Warwick at Somatosphere

Warwick has written a piece for the Somatosphere blog, which brings together work from wide ranging scholars at the intersection of medical anthropology, science and technology studies, cultural psychiatry, psychology and bioethics. Warwick reviews recent offerings in global health history.


Having written provocatively—and somewhat irritatingly, it seems—on the impossible history of global health already this year, perhaps I should wait till the dust settles before broaching the topic again. But in a time of Ebola, that obscure object called global health demands further critical attention. We need to know what to expect from global health in the current emergency. Accordingly, over the past few weeks I’ve set about reading, and reading again, some recent books that might come under the rubric of global health history. In general, I’ve found that the most compelling accounts of global health manage to localize medical interventions: they examine the messy and often confusing, even conflicted, interactions of foreign doctors and aid-workers, domestic and traditional health practitioners, and their patients. No surprise, then, that historically sensitive anthropologists, rather than medical historians, have written many of the more plausible of these situated narratives. An ethnographic sensibility appears to be a requirement for understanding global health—for explaining its past as well as contemporary forms.


You can read Warwick’s full post here.