Anthropological Intersections of Law and Medicine

Term: Spring 2012

Subject Code: GANT

Course Number: 6225

This class will explore the trajectories of anthropological studies of law and medicine, focusing in on their intersections. How do medical and legal regimes each frame problems? Both regimes take injury and suffering as central, but how are these responded to in each case? How do they each configure ideas of harm and responsibility? When do they contradict one another, when do they complement and feed off of one another? What kinds of persons, objects and forms of knowledge are produced in the space of intersection? Examples of topics covered: the intersections of global health and security and surveillance systems; legal definitions of life and death and their intersections with clinical practice; medical tourism, clinical trials and their intersections with property regimes; bioprospecting and indigenous forms of knowledge; criminalization of infectious disease; medical evidence used in asylum and immigration cases; the extension of human medicine to animals and other living beings, and the associated emergent legal regimes.

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