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Social Anthropology: Events


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Introducing Occult Anthropology

An Anthropology of Religion Symposium

28th April 2017, 10am to 5pm - Screening Room, 50 George Square

Keynote speaker: Peter Geschiere, University of Amsterdam

This symposium aims to critique logocentric knowledge production in the academy and think through alternatives from the vantage of the occult, broadly defined. Occult Anthropology does not seek to explain ethnographic encounters with the occult, but to instead harness the occult as theory.

Thus, it seeks to breathe new life into debates in the anthropology of religion, which fetishizes the occult by consistently occulting the “natural” and demystifying the “supernatural”, producing a neat inversion, yet remains haunted by epistemological paradoxes and category mistakes (Lambek 2012). For instance, Evans-Pritchard (1947) famously claimed that the Azande make sense of misfortune morally and psychologically through their belief in witchcraft, sparking a long-running debate on scientific rationalism and humanistic relativism.

The ontogeny and ontological status of the occult is ambiguous: The image of possession captures the spirit of anthropology, bridging scholarly obsessions, being-in-the-(other)world, narrative world-making as well as the silences of the subconscious. In our ethnographic “ghost writing”, we seek to become mediums to manifold voices. Like ethnographic theory, the occult juxtaposes analytical dichotomies, while also undermining them.

Research students are warmly invited to submit titles for 12-minute presentations by 20th February 2017.

The event will feature an expert panel of University of Edinburgh staff and conclude with a keynote by the internationally acclaimed expert on magic, ritual, and knowledge practices, Peter Geschiere:

"The Occult and Its Dilemmas:

Do we have to sacrifice academic clarity to grasp the power of the murky?"

For more information or to submit presentation titles, please contact the main organiser, Catherine Whittaker:

Co-organisers: Inna Z. Yaneva-Toraman, Malgorzata Stelmaszyk

Film Screening: Sumathy’s Ingirunthu [Here and Now]

Please join us at a screening of Sumathy Sivamohan’s film 'Ingirunthu'.

Sumathy is an academic, filmmaker, poet, translator, actress and activist. Originally from Jaffna in northern Sri Lanka, she is now Professor of English at the University of Peradeniya. She is visiting Edinburgh as a Fellow of the Institute for Advanced Study in the Humanities.

Wednesday 1 February 2017 @ 14.00, Basement Lecture Theatre, Medical School (Doorway 6, enter from Teviot Place)

The screening will be followed by a Question and Answer session with the

director, Sumathy Sivamohan.


Rescuing Development: what lessons of the last six decades are pertinent for reflection?

Dipak Gyawali (Nepal Academy of Science and Technology)

Thursday, 2nd Feb 2017, 16:00 - 17:30, 6th Floor staff room, Chrystal Macmillan Building, 15A George Square

Speaker: Dipak Gyawali is Director of Kathmandu based non-profit organisation ‘Nepal Water Conservation Foundation’ and Pragya (Academician) at Nepal Academy of Science and Technology. He is a hydroelectric power engineer and a political economist who, during his time as Minister of Water Resources, initiated reforms in the electricity and irrigation sectors focused on decentralization and promotion of rural participation in governance. He also initiated the first national review and comparison of Nepali laws with the guidelines of the World Commission on Dams. 

This seminar is jointly organised by the Centre for South Asian Studies, Social Anthropology and Global Development Academy

Development: Has the Age of Aid Ended?

Dipak Gyawali (Nepal Academy of Science and Technology)

3 February 2017, 6th floor staffroom, Chrystal Macmillan Building, 15A George Square; 11.00 - 12.30

“Development” became the new religion (“Dharma”) of our times, starting in the late 19th Century and picking up messianic zeal after the Second World War. Although it initially saw competing discourses – and Nepal is a classic case of the presence of almost all these varying approaches from American and Indian to Chinese, Russian and others – by the early 1980s, it had become a Western Development Agencies led “thing”. However, it has been argued that the underlying premise of the “Triumph of the West” in Development, almost coeval with the collapse of the Second World communism, was based on a kind of fatalism, expressed through the philosophy and program of structural adjustment, wherein the inherent belief was that these Third World Countries would never “develop”, that that at best they could be disciplined to pay back exorbitant loans that had been addicted to or had foisted on them. The result has been political upheavals, rise of extremist ideologies and a general sense of drift, MDGs and SDGs notwithstanding. This talk, using the findings in a recent book with the speaker as one of the editors (, will look at the history of the “development industry” in Nepal and its current state. Using Cultural Theory (Theory of Plural Rationalities), it will then go on to argue what a new Age of International Cooperation might have to look like as the procedurally fetishized Age of Aid whimpers towards an ignominious end.

 Speaker: Dipak Gyawali is Director of Kathmandu based non-profit organisation ‘Nepal Water Conservation Foundation’ and Pragya (Academician) at Nepal Academy of Science and Technology. He is a hydroelectric power engineer and a political economist who, during his time as Minister of Water Resources, initiated reforms in the electricity and irrigation sectors focused on decentralization and promotion of rural participation in governance. He also initiated the first national review and comparison of Nepali laws with the guidelines of the World Commission on Dams. 

 *This event is jointly hosted by Global Development Academy, Centre for South Asian Studies and Social Anthropology at the University of Edinburgh

Christmas Gathering

Thursday 1 December 2016 from 8.30pm

Celebrating academic achievement and fourth year Dissertations

New Amphion, Teviot House.  Free Admission, Formal Dress Code.



Tuesday 6 December 2016 @ 3.00pm

Understanding Technology - a series of public lectures presenting leading international research and ideas in the history, philosophy, politics and sociology of technology.

The politics of the handloom: craft, technology and the modern nation in China and India

Professor Francesca Bray, University of Edinburgh

This lecture discusses the very different fates of handloom weaving in modern India and China. India became independent in 1945, the People’s Republic was declared in 1949.  In both new nations the handloom was a pillar of the economy, an essential tool of livelihood for hundreds of millions.  Yet the subsequent fate of the handloom in the two nations followed completely different paths.  In China today handloom weaving survives only as an exoticised “heritage craft” associated typically with ethnic minorities.  In India the handloom and the values it represents serve as a powerful political rallying-call for social justice and environmental progress.  What do the contrasting cases of India and China suggest more generally about the politics of crafts vs technology in industrialised nations, including the UK?

The lecture commences at 3.00pm.  Seminar Room, Learning Centre, National Museums Scotland, Chambers Street, Edinburgh EH1 1JF

Admission free.  Please, register with Maureen Kerr on 0131 247 4274 or

Presented by the National Museums of Scotland in co-operation with the Institute for the Study of Science, Technology and Innovation, University of Edinburgh

Thursday 1 September 2016 @ 5.00pm

My Neighbourhood: The Zabbaleen Rubbish Collectors of Cairo

A performance by Christian Stejskal:

This show is a colourful personal journey from my birth city of Vienna to Ethiopia by foot, then into the lives of Cairo’s rubbish collectors, most of them Christian, whom I met during this pilgrimage. After finishing my walk in Axum, I returned to Cairo and lived with the Zabbaleen. Supporting myself as a violinist at the Cairo Opera House, I spent five years taking photos and listening to stories of their joys, struggles, tragedies and small triumphs. Through seven spoken word vignettes, photos and violin music performed live, this show recounts lives of the Zabbaleen and my encounter with them.

The show will take place at 5 pm on Thursday 1 September in the Martin Hall, New College. All are welcome and there is no charge, though a collection will be taken.

Please register via Eventrbite at the following link:

Hosted by CTPI in collaboration with Dr Jamie Furniss, Social Anthropology.


September - March 2016

3-5pm, Every Friday, Social Anthropology Seminar Series


Philippine Studies in the UK 2016

Interdisciplinary Workshop

30 June and 1 July 2016

This workshop provides a forum for UK-based researchers to present and receive constructive feedback on ongoing, upcoming, and recently-completed works on the Philippines and its peoples, including those in the diaspora. Researchers from the various fields of the social sciences and the humanities will present work that highlight the contributions of Philippine Studies to the advancement of conversations within and across academic disciplines. Participants will come from different career stages, including postgraduate researchers who are in the process of embarking on their first major research project, or who are writing their doctoral theses.

Building on the success of last year’s gathering at the University of Leicester, this workshop likewise aims to take stock of what appears to be the increasing, albeit still comparatively marginal, presence of Philippine specialists in British academia. This year’s workshop will thus include a roundtable discussion on these questions: how might present scholarship in the UK frame the Philippines and Filipinos, and what intellectual impulses, institutional conditions, and broader historical and political economic elements underpin these works? How might these works differ from or bear similarities with older studies of the Philippines in the UK and elsewhere, and what possibilities do these works indicate? What does it mean to study Filipinos and the Philippines in the present-day UK?

Contact: Resto Cruz (

Poster.  Programme to follow.

Forms of the Left

“Forms of the Left” is a three day event exploring the aesthetic forms of left-wing political commitment in postcolonial South Asia.

Organised by Dr. Sanjukta Sunderason (Leiden University) and Dr. Lotte Hoek (University of Edinburgh), the event combines film screenings, academic papers and public debate to trace the contours of activist art and left-wing literary and visual cultures in postcolonial South Asia.

“Forms of the Left” will take place in different locations around Edinburgh on 26-28 June, 2016.

Future Himalaya Dialogue

23 - 24 May 2016

The University of Edinburgh Centre for South Asian Studies, Department of Anthropology & Global Development Academy:  In collaboration with Southasia Institute of Advanced Studies, ForestAction, Institute of Social and Environmental Transition (ISET) Nepal, and Women Leading for Change in
Natural Resources Nepal, and The University of New South Wales, Australia.

Conveners: Professor Andrea J. Nightingale and Dr. Hemant R. Ojha

The future of the Himalayas has recently become of great concern to the global community.  This two day workshop will probe questions related to water governance in order to think through new development pathways.

Contact: Dr Jeevan Sharma (Email:

Professor Yunxiang Yan, UCLA

Intergenerational Relatedness and Neo-Familism in Contemporary China

Friday, 13 May 2016 15.00 - 17.00

Based on evidence drawn from longitudinal fieldwork over three decades and secondary literature, the present study unpacks the complex connections among the new pattern of intergenerational relations, the redefinition of filial piety and the rise of neo-familism in contemporary Chinese society.  Remarkable developments include the increasing importance of the parents-children axis in family relations, a surge of intergenerational intimacy, a renewed primacy of the family in public life, and a trend to ‘descending familism’ in which the focal point of resource allocation, emotional attachment, and life aspirations in the family has shifted from glorifying the ancestors to raising the perfect child.  Consequently, the family as institution has been further privatized, the individual exercises more agency in the working of family relations, and yet the process of individualization has taken a collectivist twist. 

Screening Room G.04, 50 George Square, Edinburgh EH8 9LH

Who cares? A Symposium on Care in Medical Anthropology

Wednesday, 11 May 2016 10.00 - 16.00

Care has recently emerged as a key concept in medical anthropology. But why should we care about care? What does the term offer? What do we really know about care and caregivers? The theme of care runs through all our presenters' work, but it means different things in different ethnographic settings.  In this symposium we will further develop our understanding of care through conversations based on recent fieldwork. We will consider how other people are using the term, and how our own work might contribute to this ongoing discussion. The symposium will address the role of care in social relationships: how care shapes power and dependency; the extent and limits of care; the relationship between harm, violence, and care; and the question of care and morality. Join us if you care!

10.00 - 13.00:  Presentations on care by current PhD candidates (Bridget Bradley, Sandalia Genus, Lilian Kennedy, Hannah Lesshafft and Chrissie Wanner).  Discussant: Alice Street
14.00 - 16.00:  Roundtable discussion with members of the EdCMA (Stefan Ecks, Lucy Lowe, Alex Nading, Koreen Reece and Alice Street)

Room S.37, 2nd floor, Psychology Building, 7 George Square


Artist Talk: Edgar Heap of Birds

Heads above Grass: Provocative Native American Public Art and Studio Practice

6 May 2016: 15.00 - 17.00
Room S1, 7 George Square

Please join prominent artist and scholar Edgar Heap of Birds as he presents the turbulent history of the Plains native tribes, particularly the Cheyenne and Arapaho, as the nations confronted the U.S. colonial violence and survive the ordeal.  Artwork shall be offered which outlines expressions of resistance as well as celebratory methods of indigenous continuum.


Sponsored by Artelier: Creative Arts and Social Sciences, University of Edinburgh and National Museums Scotland

Veterinary Anthropology Workshop

18th - 19th April 2016

Centre for Medical Anthropology, Department of Social Anthropology, University of Edinburgh

This workshop seeks to open up an agenda for an innovative new field of study: veterinary anthropology. This new field has the potential to bring together scholarship in animal studies, animal welfare, veterinary sciences, multispecies anthropology, medical anthropology and the anthropology of ethics. The anthropology of human medicine has brought critical attention to the ways in which culture influences the experience of illness and the practice of medicine, as well as the medical objectification of the body, its commodification (biocapital) and governance (biopower). Veterinary anthropology promises all this and more. The complexity brought by the diversity of species under veterinary care and the multiple human-animal relationships which must be taken into consideration raise new analytical challenges. In this workshop we wish to explore the particularities that veterinarians’ care for different species of animals bring to the contemporary practice of medicine.

We ask: how can we bring into relief the differences and continuities that come from medical interventions where the animal is the focus of care? How far does the One Health paradigm go, when veterinary medicine involves interventions which are almost unthinkable in the treatment of human beings. Euthanasia, neutering and ‘slaughter-outs’ in the name of infectious disease control are just three examples. What are the historical and contemporary ethical dimensions of these procedures? How are veterinary practitioners divided on acceptable practice, and how are these differentiated in settings such as farms, domestic pets, and zoos, or across different species? What might ‘informed consent’ mean when dealing with animals? What kind of attitudes towards their patients and animal-owners must vets cultivate during their training, and how might this be different or similar to practitioners in the field of human medicine?

Stephen Blakeway (The Donkey Sanctuary); Sue Bradley (Newcastle University); Irus Braverman (State University of New York); Ann Bruce (University of Edinburgh); Henry Buller (University of Exeter); Matei Candea (University of Cambridge); Glen Gousquer (University of Edinburgh); Samantha Hurn (University of Exeter); Robin Irvine (St Andrews University); Frédéric Keck (Musée du quai Branly); Pete Kingsley (University of Edinburgh); Jamie Lorimer (University of Oxford); Philip Robinson (Harper Adams University); Melanie Rock (University of Calgary); Chrisse Wanner (University of Edinburgh); Françoise Wemelsfelder (Scotland’s Rural College); Abigal Woods (Kings College London).

6th Floor Staffroom, Chrystal Macmillan Building
Register at:


Kindly sponsored by - CHSS Challenge Investment Fund & SPS Strategic Support Fund

Professor Richard Sennett

The Craftsman

Monday, 11 April 2016 15.00 - 17.00

Atelier warmly welcome Professor Richard Sennett, who will be discussing his seminal work The Craftsman at The University of Edinburgh. In this book, he shows how history has drawn fault-lines between craftsman and artist, maker and user, technique and expression, practice and theory, and that individuals' pride in their work, as well as modern society in general, suffers from these historical divisions.

Teviot Lecture Theatre (G.152) Doorway 5, Medial School, Teviot Place

Sign-up via Eventbrite:

Dr David Cooper

Vice: immorality and the household among rural Nicaraguan Pentecostals

Wednesday, 30 March 2016 16.00 - 18.00

In a Latin American context, Joel Robbins’ influential injunction to adequately theorise Christian rupture resonates with widespread tendencies in the analysis of neoliberalism. With neoliberalism depicted as a destructive, individualist tide violently undermining collectivisms of all kinds, conversion to Pentecostalism frequently appears as part of a sweeping political-economic dislocation, shaking individuals out of an apparently more communitarian, Catholic past. Evangelical assertions of personal transformation appear to mirror these depictions of dramatic socio-economic overhaul, and commentators frequently view the two as playing into each other as part of a broad individualising process.

By exploring how the Pentecostal project of overcoming ‘vice’ (vicio) has taken shape among converts in rural Nicaragua, this presentation will develop a critical perspective on this putative convergence. I will suggest that while opposition between collectivisms and individualisms speak neatly to our own political concerns, this analytical trope fails to grasp the texture of immorality as it is constructed by Nicaraguan Pentecostals. Understanding the specific form vice assumes in this context requires that we analyse Pentecostalism’s intensive concern with immorality in relation to a set of assumptions surrounding the viability of the rural household. This ethic of domesticity is highly gendered, emphasises the intense volatility of gendered capacities, and centres upon consequent problems regarding how the potentials of men and women can be contained within the concerns of the household. The Pentecostal injunction to eliminate vice gains its local potency not from some congruence with prevailing macroeconomic policy, but from the promising solution it offers to an abiding problem of incorporation integral to rural domesticity. And if this is the case, models of rupture require considerable qualification.

Meeting Room 4, Chrystal Macmillan Building, 15A George Square

Latin American Symposium on Politics & Social Science


Wednesday, 16 March 2016 10.00 - 17.30

6th floor Common Room, Chrystal Macmillan Building, 15A George Square

Details of the programme


Vets and Society

Monday, 15 February 2016 @ 10.00am

Please join us for a cross-disciplinary networking event on 15th February 2016.  The aim is to explore areas of mutual interest an establish a network to exploit collaborative and funding opportunities.

The event will be hosted by Dr Rebecca Marsland,(Social Anthropology) and Dr Andrew Gardiner (Royal [Dick] School of Veterinary Studies).  Enthusiastic colleagues with an interest in animals and society are warmly invited to attend.

Regrister at:

Anthropology, digital music and the contemporary


Thursday 11 February 2016 at 5.15pm.  

Professor Georgina Born FBA, University of Oxford
How can anthropology help us to understand the epochal social and cultural changes catalysed by the take up of digital media and the internet? This lecture readdresses classic anthropological concerns, among them the nature of time and, as befits the Radcliffe-Brown Lecture, of social relations, drawing on a global programme of ethnographic studies of art and popular digital music cultures in Argentina, Canada, Cuba, India, Kenya and the United Kingdom. The lecture indicates how doing anthropology through music can revitalize these fundamental concerns, opening up new conceptual directions, while reshaping what has been called an anthropology of the contemporary.
About the speaker:
Georgina Born FBA is Professor of Music and Anthropology at Oxford University and Fellow of Mansfield College. She directs the ERC-funded ethnographic research programme ‘Music, Digitization, Mediation’ which examines the transformation of music by digitisation. She holds visiting professorships at McGill University and Oslo University, and was previously Bloch Lecturer at the University of California, Berkeley.

Lecture Theatre G.03, University of Edinburgh, 50 George Square, Edinburgh  EH8 9LH

"Access, Excess: On the Spectacular Generic"

Speaker: Cori Hayden, Chair, Dept of Anthropology, University of California at Berkeley

Tuesday 8 December 2015

Talk with round table discussion.

3.00 - 6.00pm, Seminar Room 5, Chrystal Macmillan Building, 15A George Square, Edinburgh EH8 9LD

My research focuses on the anthropology of the biochemical sciences, global pharmaceutical politics, and postcolonial engagements with intellectual property, copying, and the politics of innovation and appropriation.  These themes animated my 2003 book, When Nature Goes Public: The Making and Unmaking of Bioprospecting in Mexico, which examined the consequences of novel drug discovery partnerships linking global drug companies, Latin American research scientists, and indigenous communities.  A key theme emerging from that work was how new deployments of the idioms of intellectual property serve as engines of both privatization and ‘public-ization,’ or the reconfiguration of notions of the public, the commons, and the public domain.  Subsequent projects have taken up this concern in a variety of ways, including in the ethics of benefit-sharing in clinical trials (Taking as Giving), the ways that liberal concerns over piracy and improper copying continue to animate liberatory projects undertaken in the name of the public domain (The Proper Copy), and an investigation of how appeals to the ‘popular’ and populism may  disrupt liberal epistemologies organized around public and private.
I am currently working on a book called The Spectacular Generic, which examines the recent emergence of a market for generic drugs in Mexico.  Focusing on the market-oriented “exuberance” that has attached to copied, generic medicines in Latin American and global circuits, the book seeks to understand the forms of value, popular politics, and distinction emerging today under the sign of making the same.

"The re-configuration of ‘mental health’ into a global object of care"

Speaker: Dörte Bemme, McGill University, Montreal, Canada

Tuesday 1 December 2015

4.00 - 6.00pm, Seminar Room 2, Chrystal Macmillan Building, 15A George Square, Edinburgh EH8 9LD

Global Mental Health (GMH) has emerged as a novel field of knowledge and practice that seeks to address mental disorders on a ‘global’ scale. My current PhD research undertakes multi-sited fieldwork within the institutional assemblage of Global Mental Health, investigating how GMH re-configures the knowledges and practices that define what a ‘mental health’ problem is and how it can be operationalized in practice. In this talk, I will discuss how an analysis of GMH informed by an ‘anthropology of knowledge’ may open up engagements beyond a ‘cultural’ or ‘local’ framework. I propose that close empirical attention to the shifting conceptual architecture of GMH may yield surprising insights. Two such shifts in the problematization of mental health will be explored: From the search for an underlying ‘nature’ of mental illnesses to the procedural validation of ‘evidence’, and finally to a new emphasis on ‘active ingredients’ in complex interventions that allow for the disaggregation and re-assemblage of mental health knowledge across difference and contexts.

Speaker Biography
Dörte Bemme, MA, is a PhD student in Medical Anthropology at the Department for Social Studies of Medicine, McGill University. Her PhD project undertakes a multisited ethnography of the movement for global mental health, guided by an interest in the production of “global knowledges.” Her work explores the concrete negotiation processes between approaches that seek to standardize psychiatric diagnosis and treatment, and those that regard mental health and illness as socially and culturally contingent. Dörte is a fellow of the Global Health Research – Capacity Strengthening Program (GHR-CAPS). Her most recent publication is titled ‘Global mental health and its discontents: An inquiry into the making of global and local scale’ [with N. D’souza, Transcultural Psychiatry, December, 2014, (51, 6:850-874)]

For any inquiries, contact Sumeet Jain ( or Stefan Ecks (

Co-organized by Edinburgh Centre for Medical Anthropology and Social Work subject area, School of Social and Political Science

STAR Event Anthropology: Beyond the human?

Monday 19 October 2015

For additional information, click here

With Holding Objects

Call for Participants

Introductory Meeting: Friday 25 September, 4pm.
Core Activity: Monday 28 September – Friday 2 October, various times for different groups.
Collaborative Workshop: Friday 2 October, 1-4pm.

Taking place within Talbot Rice Gallery’s exhibition Hanne Darboven | accepting anything among everything, With Holding Objects will provoke discussions about objects and their capacity to reveal information and express something about the world. In partnership with Atelier: Creative Arts and the Social Sciences, the Gallery is seeking students from across the Humanities and Social Sciences to take part in an innovative project that will question the need for a field of enquiry that extends across these areas.
Hanne Darboven (1941 – 2009) was one of the 20th Century’s most important conceptual artists and her obstinate serial installations and eclectic collection stimulate discussions about materiality, time and meaning. Within this resonant context With Holding Objects will address questions about methods of ‘reading’ objects, foster exchange between different student groups and culminate in a collaborative, interdisciplinary workshop.
Guided by James Clegg, Assistant Curator, and Dr Richard Baxstrom, Lecturer in Social Anthropology and co-director of Atelier, those taking part will benefit from a rich range of perspectives and be able to contribute their ideas to the With Holding Objects website, which will serve as the online manifestation of the outcomes of the project.
If you are interested in taking part please contact James Clegg (email: | phone: 0131 6502211) by the deadline of Wednesday 23 September, 12 noon.
Please note: By expressing interest you also confirm that you will be available to attend the introductory meeting and collaborative workshop.  We hope you will also be able to participate in some events during the week and appreciate it if you can be flexible with your time.

September, 21 2015

Surviving the 2015 Nepal Earthquake and Its Aftermath

4.45 - 6.15pm, Sydney Smith Lecture Theatre, Doorway 1, Medical School, Teviot  Place EH8 9AG

A 7.8 magnitude earthquake hit central Nepal on Saturday, 25 April and 12 May 2015 resulted in 8,844 lives and 22,300 injuries. Assessment shows that a total of 446 public health facilities and 16 private health facilities were completely destroyed. Schools in the affected districts have been damaged leaving pupils out of school, which could have a long lasting impact on enrolment, attendance and internal efficiency, leading to an increase in the number of children out of school. Half a million houses were destroyed and a quarter million houses were partially damaged. Preliminary assessments suggest that the earthquake was ‘classed’, which disproportionately affected the poorer and those in rural locations.
Social Science Baha, a research organisation in Nepal, is undertaking a study to understand how households, both migrants and non-migrants, continue to cope with the Earthquake and its effects after the Earthquake. Researchers from Social Science Baha (Dr Bandita Sijapati, Dr Jeevan Baniya and Mr Deepak Thapa) will present findings from the preliminary assessment conducted in the immediate aftermath of the Earthquake in four districts of Nepal, and will also present further research that is being planned in collaboration with the School of Social and Political Science at the University of Edinburgh

Hosted by Dr Jeevan Sharma and Professor ian Harper, Social Anthropology

September, 18 2015

Special Anthropology and Global Health Lecture

3pm, Meadows Lecture Theatre (William Robertson Wing, Old Medical School, Teviot Place, EH8 9AG)
Professor Vincanne Adams, University of California, San Francisco
"Metrics and Markets: Counting Everything in Global Health"

The recent shift from International Health Development to Global Health Sciences has ushered in complex transformations in the practices of audit, funding, and intervention in the effort to improve health outcomes on a global scale.  One of the most important features of this shift has been the growing reliance on specific kinds of quantitative metrics that make use of evidence-based measures, experimental research platforms, and cost-effectiveness rubrics for even the most intractable problems and most promising interventions. Collectively these trends pose a problem of knowledge in relation to how we understand efficacy and how we pay for these efforts.  By tracing the shift from DALYs to Randomized Controlled Trials in global health, this paper investigates how counting practices matter not only in relation to health but also in relation to market-driven commercial funding infrastructures.  When do efforts to “scale up” become the best indices for successful innovation and, alternatively, when do they become an impediment to health?  Do public-private for-profit partnerships in global health work to improve health outcomes and what metrics should be used to determine this? These and other questions will be pursued in this paper.