December 2018 Special Issue: Medical and Health Humanities in Africa

Special Issue Focus: Medical Humanities in Africa Medical and Health Humanities in Africa – Inclusion, Access, and Social Justice Editorial Critical Orientations for Humanising Health Sciences Education in South Africa by Berna Gerber, Michelle Pentecost, Megan Wainwright and Thomas Cousins Reflections on a Field Across Time and Space: The Emergent Medical and Health Humanities in […]

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Biomedicine and the Humanities: Growing Pains

In this article for December’s Special Issue, Hume, Mulemi, and Sadok take a look at the unique challenges facing humanities researchers in clinical and community health settings in Kenya, Tanzania and South Africa. Their work considers these experiences within the broader context—but our broader context of disciplinary ’ethnocentrism’ that hampers the development of knowledge in […]

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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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Beyond the Lab: Eh!woza and Knowing Tuberculosis

by Bianca Masuku, Anastasia Koch, Ed Young, Digby Warner and Nolwazi Mkhwanazi The accompanying podcast offers a reflection on Eh!woza, a youth-based community engagement project focusing on tuberculosis (TB). Based in Cape Town, South Africa, Eh!woza functions as an interactive and interrogative platform, contrasting perspectives and concepts of TB as biomedical disease with personal experiences […]

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Toxic Layering Through Three Disciplinary Lenses: Childhood Poisoning and Street Pesticide use in Cape Town South Africa

by Alison Swartz, Susan Levine, Hanna-Andrea Rother and Fritha Langerman In this article by Swartz, Levine, Rother and Langerman, we see the devastating effects of a hidden killer. Agricultural pesticides repurposed to kill rats and other unwanted pests have led to episodes of child poisoning. While on one hand, the pesticides are used to safeguard […]

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Pharmaceuticals and Modern Statecraft in South Africa: The Cases of Opium Thalidomide and Contraception

by Julie Parle, Rebecca Hodes and Thembisa Waetjen In this audio clip, Thembisa Waetjen and Rebecca Hodes discuss their article, co-authored with Julie Parle, which explores a century of pharmaceutical politics through a close historical account of three medicaments. In African contexts, historical research necessarily engages with experiences of colonisation/decolonisation, which have shaped local and […]

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Reflections on a Field Across Time and Space: The Emergent Medical and Health Humanities in South Africa

by Victoria Hume and Megan Wainwright In this podcast co-authors Victoria Hume and Megan Wainwright introduce themselves and their article. Both have been involved with medical humanities and related fields in the UK and moved to South Africa in 2014 where they became members of what would eventually become the emergent Medical and Health Humanities […]

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Critical Orientations for Humanising Health Sciences Education in South Africa

by Berna Gerber, Michelle Pentecost, Megan Wainwright and Thomas Cousins In this article the authors argue that the curricula of health professions degree programmes in South Africa should be ‘humanised’ and ‘decolonised’. Curricular integration is used as the guiding framework. With the term integration we are referring to education that is based on a single […]

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