The Psychological & Medical Anthropology Seminar Series

The Medical and Psychological Anthropology Seminar provides support and coordination for research and graduate student training in medical and psychological anthropology, global health, and person-centered ethnography.

Spring 2017

Seminar 1

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Speaker: Jonathan Yahalom, Ph.D.

Date: Monday, June 5, 2017, 11:00 a.m. - 1:00 p.m.

Location: Psychological and Medical Anthropology Lab, SSRB 331

Seminar 2

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Speaker: Salih Can Aciksoz, Ph.D.

Date: Monday, May 22, 2017, 11:00 a.m. - 1:00 p.m.

Location: Psychological and Medical Anthropology Lab, SSRB 331

Seminar 3

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Speaker: Jacqueline Leckie, Ph.D.

Date: Thursday, May 11, 2017, 11:00 a.m. - 1:00 p.m.

Location: Psychological and Medical Anthropology Lab, SSRB 331

Seminar 4

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Speaker: Joseph Anderson

Date: Monday, April 24, 2017, 11:00 a.m. - 1:00 p.m.

Location: Psychological and Medical Anthropology Lab, SSRB 331

Seminar 5

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Speaker: Angel Martinez-Hernaez, Ph.D.

Date: Monday, April 3, 2017, 11:00 a.m. - 1:00 p.m.

Location: Psychological and Medical Anthropology Lab, SSRB 331

Winter 2017

Seminar 1

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Speaker: Mark Fleming, Ph.D.

Date: Thursday, March 21, 2017, 12:00 p.m - 2:00 p.m.

Location: Psychological and Medical Anthropology Lab, SSRB 331

Seminar 2

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Speaker: Arnaud Dubois, Ph.D.

Date: Tuesday, March 14, 2017, 12:00 p.m - 2:00 p.m.

Location: Psychological and Medical Anthropology Lab, SSRB 331

Seminar 3

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Speaker: Dredge Byung'chu Kang, Ph.D.

Date: Tuesday, March 7, 2017, 12:00 p.m - 2:00 p.m.

Location: Psychological and Medical Anthropology Lab, SSRB 331

Seminar 4

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Speaker: Cassandra Hartblay, Ph.D.

Date: Tuesday, February 21, 2017, 12:00 p.m - 2:00 p.m.

Location: Psychological and Medical Anthropology Lab, SSRB 331

Seminar 5

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Speaker: Leticia Medeiros Ferreira, Ph.D.

Date: Tuesday, February 14, 2017, 12:00 p.m - 2:00 p.m.

Location: Psychological and Medical Anthropology Lab, SSRB 331

Seminar 6

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Speaker: Steven D. Hickman, PsyD.

Date: Monday, January 30, 2017, 12:00 p.m - 2:00 p.m.

Location: Psychological and Medical Anthropology Lab, SSRB 331

Seminar 7

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Speaker: Steven M. Parish, Ph.D.

Date: Monday, January 23, 2017, 10:00 a.m - 11:50 a.m.

Location: Psychological and Medical Anthropology Lab, SSRB 331

Fall 2016

Seminar 1

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Speaker: Nofit Itzhak, Ph.D.

Date: Monday, November 14, 2016, 12:00 p.m - 2:00 p.m.

Location: Psychological and Medical Anthropology Lab, SSRB 331

Seminar 2


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Speaker: Ted Gideonse, Ph.D.

Date: Friday, October 28, 2016, 12 - 2 p.m.

Location: Psychological and Medical Anthropology Lab, SSRB 331

Seminar 3

Dredge Kang

Speaker: Dredge Byung'chu Kang, Ph.D.

Date: Monday, November 28, 2016, 12 - 2 p.m.

Location: Psychological and Medical Anthropology Lab, SSRB 331

 Spring 2016

Seminar 1


Speaker: Thomas Ots, MD, Ph.D.

Date: Monday, April 11, 2016, 12 - 2 p.m.

Location: Psychological and Medical Anthropology Lab, SSRB 331


The End of the Meridian System? Thoughts on a Paradigmatic Shift in Chinese Medicine


Abstract

In medicine, it is unimportant whether a certain culture-specific view is right or wrong. It is of importance whether a certain view is helpful, whether it empowers healers as well as patients. Acupuncture as part of traditional Chinese medicine was guarded and led by well-known concepts and theories like the yin-yang theory, the meridian theory, the theory of five phases and others. Acupuncturists over the centuries and under the guidance of these theories were able to cure and heal diseased persons. At present at least one of these theories faces a paradigmatic shift – the meridian or channel theory (经络理论). As early as 1978 Chinese doctors of traditional as well as conventional (Western) medicine looked for new ways how to substitute the concept of meridians. One of these new explanatory models was based on segmental anatomy, a view of human biology put forward by the British neurologist Henry Head in 1894. However after the official end of the “Great Proletarian Cultural Revolution” in 1978 these modern views were dumped, because the Cultural Revolution was criticized due to its political upheavals. In 2005, Prof. Huang Long-xiang, Vice President of the Acupuncture Research Institute of the Academy of Traditional Chinese Medicine in Beijing and Editor-in-chief of Acupuncture Research and World Acupuncture wrote: “The Channel Meridian theory has successfully accomplished its historical mission of preserving and developing acupuncture; now it has become the narrow neck of the bottle which is impeding the further development of acupuncture medicine in the 21st century.” However, this showed to be a solitary statement which obviously was pulled back some time later.

Thomas Ots will discuss the cultural, social as well as political implications of the slow speed of this
paradigmatic shift – a shift that probably got stuck.

Seminar 2


Speaker: Utpal Sandesara, MD-PhD Candidate, University of Pennyslvania

Date: Friday, April 29, 2016, 10 a.m. - 12 p.m.

Location: Psychological and Medical Anthropology Lab, SSRB 331


The Necessary Sin: Pragmatism, Moral Dilemmas, and Bargaining with God in the Context of Sex-Selective Abortion in Western India


Abstract

Over the past three decades, kinship norms and biomedical practices in northwestern India have converged in a widespread and troubling form of family planning: the selective abortion of female fetuses. This presentation draws on four years of fieldwork in the vicinity of Mahesana, a western Indian city with the most skewed sex ratio (ages 0-6) in the country: 762 girls per 1,000 boys. I first provide an overview of the sex selection issue in Mahesana and my research on it. I then specifically consider the notion of a “necessary sin,” using the story of one couple—Meena-be and Gajendra-bhai—to open up questions of sex selection’s perceived necessity, its perceived sinfulness, and its relation to what we might call reproductive agency vis-a-vis the divine.

Fall 2015