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Kuru Sorcery Revisited: Medical Anthropology and Melanesia


for Members

Kuru Sorcery Revisited: Medical Anthropology and Melanesia

Thursday, October 10, 2013

Wenner-Gren Foundation

Presented By

Presented by the Anthropology Section and the Metropolitan Medical Anthropology Association


On the occasion of the release of the new, updated edition of Shirley Lindenbaum's Kuru Sorcery, this symposium will explore the impact of this influential study on medical anthropology, epidemiology and the anthropological studies of Melanesia.

A reception will precede the meeting at 6:00 pm.

Registration Pricing

This meeting is free, but you will need to register in advance.


Shirley Lindenbaum

The Graduate Center, CUNY

Shirley Lindenbaum is a cultural anthropologist whose areas of research include the study of "kuru" in Papua New Guinea, cholera in Bangladesh, and AIDS in the United States. She is currently working with a Social Science Research Council committee to identify the critical issues and needs of sexuality research and training in the United States, and with an Office of AIDS Research Working Group identifying high priority topics in international HIV prevention research as well as in the United States. Her current writing projects include changing forms of historical consciousness based on narratives collected in New Guinea from the 1960s to the present.

Rayna Rapp

New York University

Rayna Rapp, Professor of Anthropology at New York University, has explored the complications involved with reproductive health issues. Her research has concerned new reproductive technology, genetic testing, and claims for genomic medicine. More recently, Rapp and colleague, Faye Ginsburg, have pursued a research project on cultural innovation in special education in New York City. She is currently conducting fieldwork in scientific laboratories on brain research about learning, memory, childhood psychiatric diagnoses and epigenetics. One of Rapp's contributions to this research involves intensive fieldwork at a pediatric neuroscience laboratory, where theories about childhood ADHD, Learning Disabilities, and other conditions are increasingly being folded into collaborations to produce "Big Data" on "Small Kids". Rapp is the author of "Testing Women, Testing the Fetus: The Social Impact of Amniocentesis in America," and co-editor of "Conceiving the New World Order: The Global Politics of Reproduction," "Articulating Hidden Histories: Exploring the Influence of Eric R. Wolf," and "Promissory Notes: Women in the Transition to Socialism."

Paige West

Columbia University

Paige West, Professor of Anthropology at Barnard College and Columbia University, has written about the linkages between environmental conservation and international development, the material and symbolic ways in which the natural world is understood and produced, the aesthetics and poetics of human social relations with nature, and the creation of commodities and practices of consumption. She has conducted ethnographic fieldwork in Papua New Guinea, Australia, Germany, England, and the United States. Her primary research site, since 1996, has been Papua New Guinea

Dr. West's most recent books are "From Modern Production to Imagined Primitive: The World of Coffee from Papua New Guinea" (2012, Duke University Press), "Conservation is our Government now: The Politics of Ecology in Papua New Guinea" (2006, Duke University Press), and, co-edited with James G. Carrier, "Virtualism, Governance, and Practice: Vision and Execution in Environmental Conservation" (2009 Berghahn Press). She is also the author of numerous articles.

Travel & Lodging

Meeting Location

The Wenner-Gren Foundation

470 Park Avenue South, between 31st and 32nd Streets
8th Floor
New York, NY 10016