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Department of Anthropology

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Topics in Anthropology: Life in Crisis

Anthropology 4100 - Fall 2020

The history of global health is, in many ways, a history of life in crisis-whether it be Ebola, HIV, SARS, or the opioid crisis. Amid the current COVID-19 pandemic, the sense that life is in crisis is unmistakable. As we are seeing across the world, the designation of crisis mobilizes support, calls for transnational collaborations, demands swift and steadfast action. This course explores the work that "crisis" does in anticipating and implementing health interventions. We will address the following questions: How is crisis conceptualized and experienced by various actors and stakeholders? How do the responses of governments and international agencies align or conflict with local and indigenous responses to crisis? In what ways do vulnerable populations face a disproportionate burden of crisis, and what does this reveal about the social contrasts of societies? In this advanced undergraduate and graduate seminar, we will consult full-length ethnographies, long-form journalism, and podcasts to examine a variety of contemporary and recent crises concerning environmental degradation and toxicity, migration and displacement, and infection and chronic illness in a variety of geographic settings, including the United States, China, Sierra Leone, Nicaragua, and Uruguay.

Section 01

Topics in Anthropology: Life in Crisis
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