Is there an Anthropologist in the House? Daniel Goldberg at Medical Humanities Blog, posted his plea for more medical anthropologists in clinical settings. Self-professedly a fan but not practitioner of anthropology, Goldberg suggests that medical anthropologists would be a valuable addition (if not replacement?) for clinical medical ethicists. He writes:
I have often wondered how different my local world would be if it were anthropologists in charge of designing, implementing, and teaching cultural humility, instead of the relatively thin but conventionally dominant and poorly named “cultural competence.
Reform at a Distance: In A recent New York Times Op-Ed , contributor Nassrine Azimi on suggests that Ruth Benedict’s The Chrysanthemum and the Sword is an oldie-but-goodie model for people to think holistically about demographic and educational challenges currently facing Japan.
You Can’t Say That in Science! Language Log has a plea for action regarding a libel lawsuit against British science journalist Simon Singh. Singh is currently fighting a lawsuit brought from the the British Chiropractic Association, claiming that Singh’s challenges to the validity of certain claims of chiropractics lack demonstrable evidence constitute intent to defame the Association. Perhaps more interesting than the case itself has been the response from various public interest groups claiming that free speech is necessary to scholarly practices of critique. The comments to this post also raise some interesting views.
Biopower at the Limits: Thanks to Somatosphere for linking to a new blog post by Paul Rabinow discussing his research collective’s conceptual work on synthetic anthropos–an emergent constellation of effects and propositions borne out over the struggle between the figures of biopower and human dignity. Or something to that effect. Eugene Raikhel’s somatosphere post has some interesting views on this as well.
In Memoriam [Updated 6/16/09]: Stephen Christomalis at Glossographia has a great tribute to Willard Walker, recently deceased linguistic anthropologist and expert in (the admittedly specific field of) Cherokee numerals indigenous literacy in the Americas, most specifically the Cherokee syllabary. In all cases, a really interesting description of one scholar’s life’s work.
As always, feel free to write in or post any other news.