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Health and Difference: Rendering Human Variation in Colonial Engagements

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Volume 8

Rethinking Biosocial Anthropology

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Health and Difference

Rendering Human Variation in Colonial Engagements

Edited by Alexandra Widmer and Veronika Lipphardt

250 pages, 3 figures, bibliog., index

ISBN  978-1-78533-271-5 $135.00/£99.00 / Hb / Published (September 2016)

eISBN 978-1-78533-272-2 eBook

View CartYour country: - edit Buy the eBook from these vendorsRequest a Review or Examination Copy (in Digital Format)Recommend to your LibraryAvailable in GOBI®


“The chapters each offer a clearly delimited case study, most taking a narrow timeframe (a decade or two, six at most) and geographical focus. This allows them to illustrate how very specific sets of concerns shaped how distinctions were generated, and acted on, by scientific and administrative practices.” • Journal of the Royal Anthropological Institute (JRAI)

“This volume contributes valuably to literature by showing how medical knowledge practices both shaped, and were shaped by, categories and images of social, cultural, sexual,and biological difference, and ‘racial difference’.” • Ricardo Roque, University of Lisbon


Human variation represented a central research topic for life scientists and posed challenging administrative issues for colonial bureaucrats in the first half of the 20th century. By following scientists’ and administrators’ interests in innovating styles and tools for making and circulating documents, in reshaping landscapes and environments, and in fixing distances between humans, the book advances new understandings of the materiality of colonial institutional life and governance.

Alexandra Widmer is an anthropologist who teaches at York University in Toronto. Situating the Pacific islands in a global context, her work focuses on colonial and post colonial dimensions of biomedicine, population thinking, reproduction and care.

Veronika Lipphardt is Professor for Science and Technology Studies at the Freiburg University. She works on the history of the life sciences, particularly physical anthropology and human population genetics in their political, social and cultural contexts.

Subject: Medical AnthropologyColonial History


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