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Medical Humanities

Rachel Hammer, Nithya Ravindran, Nathan Nielsen
Death Cafés are non-profit social franchises that arise spontaneously in communities to serve as informal forums for discussing death. There is a great need within the medical community for the kind of conversation that Death Cafés foster: open, unstructured, spontaneous, genuine and interdisciplinary dialogue. Burnout in healthcare, with symptoms of exhaustion, depersonalisation and decreased efficacy, is a global crisis, with alarming estimates suggesting one in three practicing physicians experience burnout...
January 19, 2019: Medical Humanities
Evie Kendal
Infectious disease epidemics are widely recognised as a serious global threat. The need to educate the public regarding health and safety during an epidemic is particularly apparent when considering that behavioural changes can have a profound impact on disease spread. While there is a large body of literature focused on the opportunities and pitfalls of engaging mass news media during an epidemic, given the pervasiveness of popular film in modern society there is a relative lack of research regarding the potential role of fictional media in educating the public about epidemics...
January 19, 2019: Medical Humanities
(no author information available yet)
No abstract text is available yet for this article.
December 27, 2018: Medical Humanities
Susan Bredlau
Plato's Charmides , I argue, is a remarkably productive text for confronting and questioning some common presuppositions about the body and illness, particularly when we take seriously Socrates' claim that healing Charmides' headaches requires first examining-and perhaps healing-his soul. I begin by turning to the work of the psychiatrist and medical anthropologist Arthur Kleinman to argue that even if the pain Charmides experiences is more 'physical'than 'mental', a physical exam and physical intervention alone will not necessarily be effective in treating his headaches...
December 11, 2018: Medical Humanities
Maria Cristina Murano, Jenny Slatman, Kristin Zeiler
This article examines how people who are shorter than average make sense of their lived experience of embodiment. It offers a sociophenomenological analysis of 10 semistructured interviews conducted in the Netherlands, focusing on if, how, and why height matters to them. It draws theoretically on phenomenological discussions of lived and objective space, intercorporeality and norms about bodies. The analysis shows that height as a lived phenomenon (1) is active engagement in space, (2) coshapes habituated ways of behaving and (3) is shaped by gendered norms and beliefs about height...
November 26, 2018: Medical Humanities
Michelle Botha, Brian Watermeyer
This paper presents an exploration of my experiences and unique positioning as a blind, White South African woman. It explores the complex intersections of multiple axes of identity in my own experience to do with disability, race, class and language and, in so doing, presents some ideas about the ways in which disability complicates and disturbs simplistic identity categories. It draws, in particular, on the experience of my first year of formal schooling which took place in 1994 as South Africa held its first democratic election, bringing a politico-legal, if not actual, end to decades of racial segregation...
November 13, 2018: Medical Humanities
Renée van der Wiel
Warned by social scientists about 'the disciplinary divide' and the hostility of medical professionals to qualitative research, I was pleasantly surprised by the collegiality I experienced while conducting fieldwork among clinician-researchers in South Africa. This commentary is a challenge to common discourse, historically dominant in a global (north) anthropology, that biomedical practitioners are necessarily antagonistic to the humanities. Drawing on my field experiences, I propose an optimistic outlook for collaboration and inclusivity in developing medical and health humanities in Africa...
December 2018: Medical Humanities
Michelle Pentecost
This commentary is about medicine, anthropology and pedagogy: about the ways of knowing that different disciplinary orientations permit. I draw on a field note taken in the clinic to illustrate how cultures of healthcare and health sciences training in South Africa bracket the historical, social and political contexts of health and illness in this setting, at the expense of patient care and physician wellbeing. I consider what anthropological inquiry can offer to clinical practice, and advocate for critical orientations to clinical work and teaching that extend humanity to patients and providers...
December 2018: Medical Humanities
Bianca Masuku, Nolwazi Mkhwanazi, Ed Young, Anastasia Koch, Digby Warner
Eh!woza is a public engagement initiative that explores the biomedical and social aspects of tuberculosis (TB) in South Africa. The project is a collaboration between scientists based in an infectious disease research institute, a local conceptual/visual artist, a youth-based educational non-governmental organization (NGO) and young learners from a high-burden TB community. The learners participate in a series of interactive science and media production workshops: initially presented with biomedical knowledge about TB and, in later sessions, are trained in creating documentary films and engage with ideas around visual representation...
December 2018: Medical Humanities
Leslie Swartz
I reflect on two aesthetics which are at play in the presentation of critical disability and development work in the global south. On the one hand, authors of critical texts commonly use very complex and abstruse language, which may make such texts relatively inaccessible to some disabled people in the global south. On the other hand, the ways in which development work in the south is portrayed sometimes emphasises methods of engagement which may seen to be infantilising. Drawing on my own experience in such engagement activities, I suggest that it is important to understand, and to subvert, dominant forms of representation...
December 2018: Medical Humanities
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 come under the spotlight has the potential to shape how we think and plan for the future of the field. Doing this will require treks up hills, journeys through difficult histories and dynamic dances in-between disciplines...
December 2018: Medical Humanities
Victoria Jane Hume, Megan Wainwright
In this paper, we draw on our own cross-cultural experience of engaging with different incarnations of the medical and health humanities (MHH) in the UK and South Africa to reflect on what is distinct and the same about MHH in these locations. MHH spaces, whether departments, programmes or networks, have espoused a common critique of biomedical dualism and reductionism, a celebration of qualitative evidence and the value of visual and performative arts for their research, therapeutic and transformative social potential...
December 2018: Medical Humanities
Julie Parle, Rebecca Hodes, Thembisa Waetjen
This article provides a history of three pharmaceuticals in the making of modern South Africa. Borrowing and adapting Arthur Daemmrich's term 'pharmacopolitics', we examine how forms of pharmaceutical governance became integral to the creation and institutional practices of this state. Through case studies of three medicaments: opium (late 19th to early 20th century), thalidomide (late 1950s to early 1960s) and contraception (1970s to 2010s), we explore the intertwining of pharmaceutical regulation, provision and consumption...
December 2018: Medical Humanities
Astrid Treffry-Goatley, Richard John Lessells, Relebohile Moletsane, Tulio de Oliveira, Bernhard Gaede
Digital storytelling (DST) is an emerging participatory visual method which combines storytelling traditions with computer and video production technology. In this project, at the heart of the HIV epidemic in KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa, we used DST to create a culturally grounded community engagement intervention. Our aim was to use narratives of people living with HIV on antiretroviral therapy (ART) to stimulate dialogue among the wider community and to encourage reflection on the contextual factors that influence ART adherence in this setting...
December 2018: Medical Humanities
Victoria Jane Hume, Benson A Mulemi, Musa Sadock
In this article, we discuss the challenges facing humanities researchers approaching studies in clinical and community health settings. This crossing of disciplines has arguably been less often explored in the countries we discuss-Kenya, Tanzania and South Africa-but our experiences also speak to broader trouble with disciplinary 'ethnocentrism' that hampers the development of knowledge. After a brief contextualising overview of the structures within our universities that separate or link the humanities, medicine and social science, we use case studies of our experiences as an arts researcher, an anthropologist and a historian to draw attention to the methodological clashes that can hobble research between one disciplinary area and another, whether this manifests in the process of applying for ethical clearance or a professional wariness between healthcare practitioners and humanities scholars in health spaces...
December 2018: Medical Humanities
Michelle Pentecost, Berna Gerber, Megan Wainwright, Thomas Cousins
In this article, the authors make a case for the 'humanisation' and 'decolonisation' of health sciences curricula in South Africa, using integration as a guiding framework. Integration refers to an education that is built on a consolidated conceptual framework that includes and equally values the natural or biomedical sciences as well as the humanities, arts and social sciences, respecting that all of this knowledge has value for the practice of healthcare. An integrated curriculum goes beyond add-on or elective courses in the humanities and social sciences...
December 2018: Medical Humanities
Carla Tsampiras, Nolwazi Mkhwanazi, Victoria Hume
No abstract text is available yet for this article.
December 2018: Medical Humanities
Brandy Schillace
No abstract text is available yet for this article.
December 2018: Medical Humanities
Alison Swartz, Susan Levine, Hanna-Andrea Rother, Fritha Langerman
This article focuses on the devastating hidden perils of agricultural pesticides repurposed by informal sellers in urban South African townships to kill rats and other unwanted pests. Drawing on collaborative research techniques, we investigate the causal relationship between child poisoning episodes and the household use of illegal street pesticides. Such pesticides are used to safeguard homes from pests in an attempt to protect children from the harmful consequences of rodent bites and vectorborne diseases...
December 2018: Medical Humanities
Giovanni Biglino, Sofie Layton, Matthew Lee, Froso Sophocleous, Susannah Hall, Jo Wray
The arts can aid the exploration of individual and collective illness narratives, with empowering effects on both patients and caregivers. The artist, partly acting as conduit, can translate and re-present illness experiences into artwork. But how are these translated experiences received by the viewer-and specifically, how does an audience respond to an art installation themed around paediatric heart transplantation and congenital heart disease? The installation, created by British artist Sofie Layton and titled Making the Invisible Visible , was presented at an arts-and-health event...
October 18, 2018: Medical Humanities
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