2007). The world is fat. Scientific American, 297(3), 88-95.

Further reading

Gandy, M. & Zumla, A. (2002). The resurgence of disease: social and historical perspectives on the ‘new’ tuberculosis. Social Science & Medicine, 55(3), 385-396.

Barkey, N. L., Campbell, B. C., & Leslie, P. W. (2001). A comparison of health complaints of settled and nomadic Turkana men. Medical Anthropology Quarterly, 15(3), 391-408.

Schrecker, T., Labonte, R., & Devogli, R. (2008). Globalisation and health: the need for a global vision. The Lancet, 372(9650), 1670-1676.

Week 5 (Sept. 23) Nutrition, Growth, and Child Health

Wiley & Allen, Ch 5 (p. 107-137)

Dettwyler, Dancing Skeletons, entire book

Further reading

Powdermaker, H. (1960). An anthropological approach to the problem of obesity. Bulletin of the New York Academy of Medicine, 36, 5-14.

Weismantel, M. (2005). White. Fat: The Anthropology of an Obsession. (pp. 45-62). New York: Penguin Books.

Sobo, E. J. (1997). The sweetness of fat: health, procreation, and sociability in rural Jamaica. Food and Culture: A Reader. (pp. 256-271). New York: Routledge.

Gibbs, W. W. (2005). Obesity: An overblown epidemic? Scientific American, 292(6), 70-77.

Fitchen, J. M. (1988). Hunger, malnutrition, and poverty in the contemporary United States: some observations on their social and cultural context. Food and Foodways, 2, 309-333.

Ritenbaugh, C. (1982). Obesity as a culture-bound syndrome. Culture, Medicine and Psychiatry, 6(4), 347-363.

Harris, M. (1985). The abominable pig. Good to Eat: Riddles of Food and Culture. (pp. 67-87). Long Grove, IL: Waveland Press.

Week 6 (Sept. 30) Reproductive Health

Wiley & Allen, Ch. 6 (138-183)

Scheper-Hughes, Death without Weeping, Introduction – Ch. 2 (p. 1-97)

Further reading

Bell, K. (2005). Genital cutting and Western discourses on sexuality. Medical Anthropology Quarterly, 19(2), 125-148.

Darby, R., & Svoboda, J. S. (2007). A rose by any other name? Rethinking the similarities and differences between male and female genital cutting. Medical Anthropology Quarterly, 21(3), 301-323.

Baeten, J., Celum, C., & Coates, T. (2009). Male circumcision and HIV risks and benefits for women. The Lancet, 374(9685), 182-184.

Week 7 (Oct. 7) Everyday Violence

Scheper-Hughes, Death without Weeping, Ch. 3-8 (p. 98-399) [Read at least three chapters in depth; skim the rest of the book and read if you have time]

Week 8 (Oct. 14) Infections and Inequalities, I

Farmer, Infections and Inequalities, Ch. 1-4 (p. 1-126)

Further reading

Wiley & Allen, Ch. 8-9 (p. 215-285)
Trostle, Ch. 5 (p. 96-121)

Week 9 (Oct. 21) Infections and Inequalities, II

Farmer, Infections and Inequalities, Ch. 5-10 (p. 127-282)

Dunavan, C. P. (2007). Awakening to global health. Health Affairs, 26(4), 1135-1140.

Further reading

Wiley & Allen, Ch. 10 (p. 286-323)

Trostle, Ch. 6 (p. 122-149)

Week 10 (Oct. 28) Social Inequalities, Stress, and Disease

Wiley & Allen, Ch. 11 (p. 324-356)

Dressler, W. W. (2004). Culture and the risk of disease. British Medical Bulletin, 69, 21-31.

Sapolsky, R. M. (2005). Sick of poverty. Scientific American, 292(12), 92-99.

Krieger, N. (2003). Does racism harm health? Did child abuse exist before 1962? On explicit questions, critical science, and current controversies: An ecosocial perspective. American Journal of Public Health, 93(2), 194-199.

David, R. J. & Collins, J. W., Jr. (2007). Disparities in infant mortality: What’s genetics got to do with it? American Journal of Public Health, 97(7), 1191-1197.

Kahn, J. (2007). Race in a bottle. Scientific American, 297(2), 40-45.

Gravlee, C. C. (2009). How race becomes biology: embodiment of social inequality. American Journal of Physical Anthropology, 139(1), 47-57.

Further reading

Trostle, Ch. 3 (p. 42-73)

Cassel, J. (1976). The contribution of the social environment to host resistance. American Journal of Epidemiology, 104(2), 107-123.

Dressler, W. W. (1995). Modeling biocultural interactions: examples from studies of stress and cardiovascular disease. Yearbook of Physical Anthropology, 38, 27-56.

Dressler, W. W., Oths, K. S., & Gravlee, C. C. (2005). Race and ethnicity in public health research: Models to explain health disparities. Annual Review of Anthropology, 34(1), 231-252.

Gravlee, C. C., & Sweet, E. (2008). Race, ethnicity, and racism in medical anthropology, 1977-2002. Medical Anthropological Quarterly, 22(1), 27-51.

Week 11 (Nov. 4) Embodiment

Krieger, N. (2005). Embodiment: a conceptual glossary for epidemiology. Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health, 59(5), 350-355.

Krieger, N. & Davey Smith, G. (2004). "Bodies count," and body counts: social epidemiology and embodying inequality. Epidemiologic Reviews, 26, 92-103.

Csordas, T. J. (1993). Somatic modes of attention. Cultural Anthropology, 8(2), 135-156.

Oths, K. S. (1999). Debilidad: A biocultural assessment of an embodied Andean illness. Medical Anthropological Quarterly, 13(3), 286-315.

Barker, D. J. P. (2004). The developmental origins of well-being. Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society of London. Series B: Biological Sciences, 359, 1359-1366.

Further reading

Csordas, T., J. (1990). Embodiment as a paradigm for anthropology. Ethos, 18(1), 5-47.

Week 12 (Nov. 18) Meaning, Mind, and Body

Wiley & Allen, Ch. 3 (p. 36-70)

Moerman, Meaning, Medicine, and the ‘Placebo Effect’, entire book

Further reading

Chavez, L. R., McMullin, J. M., Mishra, S. I., & Hubbell, F. A. (2001). Beliefs matter: cultural beliefs and the use of cervical cancer-screening tests. American Anthropologist, 103(4), 1114-1129.

Bates, D. G. (2000). Why not call modern medicine ‘alternative’? Perspectives in Biology and Medicine, 43(4), 502-518.

Pugh, J. F. (2003). Concepts of arthritis in India’s medical traditions: Ayurvedic and Unani perspectives. Social Science & Medicine, 56(2), 415-424.

Adler, S. R. (1995). Refugee stress and folk belief: Hmong sudden deaths. Social Science & Medicine, 40(12), 1623-1629.

Antelius, E. (2007). The meaning of the present: hope and foreclosure in narrations about people with severe brain damage. Medical Anthropology Quarterly, 21(3), 324-342.

Week 13 (Nov. 25) No Class—Thanksgiving

Week 14 (Dec. 2) Anthropology, Medicine, and Public Health, I

Hahn & Inhorn, Parts I-II, select six chapters

Further reading

Trostle, Ch. 6 (p. 122-149)

Kleinman, A. & Benson, P. (2006). Anthropology in the clinic: the problem of cultural competency and how to fix it. PLoS Medicine, 3(10), e294.

Trostle, J. A. (1988). Medical compliance as an ideology. Social Science & Medicine, 27(12), 1299-1308.

Week 15 (Dec. 9) Anthropology, Medicine, and Public Health, II

Research project due

Hahn & Inhorn, Parts III-IV, select six chapters

Further reading

Trostle, Ch. 7-8 (p. 150-174)

Marshall, P. A. & Koenig, B. A. (1996). Bioethics in anthropology: perspectives on culture, medicine, and morality. In C. F. Sargent & T. M. Johnson (Eds.), Handbook of medical anthropology: contemporary theory and method. (Revised ed., pp. 349-373). Westport, CT: Praeger Publishers.