Our edited book has arrived

written by MCS team
20/09/22

Maastricht-We are very excited to share the news that our co-edited book Making Sense of Medicine: Material Culture and the Reproduction of Medical Knowledge has reached our desks, e-copies are with authors and soon it will be available for pre-order via the following link. You can read the abstract below, with details of our celebratory events soon to come.

Front cover of our book

A critical reflection on the relationship between materials and the reproduction of medical knowledge. 

Medical knowledge manifests in materials, and materials are integral to the reproduction of medical knowledge. From the novice student to the expert practitioner, those who study and work in and around medicine rely on material guidance in their everyday practice and as they seek to further their craft. To that end, this edited collection brings together historians, anthropologists, educators, artists, and curators to explore the role of materiality in medical education.

With a broad temporal focus and international scope, the volume focuses on the materials, objects, tools, and technologies that facilitate the reproduction of medical knowledge and often also reify understandings of medical science. Experimental in form and supplemented with ethnographic, museological, and historical cases from around the world, this edited volume is the first to fully explore the matter of medical education in the modern world.

If you have read other posts here in the logbook, you will know that during our fieldwork we wrote postcards to each other. The postcards documented observations, ideas, dilemmas, puzzles, and everyday happenings. They could only ever be thumbnail sketches—a moment or thought caught, a question that arose or a short greeting. But as we have learned in our project, from studying how doctors learn physical examination skills, there is a world of information in a thumbnail.

Please do read more on the American Anthropologist website. Below you can find 5 things our research team loves about postcards as one way (of many) to keep in touch:
1. the extras – the chocolate stains and pen smudges, stamps and barcodes
2. pictures on the front also tell their own stories
3. the sensuous nature of handwriting and paper
4. the slowness, delay and expectation
5. the brevity and economy of space

 

The front of some of the postcards we sent each other during fieldwork

This sensory exhibit is part of 4S/EASST 2020 “Making and Doing” sessions. This Making and Doing project plays with the notion of ‘simulation’ and ‘comparison’, by offering a sensorially-immersive (online) installation that attends to the affective atmospheres, materials, and multisensory and embodied knowledge entailed in the fieldsites and practices of our research. This Making and Doing project plays with the notion of ‘simulation’ and ‘comparison’, by offering a sensorially-immersive (online) installation that attends to the affective atmospheres, materials, and multisensory and embodied knowledge entailed in the fieldsites and practices of our research. We are three ethnographers and one historian on the European Research Council funded project ‘Making Clinical Sense’, which investigates the materiality of medical education in Ghana, Hungary, and the Netherlands. In all three sites, the simulation of patient bodies was used, in part, to help students’ bodies become more knowledgeable. Much like the educators in these three schools, we are interested in finding ways of educating bodies and communicating bodily knowledge—however, while medical educators attempt to reproduce medical practice, we explore the sensory reproduction of practices for academic consideration. Taking practices of comparison seriously, we create three sensory-immersive experiences, allowing space for visitors to do comparative work too. How might such simulation and comparison investigate and disrupt local narratives and global networks of knowledge production?

Some MCS correspondence Anna has received during quarantine

In a previous logbook post we mentioned the Auzoux workshops, which made papier mache anatomical models. Here is a postcard from this handcrafted past.

Auzoux workshop postcard

Image of Auzoux studios from Wikimedia, used under the Creative Commons lisence. Other image my own.

filter entries

Amongst the anthropologists

by Janna Vink
February 5, 2024

Grant Rounds talk at Groningen Hospital

by Janna Vink
February 1, 2024
Event

Seeing ‘Normal’ exposition at 4S Making and Doing conference

by Janna Vink
January 29, 2024