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By Stacey A. Langwick

This refined and strong ethnography examines African therapeutic and its dating to scientific technological know-how. Stacey A. Langwick investigates the practices of healers in Tanzania who confront the main intractable health problems within the zone, together with AIDS and malaria. She unearths how healers generate new remedies and form the our bodies in their sufferers as they handle devils and parasites, anti-witchcraft medication, and baby immunization. Transcending the dualisms among culture and technology, tradition and nature, trust and data, Langwick tells a brand new tale concerning the materiality of therapeutic and postcolonial politics. this crucial paintings bridges postcolonial concept, technology, public health and wellbeing, and anthropology.

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Extra resources for Bodies, Politics, and African Healing: The Matter of Maladies in Tanzania

Sample text

To account for the matters of therapeutic concern on the Makonde Plateau, this book draws on fieldwork carried out between 1998 and 2008. Most of this time was spent in the district of Newala interviewing, observing, and working with healers and hospital staff. In my efforts to account for the historical and contemporary pressures that have shaped healing on the plateau, however, I was also drawn into regional capitals, national headquarters, and a variety of archives in Tanzania and the United States.

SSK scholars were disturbed by a pattern they saw in studies of the development of knowledge, particularly scientific knowledge, in which accounts of the emergence of beliefs that in retrospect were deemed true proceeded through a series of internal and rationalist explanations and accounts of the emergence of belief that in retrospect were deemed false proceeded through external or social explanations. They challenged such unequal handling of accounts of the development of knowledge and proposed that a commitment to methodological or analytical symmetry would ensure more equal accounts.

1. Drawing by Mohamed Balozi, 1998. question directly. He avoids taking a position for or against Truth. Instead, he offers a bottle of medicine for stomach pains to his skeptical visitor. Unlike my pen-and-ink namesake, I do not seek to assess the truth or falsity of healers’ claims or the efficacy of their medicine. I am deeply interested, however, in the dynamics of the encounter and in the kinds of communication that are possible. I am drawn to the space held open by “Stacey’s” failure to name the subject of her pursuit—the unspoken or unspeakable “it” that is absent from her question.

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