Today at DAHSM, Julie Livingston on ‘The Sensory Ethic of Care in Botswana’s Cancer Ward’

Today, May 23rd, as part of DAHSM Culpeper Seminar Series, Julie Livingston, Associate Professor of History, Rutgers School of Arts and Sciences, will give a paper examining the moral intimacies of care in a small oncology ward in Botswana during an emerging epidemic of cancer. Based on extensive ethnographic research, her talk follows the nurses on the ward as they provide bodily care, perform spiritual work, and stave off social death for patients experiencing disfiguring rot, and existential angst, while simultaneously following the patients and their relatives as they attempt to create a socially and morally meaningful world in the face of cancer in an overwrought and highly bureaucratized institution. The discussion will pay special attention to the intersubjective phenomenology of care, and the sensory dimensions of bodily distress and rehumanization.
Julie is interested in care as a social practice and the human body as a moral condition. Much of her research has focused on the ethical entanglements engendered by bodily vulnerability in conditions of scarce resources. Julie is also a committed ethnographer, fascinated by both the intimacies created through the research process and the narrative challenges and possibilities of ethnographic writing. Her work moves across and often combines the disciplines of history, public health, and anthropology. Julie’s publications have explored questions of disability, chronic illness, aging, suicide, personal debt, care giving, disgust, and citizenship. For a list of her publications see here.
The seminar will take place in room 474 at Laurel Heights, from 3:30 – 5:00 pm.


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Last modified: May 23, 2012