Faculty of Arts


Medicine, Power and Politics


This course explores the interplay between cultural values, local politics, national politics and international health programmes and initiatives in order to examine how experiences of medical care and ideas of illness and health vary across different cultural groups and sociocultural settings.

Drawing from a variety of ethnographic and other anthropological works, students will examine topics such as: the relationships between medicine and the constitution of state, including colonial and postcolonial power; sociocultural debates and contestations over how disease, illness and wellness are defined; contemporary debates about access to health care and the “right to health” across a wide range of cultural settings; the role of anthropology in international health development programmes; and the impacts of local, national and international health care policies and programmes on health and, more broadly, on other sociopolitical and economic aspects of life.

Availability 2019

Semester 2


Lecturer(s) Dr Susanna Trnka




Coursework only


ANTHRO 366: 15.0 points


ANTHRO 203 or 30 points passed at Stage II 

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