Acknowledged but Unheard: The Absence of Children’s Voices in Water Insecurity

Steven Rhue // Children’s voices are all but absent from research on water insecurity or the condition where access to and benefit from affordable adequate, reliable, and safe water for health and well-being is unobtainable or precarious (Jepson et al.). This body of work has been dominated by the underlying assumption that a child’s experience…

Emotions as Ethnography: The Story Doctor’s Toolbox

Melissa Maldonado-Salcedo// I am always “in my feelings.” I say this unapologetically, and knowing that some Latina women are rendered in popular culture as lacking control of their emotions and impulses. The overlap between these representations and my ethnographic life does not escape me. Empathy, “my gut,” memories, and emotions are all my critical tools…

The Ethnographer’s Dilemma: A New World Shaped by COVID-19

Steven Rhue // We are all adjusting to the realities of the pandemic. Undoubtedly, it has become the topic of numerous personal and professional discussions, as we navigate newfound challenges in uncertain times. As a student of anthropology and an ethnographer, I find myself in a world where the very foundations of generating rich qualitative…

Inhaling the field – surgery, smoke, and smells

Renée van der Wiel // Up until that morning I had spent most of my fieldwork in stuffy, linoleum-lined hospital reception areas accompanying women on their clinical treks. We would chat while waiting to hear a “NEXT!”  But before concluding my ethnography of a public breast cancer clinic in Johannesburg, I arranged to spend a…

Listening to patients: learning from sobreparto

Emilie Egger // Imagine calling to check up on a friend who has recently given birth. Five weeks postpartum, she tells you she barely has the energy to get out of bed to take care of her baby. Because her family had moved to a new city for work—away from her support system—her partner couldn’t…

Write/Right About Your Body

Madeleine Mant // I teach Introduction to the Anthropology of Health to an exquisitely diverse group of second-year undergraduate students. The class is a gateway prerequisite to all upper-level health-stream courses, thus it necessitates a balance between the biological and sociocultural aspects of health anthropology. Students are exposed to the work of Gregor Mendel and…

On gratitude, ethnography, & care

Michelle Munyikwa // “Oh, you work with refugees. That’s so wonderful. They must be so grateful!” For several years, I’ve been working with refugees and asylum seekers as part of my dual training as a physician and anthropologist. While there have been many instructive and interesting moments that have taken place within this work, I’d like…