The History of a Superstition

Reflection by GL Krishna (The ministry of AYUSH, Government of India, recently issued an advisory that reiterated its long held official view that “the principles, concepts and approaches of ayurveda are not at all comparable with those of the modern medical system.” This view of an absolute dichotomy between the two systems implicitly disputes the […]

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Cinema of Hope and Humanity: Introducing the World of Malayalam Filmmaker Jayaraj

by Khalid Ali, film and media correspondent Medical Humanities will focus on ‘Global Humanities’ as a theme for 2019. Film can be a powerful medium for raising awareness about current global challenges as well as revisiting historical tragedies that befell humanity, as in the first and second World Wars. It gives me great pleasure to […]

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A Drive Through the Heart of Darkness

Review of ‘The Trial of Ratko Mladic’, directed by Henry Singer, and Robert Miller, showing in ‘London Human Rights Watch Film Festival’ 13–22 March 2019, https://ff.hrw.org/london by Professor Robert Abrams, Weill Cornell Medicine, New York The Trial of Ratko Mladic begins on 22 November 2017 in The Hague, just as the world is anticipating a […]

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June Special Issue: Biopolitics, psychosomatics, participating bodies

  Editor’s Note: Welcome to our June Special Issue, Biopolitics and Psychosomatics. But what are Biopolitics? And what, for that matter, are psychosomatics? Both terms are charged, and frequently divisive—with the latter often defined as physician illness with a root cause in mental factors. Controversy is no reason to shy away from critical engagement, however. […]

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Living Archives and Dying Wards: Reflections on Medical Archives in Eastern Africa

by Dr. Mika Marissa I am currently writing a book on the history of the Uganda Cancer Institute (UCI). I tell the story of how a small experimental chemotherapy research site established by the Makerere department of surgery and the US National Cancer Institute in 1967 remained open during a long period of political instability, […]

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Soaring but Souring Sugar: Type 2 Diabetes in Kerala

In this post, Professor Kesavan Rajasekharan Nayar discusses complexity with respect to the public health profile of Kerala, considered as one of the healthiest states in India. This complexity is indeed worrisome and a humanitarian perspective which addresses the psychological and economic fallouts of the health scenario is required. Societies which have been proclaimed as […]

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Ethnographic Surprises and Crisis: Studying Clinician-Researchers in Johannesburg

by Renée van der Wiel My hope is that this poster might provide some light relief and a sense of community among those who have done in-depth social research in medical institutions. And, for those who have not, I hope the tool of humour here provides some insight into the emotional labour, tending towards existential […]

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Walking Up Hills, Through History, And In-Between Disciplines: MHH And Health Sciences Education At The Tip Of Africa

by Carla Tsampiras Celebration, frustration, contestation, and imagination all manifest themselves when examining the evolution of the field of Medical and Health Humanities (MHH) at the University of Cape Town (UCT). That this field has been growing at the same time as access to, inclusion in, and social justice issues linked to higher education have […]

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Field Notes in the Clinic on Medicine, Anthropology and Pedagogy in South Africa

by Michelle Pentecost In this commentary I draw on my experience working as a medical doctor and an anthropologist to explore what different disciplinary orientations allow us to ‘see’ in clinical settings. I argue that the anthropological skills of observation, privileging relationship, and of learning to foreground social context, have much to offer for teaching […]

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Interview: Nolwazi Mkhwanazi and Emmanuel Babatunde Omobowale, 30th October 2018

Emmanuel Babatunde Omobowale is Nigeria’s first Professor of Literature and Medicine, a position he has held since 2010. From 2012 to 2017 he was also head of the Department of English at the University of Ibadan. Given that Medical Humanities is a nascent field in Africa, I am interested in the Nigerian experience of  developing […]

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