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Chinese Medicine in East Africa: An Intimacy with Strangers

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Volume 20

Epistemologies of Healing

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Chinese Medicine in East Africa

An Intimacy with Strangers

Elisabeth Hsu

398 pages, 16 illus., bibliog., index

ISBN  978-1-80073-556-9 $145.00/£107.00 / Hb / Not Yet Published (July 2022)

eISBN 978-1-80073-557-6 eBook Not Yet Published

View CartYour country: United States - edit   Recommend to your Library Available in GOBI®


“Elisabeth Hsu expertly weaves ethnography and theory to provide the reader with a lived experience of a journey of Chinese medical practices in Tanzania, Kenya, and Uganda … Hsu's work is rich with anthropological theory to help make meaning of her findings, and in turn, generously contributes to theory by virtue of the extensive findings and analyses presented.” • Paul I Kadetz, University of Global Health Equity

“This is a wonderful and very compelling book. Content is exhilarating, rich and intense throughout in a highly original fashion.” • Julie Laplante, University of Ottowa


Based on fieldwork conducted between 2001-2008 in urban East Africa, this book explores who the patients, practitioners and paraprofessionals doing Chinese medicine were in this early period of renewed China-Africa relations. Rather than taking recourse to the ‘placebo effect’, the author explains through the spatialities and materialities of the medical procedures provided why -  apart from purchasing the Chinese antimalarial called Artemisinin -  locals would try out their ‘alternatively modern’ formulas for treating a wide range of post-colonial disorders and seek their sexual enhancement medicines.

Elisabeth Hsu is Professor of Anthropology at the School of Anthropology and Museum Ethnography, University of Oxford and Fellow of Green Templeton College. She has published widely on medical anthropology, the history of science, technology and medicine in China and other fields.

Subject: Medical Anthropology
Area: Africa


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