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1 - 2 of 2 results for: Anthro337

ANTHRO 337: The Politics of Humanitarianism

What does it mean to want to help, to organize humanitarian aid, in times of crisis? At first glance, the impulse to help issui generis a good one. Helping is surely preferable to indifference and inaction. This does not mean that humanitarian interventions entail no ethical or political stakes or that they are beyond engaged critique. We need to critique precisely that which we value, and to ask some hard questions, among them these: What are the differences among humanitarianism, charity, and philanthropy? What of social obligations and solidarities? How does the neoliberal world order currently create structural inequalities that ensure the reproduction of poverty and violence? How does the current order of things resemble or differ from the colonial world order? This course examines the history of humanitarian sensibilities and the emergence of organized action in the cause of humanity. In the early years of humanitarian intervention, political neutrality was a key principle; it has now come under ever greater analytical and political scrutiny. We will examine the reasons for the politicization and militarization of aid -- be it humanitarian aid in natural disasters or political crises; development programs in the impoverished south (¿the Third World¿), or peace-keeping. We will end with a critical exploration of the concept of human rights, humanity, and personhood. The overall methodological aim of the course is to demonstrate what insights an ethnographic approach to the politics, ethics, and aesthetics of humanitarianism can offer. Prerequisite, by instructor consent.
Last offered: Autumn 2016

ANTHRO 337B: Anthropological Approaches to Health Issues in Contemporary Latin America

The purpose of this course is to examine the anthropological and ethnographic research on emerging health issues and sufferings in Latin America. In particular, the class explores how anthropologists understand and ponder social, economic, political, environmental, spatial processes that shape patterns of health, suffering and death, and the strategies to address them. By analyzing paradigmatic case studies, we will discuss theoretical concepts and social perspectives, as well as ethnographic dilemmas and methods.nnTaking a critical perspective, this class will not only explore the standard topics on Latin American health (hunger, infectious disease, mental health, etc.). We will also focus on emerging sufferings (drug use, epidemics, environmental discomforts and sufferings, etc.). Both standard and emerging topics are examined with respect to the changes in political economy, medical institutions and policy approaches, models of care and caregiving, gender violence, circulation and appropriation of expert knowledge, contamination, migration, spatial segregation, violence, marginalization, abandonment, justice and human rights.nnInterdisciplinary investigation is conducted into most of these health issues, not only in the global health field. They are addressed by the South American Social Medicine and Collective Health approaches. This class will include a description and critical analysis of their theoretical frameworks and core concepts, as well as their relationships to international and local medical anthropological theory and research.
Last offered: Spring 2016
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