The Department of Anthropology at Case Western Reserve University announces its inaugural lecture series in Medical Anthropology and Global Health. This year’s theme is Global Health, Culture, and Change.
In recent years the rapid pace of globalization has fundamentally changed the nature of human behavior, pathogens, the interaction between humans and pathogens, and the natural and social environment in which such interactions occur; thereby fundamentally affecting both global health and the study of global health and disease. The myriad of global health issues which have emerged in the last part of the 20th century lend urgency to the need to understand the intersection of culture, change, and global health.
The program in Medical Anthropology and Global Health at CWRU seeks to challenge familiar dichotomies that dominate thinking about health issues, such as biological versus sociocultural, psychological versus physical, rural versus urban, and particularly the deep-seated tendency to treat separately the problems of the so-called developing and developed nations. We argue that these dichotomies undermine understanding of health and illness throughout the world and hinders development of unified conceptual models.
The lecture series in Global Health, Culture, and Change will feature scholars at the forefront of new perspectives in global health including Professor James Pfeiffer, University of Washington, Professor Stephen McGarvey, Brown University, Professor Vinay Kamat, University of British Columbia, and Professor Margaret (Peggy) Bentley, University of North Carolina.
February 12, 2009, 4:15 pm, Mandel Center for Nonprofit Organizations, Room 108
Lecture title: “Public Health in the Samoas: Anthropology, Nutrition and Translational Research”
About the speaker: Stephen McGarvey, Ph.D., MPH, Director of the International Health Institute and Professor of Community Health and Anthropology at Brown University.
Dr. McGarvey is concerned with issues of human population biology and international health, specifically modernization-related induced socio-economic and behavioral changes, tropical parasitology and child nutritional status and health, and environmental issues. His research involves developing-world countries such as Samoa, the Philippines, and Ghana.
Stephen McGarvey is the Director of the International Health Institute and Professor of Community Health and Anthropology. He is a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, and Co-Editor of Annals of Human Biology. McGarvey earned a Ph.D. in Anthropology from Pennsylvania State University in 1980, and an M.P.H. in Epidemiology from Yale University. McGarvey is concerned with issues of human population biology and international health, specifically modernization-related induced socio-economic and behavioral changes, genetic and environmental influences on obesity and cardiovascular disease risk factor, tropical parasitology and child nutritional status and health, and environmental issues. His research involves developing-world countries such as Samoa, the Philippines, and Ghana.
March 26, 2009, 4:15 pm, Mandel Center for Nonprofit Organizations, Room 108
Lecture title: “Success as Failure: Global Discourses on Infectious Disease and the Medicalization of Malaria Control in Tanzania”
About the speaker: Vinay Kamat (Ph.D., Assistant Professor of Anthropology, University of British Columbia) is a medical anthropologist with specialization in global health. He has conducted fieldwork in India and Tanzania. His research interests revolve around issues of health, illness and healing that affect the everyday lives of ordinary people. Dr. Kamat’s previous ethnographic research in India has addressed a broad range of health issues, including the cultural politics of primary health care, the problematic of self-medication with pharmaceuticals, and historical-cultural aspects of malaria resurgence in urban areas. His ethnographic research in Tanzania has focused on the everyday lived experience of marginalized people who are caught in a process of rapid social transformation engendered through structural adjustment programs.
Dr. Kamat’s current research in the East African context concerns the discourse surrounding the introduction of artimisinine-based combination drug therapy (ACT) to replace chloroquine and sulfadoxine-pyrimethamine in the treatment of childhood malaria. He is conducting a three year SSHRC-funded study on how and why some of the radical shifts in malaria control strategies have occurred in sub-Saharan Africa in the last few years, and what these changes mean for those who are most severely affected by malaria. Dr. Kamat also retains his long-term interest in the pharmaceutical scenario in India. He is conducting an interdisciplinary collaborative study on the political economy of the outsourcing of clinical drug trials to India. This study is funded by a grant from the Hampton Research Fund (2005-2007) and The Michael Smith Foundation for Health Research (2008-2009).
Tuesday, April 14, 2009, 4:15 pm, Mandel Center for Nonprofit Organizations, Room 115
Lecture title: “The Role of Care for Optimal Growth and Development of Infants and Toddlers: Data from North Carolina and India”
About the speaker: Dr. Bentley’s (Ph.D., Professor of Nutrition and Associate Dean for Global Health, University of North Carolina) research focuses on women and infant’s nutrition, infant and young child feeding, behavioral research on sexually transmitted diseases, HIV, and community-based interventions for nutrition and health. She is an expert in both qualitative and quantitative research methods and the application of these for program development and evaluation. She currently is working on an HIV behavioral intervention prevention trial in Chennai, India; on a community-based intervention to improve child growth and development in Andhra Pradesh, India; on an intervention to decrease maternal to child transmission of HIV during breastfeeding in Malawi. She directs a five year, longitudinal study to examine risk factors for the development of pediatric obesity in North Carolina. She is a member of the Advisory Board of the Indo-US Joint Working Group on Maternal and Child Health and is a member of the ASPH Global Health Committee. She also holds membership in the American Institute of Nutrition, the American Anthropological Association, the Society for Medical Anthropology, and the American Public Health Association. She is a Fellow of the Society for Applied Anthropology. In 2005 she was named Paul G. Rogers Ambassador for Global Health.
November 11, 2008, 4:00 pm, Mandel Center for Nonprofit Organizations, Room 108
Lecture title: “The Influence of Pentecostalism on Utilization of HIV/AIDS Prevention and Treatment Services in Central Mozambique”
About the speaker: James Pfeiffer, Ph.D, MPH, is Associate Professor in the Department of Health Services and the Department of Global Health, School of Public Health and Community Medicine, University of Washington, Seattle. Dr. Pfeiffer is also Director of Mozambique Operations for Health Alliance International (HAI) at its headquarters in Seattle where he coordinates and manages a wide range of grants, training activities, research projects, and programs related to the scale-up of HIV/AIDS treatment, reproductive health services, and primary health care strengthening. HAI’s activities are currently funded by the President’s Emergency Program for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR), the Clinton Presidential Foundation, the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation, the World Bank Treatment Acceleration Program, UNICEF, and the Global Fund to fight AIDS, TB, and Malaria. He received his doctoral degree in anthropology and his public health training at UCLA where his interests centered on primary health care, social inequality, and the political economy of health in southern Africa. Dr. Pfeiffer is currently principal investigator on research funded by the National Institute of Child Health and Development (NICHD) for study of Pentecostalism and utilization of HIV/AIDS services in Mozambique.