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Putting Anthropology into Global Health

A Century of Anti–Human African Trypanosomiasis Campaigns in Angola

Jorge Varanda and Josenando Théophile

This analysis of over a century of public health campaigns against human African trypanosomiasis (sleeping sickness) in Angola aims to unravel the role of (utopian) dreams in global health. Attention to the emergence and use of concepts such as neglected tropical diseases (NTDs) and ideas about elimination or eradication highlights how these concepts and utopian dreams are instrumental for the advancement of particular agendas in an ever-shifting field of global health. The article shows how specific representations of the elimination and eradication of diseases, framed over a century ago, continue to push Western views and politics of care onto others. This analysis generates insight into how global health and its politics of power functioned in Angola during colonialism and post-independence.

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Digitizing the Western Gaze

The End FGM Guardian Global Media Campaign

Jessica Cammaert

The increasing digitization of print media has resulted in the expansion of female genital mutilation (FGM) eradication efforts from print articles, editorials and novels, to online newspapers. The Guardian recently launched an online “End FGM Guardian Global Media Campaign,” incorporating video, film, and multimedia. This report reviews the digitization of FGM eradication efforts by comparing End FGM to past anti-female circumcision screen texts. Focusing on a film featured in the campaign, Shara Amin and Nabaz Ahmed’s 2007 documentary, A Handful of Ash, this report applies a post-colonial feminist critique of gender, sexuality and colonialism to examine how the digitization of pain and suffering is mobilized and consumed. Comparing the film to anti-circumcision screen texts, Ousmane Sembène’s Moolaadé and Sherry Hormann’s Desert Flower, this report historicizes the global media campaign and highlights its’ repackaging of past imperialist discourses on the body in new digitized ways.

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The 21st Conference of Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change in Paris (COP21), December 2015, reached a consensus to strengthen the global response to the threat of climate change, including by “holding the increase in the global average temperature to well below 2°C above pre-industrial levels and to pursue efforts to limit the temperature increase to 1.5°C above pre-industrial levels, recognizing that this would significantly reduce the risks and impacts of climate change” (UN 2015: 22). The agreement has to pave the way for rules, modalities, and procedures and all Parties have to “recognize the importance of integrated, holistic and balanced non-market approaches being available to Parties to assist in the implementation of their nationally determined contribution, in the context of sustainable development and poverty eradication, in a coordinated and effective manner, including through, inter alia, mitigation adaptation, finance, technology transfer and capacity building, as appropriate” (UN 2015: 24). Of interest to note is that sustainable development and poverty eradication seem to be presented as two sides of the same coin.

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Editorial

The Rule of Law—A Heuristic Perspective?

In the final article of this issue, Giovanni Polcini presents the Italian approach of the “rule of law,” promoted by its governmental institutions in multilateral fora on priority areas related to the struggle against global crime, drugs, money laundering, and terrorism. We must distinguish this from “rule by law.” According to Polcini, the first is dedicated—in order to pave the way for a just and fair society—to counter the abuse of power by authorities and to build new legally oriented societal circumstances. The latter may be used for political reasons to oppress or discriminate against people and avoid accountability under the guise of formality, legality, and legitimacy. It is argued that the rule of law delivers a concrete basis from which to eradicate poverty, to fight discrimination and exclusion, and to protect the environment, also by providing predictability.

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Uncanny History

Temporal Topology in the Post-Ottoman World

Charles Stewart

Post-Ottoman temporal topologies—cases where the past, present, and future may be bent around one another rather than ordered linearly—may produce uncanny histories. The uncanny is activated, as Freud noted, when something secret comes to light, but also when the expectations of a given genre are exceeded. In these cases, the genre of historicism has been violated. Rather than contending that the post-Ottoman world is entirely different from Western Europe, the examples here alert one to the presence of uncanny histories in many other places since historicism has nowhere managed to eradicate its alternatives. Unsettled pasts of violence and displacement and presents beset by ongoing tensions (political, economic, religious/ethnic) do contribute, however, to a particular vitality and saliency of uncanny histories in the post-Ottoman sphere.

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“Has Anyone Seen the Boy?”

The Fate of the Boy in Becoming a Man

Miles Groth

The topic of this article is the psychological meaning and consequences of the repression of a male’s experience of being a boy in the course of his socialization to manhood. Although the eradication of the sense of being a boy is a requirement for attaining manhood in nearly all cultures, the boy remains psychologically alive, although hidden, in the older male. The features of boyhood, why boys often frighten us, and why boys nonetheless enchant both males and females are discussed. An explanation of our ambivalence about boys is found in their anatomy, kinetic physicality, distinctive early experiences with their father, and residual characteristics of the boy’s early relationship with his mother and the feminine. The article concludes with some observations about what a genuine harmonization in a male of the boy with the man might mean for a man’s relations with his father, his sons, other males, and females.

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Shay Hazkani

This article explores themes in the political education and indoctrination of soldiers in the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) during the 1948 War. It argues that the army command attempted to advance the notion that a form of militarism rooted in Judaism was the only way to win the war. Education officers explained to soldiers that 'the Jewish tradition' sanctioned the eradication of the invading armies and indifference to the fate of Palestinians. The article also traces the influence of Abba Kovner's lurid propaganda on the rest of the IDF's education apparatus. Kovner, the education officer of the Givati Brigade, believed that hate propaganda made killing the enemy easier, and his views were shared by many other education officers who saw his work as a road-map for the entire military. Nevertheless, there were some officers who opposed his work out of fear for the consequences that it would have on the future of Israeli society.

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From Yehuda Etzion to Yehuda Glick

From Redemptive Revolution to Human Rights on the Temple Mount

Shlomo Fischer

This article traces the evolution of Yehuda Glick’s strand of Jewish Temple Mount activism, which justifies the demand that Jews be allowed to worship on the Temple Mount based on freedom of worship and human rights. Glick accepts that these values should be applied universally, including to groups whose religious and political positions are at odds with his. Glick’s views evolved from a seemingly opposite source—namely, Yehuda Etzion, a leader of the Jewish underground of the 1980s, which plotted to blow up the Dome of the Rock and eradicate Muslim worship from the Temple Mount. The revolutionary stream of Temple Mount activism associated with Etzion developed the ideal of a conscientious, autonomous activist who employs the discourse of civil liberties in opposition to the state. Yehuda Glick and his initiative combined this ideal with the recognition of the Palestinian Other developed by Rabbis ShaGaR and Froman.

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Editorial

Imperial crisis and the millennium goals

Monique Nuijten

Poverty is ‘big business’. Donor funds are set to increase substantially as the UN millennium targets—to eradicate extreme poverty and halve the number of people suffering from hunger by 2015—seem ever more out of reach. Small wonder that social science methods to assess levels of poverty and the results of development projects have become a hot issue, too. As much of the research on poverty directly feeds into policy making and donor strategies, people are rightly concerned about its quality. Anthropology has a stake in this debate: despite the hegemony of quantitative methods in development research, participatory rural appraisals and poverty assessments have always drawn upon anthropological methods. One might wonder what happens to these qualitative methods in research that aims to establish quantitative levels of poverty.

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Kah Seng Loh and Michael D. Pante

A history of urban floods underlines the state's efforts to discipline people as well as to control floodwaters. We focus on two big cities in Southeast Asia—Singapore and Metro Manila—in the period from after World War II until the 1980s. During this period, both cities traversed similar paths of demographic and socioeconomic change that had an adverse impact on the incidence of flooding. Official responses to floods in Singapore and Manila, too, shared the common pursuit of two objectives. The first was to tame nature by reducing the risk of flooding through drainage and other technical measures, as implemented by a modern bureaucracy. The second was to discipline human nature by eradicating “bad” attitudes and habits deemed to contribute to flooding, while nurturing behavior considered civic-minded and socially responsible. While Singapore's technocratic responses were more effective overall than those in Metro Manila, the return of floodwaters to Orchard Road in recent years has highlighted the shortcomings of high modernist responses to environmental hazards. This article argues that in controlling floods—that is, when nature is deemed hazardous—the state needs to accommodate sources of authority and expertise other than its own.