5 things you should read before saying the IMF is blameless in the 2014 Ebola outbreak

Adia Benton and Kim Yi Dionne respond to Chris Blattman’s post on the IMF’s role in the Ebola crisis. Read it on the Washington Post:


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AAA 2014 Meeting Agenda

Upcoming Business Meeting Agenda 2014
Event Type: Business Meeting
Sponsored By: Society for Medical Anthropology

Saturday, December 6, 2014: 1:00 PM-2:15 PM
Maryland Suite C, Lobby| Marriott

  1. Virchow awards:
    1. Thanking Alexa Deitrich, new Virchow Awards coordinator
    2. Volunteers for Virchow article review panel?
    3. Vote on requesting SMA for Virchow Awards to have monetary prize starting in 2015
  2. Updates from ongoing Public Outreach projects and plans for 2014-2015 (e-health, immigration, insurance, teaching global health, austerity)
  3. Public Policy Outreach on Austerity
    1. Update from Megan Carney coordinating Takes a Stand sub-committee
    2. volunteers to organize 2015 AAA invited panel abstract sub-committee ?
    3. Request for comments on statement and bibliography
  4. Proposals for new TAS focus areas or sub-committees
    1. Global Health at Gunpoint: Militarization and Occupation of African Life from Mali to Missouri
    2. Others?
  5. Interest in an SMA – sponsored Invited Roundtable or Panel collaborated with other SIG groups on SMA invited panel? Working group to outreach?
  6. Volunteers to work with Amy Dao for Sub-Committee on E-CAGH (updating website and improving Word Press Site)
  7. CAGH feature members
  8. FYI: Volunteer CAGH web assistance:
    1. CAGH: Amy Dao- lmd2174@columbia.edu
    2. SMA Webmaster: Sean Bruna-Lewis webmaster@medanthro.net
  9. Vote on CAGH letter of support for AAA reactivating Congressional Fellow Program
  10. Nominations for New Chair or Co-Chairs for 2015
  11. Joint SIG Workshop – planning and discussion (proposed topic “Black Lives Matter”
  12. Brief working group session

Comment on new listserv process (CAGH WordPress blog)
We are updating the listserv that is also linked to the CAGH blog. If you received this message directly, you are already on the list, but please visit


To see more about the SIG, the updated site, etc.

JOIN: visit (or forward) this address: http://www.medanthro.net/cagh/join/

If you would like to update or add an email to the listserv. The site is under construction and in process, but should allow for more collaborative discussion in between our official SIG meetings at the AAAs (and sometimes SfAAs).

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Take a Stand Statement on Austerity open for comments

The Take a Stand (TAS) on Austerity initiative is one of several TAS initiatives coordinated by the Critical Anthropology of Global Health Special Interest Group (SIG). Committee members of the TAS on Austerity initiative drafted a brief and working bibliography in 2014 with the intent that fellow members of CAGH and SMA, as well as other anthropologists, would actively participate in providing input and feedback.

To read and comment, follow the link here: http://www.medanthro.net/cagh/cagh/take-a-stand-on-austerity/

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“What is to be done? The only formula we’ve come up with is the following: you can’t stop Ebola without staff, stuff, space and systems.”

From the diary of Paul Farmer. Read it here on London Review of Books.

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How the aid and development industry helped cause Africa’s Ebola outbreak

James Pfeiffer discusses one of the root causes of the massive outbreak of Ebola now ravaging West Africa. Check out the podcast here on Humanosphere.


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CAGH Meeting at AAA

Just a quick reminder regarding the CAGH meeting at the AAA’s this week:


Saturday, November 23, 2013: 6:15 PM-7:30 PM

Chairs:  Rachel R Chapman (University of Washington)

Stay tuned for an email regarding the agenda and group logistics, and be sure to check the final printed program for the room location.  Looking forward to seeing you there!

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CAGH Updates – Fall 2012

Comment on New Leadership:
Mark Nichter has coordinated the CAGH SIG for five years which he feels is far too long for this position. A process of identifying a new coordinator was begun in 2011. Members of Cagh were given the opportunity to suggest names (or to volunteer) for the position. At the 2011 AAA meeting in Montreal, Rachel (Chapman Univ of Washington) ) was put forward as successor to the CAGH chair position and unanimously endorsed after being vetted by SIG members on the CAGH website . Rachel has graciously and enthusiastically accepted the role. Mark Nichter will still facilitate the 2012 meeting and then hand over the reigns to Rachael .

Event Type: CAGH SIG Meeting
Saturday, November 17, 2012: 12:15 PM-1:30 PM – Source: AAA Program Info

Re: Upcoming meeting and picking a new topic (pre meeting discussion)
Notes CAGH interest group: The following four “Takes a stand” topics were discussed, with various SIG members expressing interest in forming ad hoc committees to explore them further. In advance of the AAA meetings in San Francisco, these topics will be posted to our CAGH blog/SIG page (soon), and the comments section will remain open for people to volunteer to be point people on these ad-hoc committees, and to post brief statements to begin discussion and bibliography creation as step one of a TAS process.

  1. Global mental health —What can a critical medical anthropological perspective contribute to the study of social determinants (upstream) and the cultural expression and experience of mental health (downstream), community resources for managing mental health problems etc. Duncan Peterson volunteered to write up a short paragraph to mobilize a group interested in these topics.
  2. The Global Health as Global Medicine abroad movement – the sending of western medical students to developing countries for training –ethics of such programs and policy issues.
  3. Global health diplomacy and policy making – the importance of conducting institutional anthropology at WHO and other large organizations (UN, Gates etc), how discourse at major conferences frames policy making etc.
  4. I-Health as an emerging global health phenomena Tanja Ahlin volunteered to write up a brief statement

By doing it this way, we can begin to identify topics (as well as those interested in working on these topics) in advance of the meeting, which will cut down on meeting time, and allow for more high-level discussion of the topics and their merits. You can also suggest new topics for which you are interested in serving as a point person on an ad-hoc committee. We will vote as a group on which topic we will focus on for the next one to two years , but the other groups are encouraged to continue their work as well, as these clusters of ideas are ideal focus points for organized panels, or later ad-hoc committee work.

Comment on new listserv process (CAGH WordPress blog)
We are finalizing a new listserv that is also linked to (this) CAGH blog. If you received this message directly, you are already on the list, but please visit http://www.medanthro.net/cagh/ to see more about the SIG, the updated site, etc. and visit (or forward) this address: http://www.medanthro.net/cagh/join/ if you would like to update or add an email to the listserv. The site is under construction and in process, but should allow for more collaborative discussion in between our official SIG meetings at the AAAs (and sometimes SfAAs).

If you found this message via H-Medanthro or other listservs/forwards, please visit the main CAGH SIG site to sign up for the new listserv. Postings will be infrequent (promise), but you will have the option to receive an email update whenever a new post is made on the CAGH site, or to simply visit the site for updates….on the main site, you will have the opportunity to respond to the post (discussion!) – allowing for threaded discussion of specific ideas (rather than the mess that a typical listserv can suffer from)

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“Undocumented Im/migration and Health”

Drafted by: – Sarah Willen, PhD, MPH & Heide Castañeda, PhD, MPH – published in MAQ – Sept 2011

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What can critical medical anthropology contribute to global health: A health systems perspective

James Pfeifer and Mark Nichter – with additional edits & suggestions from Lenore Manderson, Craig Janes, Katie Bristow, Svea Closser & Ben McMahan – published in MAQ in December 2008

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Global Health, Critical Anthropology of Health – SIG merger

On November 16, 2006 members of two SMA special interest groups the Global Health and Emerging Diseases Study Group and the Critical Anthropology of Health Caucus voted to merge. Significant overlap in membership in both groups and the potential benefit of pooling resources, fostering broader dialogue, and building critical mass were the primary reasons for this decision. After much lively discussion, a decision was made to call the group Critical Anthropology for Global Health (CAGH).

The change was timely given last years meeting theme of critical intersections. Two major points of discussion arose during the meeting: 1) Is it time to move from the study of health to working for global health; and 2) Will a new name exclude global health specialists who do not adopt a critical perspective? The consensus was that an engaged anthropology agenda best reflected most group members interests and that the term critical be used in a broad manner embracing several different critical perspectives, including:

  • political economy and political ecology; critical biocultural anthropology and the lifespan biology of poverty; ecosocial epidemiology and the study of syndemics; governmentality; health disparities and medical citizenship; human rights and the health outcomes of structural violence; gender, power relations, and health disparity ; critical discourse analysis of health and development rhetoric; studies of marketing as this affects consumer behavior resulting in defective modernization; the production and distribution of dangerous commodities and materialist deconstruction of commodity chains linking the conditions of production to consumption; critical assessments of health policy; the impact of sociocentric global warming on global health; and the implementation, accessibility and effectiveness of disease control and treatment programs.

The term global health was understood to encompass both a holistic understanding of health and our recognition of the linkages and transnational flows of people, ideas, commodities and ideologies that characterize health in today’s interconnected world. Topics of relevance include global health disparities, minority health, global indigenous health, migration and health, flows of health care professionals from developing to developed countries, international health tourism, conditions favoring the rise and global transmission of emerging/remerging diseases, drug resistance, the structurally influenced adoption of lifestyles conducive to chronic disease, pandemic disease and global health policy, global health movements, networks, and public health interventions that transverse borders and are not regulated by state or international bodies, and the impact of transnational corporate interests actions, and commodity chains on global health status.

Mark Nichter
Lenore Manderson

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