Current Institutional Affiliation
Professor, Anthropology, Indiana University / Bloomington

Award Information

International Dissertation Research Fellowship 1998
Institutional Affiliation (at time of award):
Anthropology, University of Chicago
Medicine as Global/Local Politics in the Peruvian Selva

The proposed ethnographic study will investigate two instances of medical appropriation in Awajun territory in the Peruvian Amazon. The first instance concerns the ethnopharmaceutical appropriation of Awajun indigenous medical knowledge while the second concerns the shamanic appropriation of biomedicine in Awajun communities. Both instances are understood as a form of simultaneously medical and social action and investigated as intrinsically a form of identity politics between biomedicine and ethnomedicine. The research seeks to contribute to both the global debate over indigenous rights to compensation for the economically motivated appropriation of medical knowledge as well as to examine the means by which biomedicine's global value and power is being politically negotiated and transformed at the local level through shamanic healing.