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66083-01 - Seminar: Health, Medicine and Care in Sub-Sahara Africa 3 KP

Semester Herbstsemester 2022
Angebotsmuster einmalig
Dozierende Piet Van Eeuwijk (peter.vaneeuwijk@unibas.ch, BeurteilerIn)
Inhalt This seminar course represents a blend of ethnography and medical anthropology which enables us to better understand the dialectic between culture and biology against the backdrop of current African communities. Such 'local African biologies' are grounded on the contextualization of interpretations not only of the body, but also of the landscapes of past and contemporary modes of healthcare and medical systems/medical cultures. This will lead us to rich ethnographic descriptions of culture- and context-related knowledge (production), experiences and practices in reference to different specific African as well as global health phenomena such as newly emerging zoonotic diseases (Covid-19, Ebola), HIV/AIDS, dengue fever or malaria. By this, we do not emphasize the biomedical-somatic appearance of ‘old tropical African’ infectious diseases, but the interplay – and sometimes the disjunction – between biological-physical and cultural-social processes and conditions in particular on household and community level. Current meaningful fields where this interrelation is well articulated are, for instance, mental illnesses, long-term care and disabilities.

Yet, Africa is moving, not least through significant recent social, economic, ecological and political changes that provoke radical shifts also in the manifold spheres of health in Africa. A globalized world has a massive impact on Africa and thus on health, medicine and finally on healthcare in African societies. New health (and increasingly medicalized) phenomena such as chronic diseases (diabetes, hypertension), obesity and drug addictions come upon existing health disparities and inequalities such as poverty, violence, stress and exclusion – and how do existing social and cultural structures think and speak about and finally act on such entangled health phenomena, for example in a densely populated area in a rapidly growing African secondary city or in a remote pastoralist hamlet? Such immediate exposures produce and generate not only (health) vulnerabilities, but also modes of resilience and agency in health matters which lead to new opportunities, abilities and resources. These dynamics finally transform healthcare services, healing, care provision, health literacy and health policies – but embedded in the current African context which is not least also influenced and shaped by historical processes and future challenges.
Lernziele Three general objectives are set to tackle the fairly broad scope of this seminar:

1. We shall be capable to identify and see into the interrelations between 'culture, health and illness' in the light of current African contexts.

2. We shall have understood the manifold dynamics and processes which currently transform and rapidly change both the African societies and their health from an ethnographic perspective.

3. We shall be enabled to look behind the mist of 'Africa as an arena of pathologies' from a critical gaze based on a decentering understanding of health and medicine.
Literatur Cooper, Andrew Fenton, John J. Kirton, Franklyn Lisk & Hany Besada (Eds.). 2013. Africa’s Health Challenges: Sovereignty, Mobility of People and Healthcare Governance. Farnham: Ashgate.

Dilger, Hansjörg, Abdoulaye Kane & Stacey A. Langwick (Eds.). 20212. Medicine, Mobility, and Power in Global Africa: Transnational Health and Healing. Bloomington: Indiana University Press.

Feierman, Steven & John M. Janzen (Eds.). 1992. The Social Basis of Health and Healing in Africa. Berkeley and Los Angeles: University of California Press.

Geissler, P. Wenzel (Ed.). 2015. Para-States and Medical Science: Making African Global Health. Durham: Duke University Press.

Hoffman, Jaco & Katrien Pype (Eds.). 2016. Ageing in Sub-Saharan Africa. Spaces and Practices of Care. Bristol: Policy Press.

Mkhwanazi, Nolwazi. 2016. Medical Anthropology in Africa: The Trouble with a Single Story. Medical Anthropology, 35 (2): 193-202.

Obrist, Brigit & Peter van Eeuwijk. 2020. Medical Anthropology in, of, for and with Africa: Three Hotspots. Medical Anthropology, 39 (8): 782-793.

Olsen, William C. & Carolyn Sargent (Eds.). 2017. African Medical Pluralism. Bloomington: Indiana University Press.

Prince, Ruth J. & Rebecca Marsland (Eds.). 2014. Making and Unmaking Public Health in Africa: Ethnographic and Historical Perspectives. Athens: Ohio University Press.

Viterbo, Paula & Kalala Ngalamulume (Eds.). 2010. Medicine and Health in Africa: Multidisciplinary Perspectives. East Lansing & Münster: Michigan State University Press & LIT Verlag.
Bemerkungen Methods: individual reading, discussion, presentation, group work, and (short) lecture as introduction into the seminar's topic


Teilnahmebedingungen The number of participants is limited to 25 people. The places are assigned according to date of enrollment and subject of study. Priority will be given to the subjects listed under "modules".
Unterrichtssprache Englisch
Einsatz digitaler Medien kein spezifischer Einsatz


Intervall wöchentlich
Datum 21.09.2022 – 21.12.2022
Zeit Mittwoch, 10.15-12.00 Ethnologie, grosser Seminarraum
Datum Zeit Raum
Mittwoch 21.09.2022 10.15-12.00 Uhr Ethnologie, grosser Seminarraum
Mittwoch 28.09.2022 10.15-12.00 Uhr Ethnologie, grosser Seminarraum
Mittwoch 05.10.2022 10.15-12.00 Uhr Ethnologie, grosser Seminarraum
Mittwoch 12.10.2022 10.15-12.00 Uhr Ethnologie, grosser Seminarraum
Mittwoch 19.10.2022 10.15-12.00 Uhr Ethnologie, grosser Seminarraum
Mittwoch 26.10.2022 10.15-12.00 Uhr Ethnologie, grosser Seminarraum
Mittwoch 02.11.2022 10.15-12.00 Uhr Ethnologie, grosser Seminarraum
Mittwoch 09.11.2022 10.15-12.00 Uhr Ethnologie, grosser Seminarraum
Mittwoch 16.11.2022 10.15-12.00 Uhr Ethnologie, grosser Seminarraum
Mittwoch 23.11.2022 10.15-12.00 Uhr Ethnologie, grosser Seminarraum
Mittwoch 30.11.2022 10.15-12.00 Uhr Ethnologie, grosser Seminarraum
Mittwoch 07.12.2022 10.15-12.00 Uhr Ethnologie, grosser Seminarraum
Mittwoch 14.12.2022 10.15-12.00 Uhr Ethnologie, grosser Seminarraum
Mittwoch 21.12.2022 10.15-12.00 Uhr Ethnologie, grosser Seminarraum
Module Modul: Advances in Epidemiology, Statistics and Global & Public Health (Masterstudium: Epidemiologie)
Modul: Ethnographien (Bachelor Studienfach Ethnologie)
Modul: Fields: Public Health and Social Life (Master Studiengang African Studies)
Modul: Theory and General Anthropology (Master Studienfach Anthropology)
Modul: Wissenschaftliche Vertiefung in der Ethnologie: Ethnographien (Bachelor Studienfach Ethnologie)
Vertiefungsmodul Global Europe: Global Ageing and Health (Masterstudium: European Global Studies)
Leistungsüberprüfung Lehrveranst.-begleitend
Hinweise zur Leistungsüberprüfung The participants will read literature documents in each semester week (as mandatory preparatory work), take part in an active way (in discussion and group work) and deliver an oral presentation (individually or in group) by exploring and elaborating one of the given themes.
An-/Abmeldung zur Leistungsüberprüfung Anmelden: Belegen; Abmelden: nicht erforderlich
Wiederholungsprüfung keine Wiederholungsprüfung
Skala Pass / Fail
Wiederholtes Belegen nicht wiederholbar
Zuständige Fakultät Philosophisch-Historische Fakultät, studadmin-philhist@unibas.ch
Anbietende Organisationseinheit Fachbereich Ethnologie