[URBANTH-L] Call For Papers--LASA 2006: Cultural Politics of Health and Healing in the Neoliberal Andes

Jason Pribilsky pribiljc at whitman.edu
Fri Mar 11 13:58:36 EST 2005


Latin American Studies Association (LASA) 2006 Meetings 

San Juan, Puerto Rico 
March 15-18, 2006

ORGANIZERS: Jason Pribilsky, Whitman College 
Maria Tapias, Grinnell College

The Culture Politics of Health and Healing in the Neoliberal Andes 

The health status of individuals and populations is a sensitive indicator to
reveal what are nearly inevitable problems that arise in the wake of
economic change. In Latin America, and the Andean region more specifically,
neoliberal and structural adjustment policies have included market
liberalization, the removal of subsidies, the privatization of essential
services, and the creation of a host of conditions to attract foreign
investors more generally.  These reforms have not only profoundly impacted
social and community relations but have also had numerous effects on
people's health. While scholars have begun to analyze the "big
picture"-presenting a macro-epidemiologic forecast of the health status of
Andean populations as well as attending to the economic burden of
compromised health, much less attention has been paid to local struggles of
how specific populations make sense of, resist, and articulate an
alternative vision up against these new realities--what we call here the
"cultural politics of health and healing."  

In this call for papers, we see at least two perspectives that need
illuminating. In one instance, we seek papers that look at how Andean
nation-states manipulate health and the provision of health care to advance
neoliberal agendas. Some potential questions: How have ideas of personal
responsibility-so integral to neoliberal rhetoric-been intertwined with the
promotion of new health programs and the dismantling of old ones? What is
the relationship between the privatization of essential services (water, for
instance) and the articulation of health problems? In what ways do
nation-states manipulate cultural notions of the body, illness, and disease
to promote specific healthcare agendas? 

A second type of paper may look at issues of resistance and cultural
response to neoliberalism. We especially seek papers that demonstrate how
the health arena (broadly defined to encompass biomedicine, "traditional"
curing and healing, religious healing, etc.) can be a staging ground for
Andean populations to exert rights and specific identities, to articulate
critiques of neoliberalim, and to seek out viable alternatives to provision
healthcare. Topics and questions may include: the intersection of indigenous
activism and health care provision--how have appeals and calls for autonomy
for "traditional medicine" been used to critique neoliberal health agendas?
How have indigenous and other groups collaborated with NGOs to procure
health care? In what ways do these movements resist neoliberal approaches to
health and in what ways do these movements also fall prey to the agendas
they oppose? How have traditional healers and patients responded to pains
and (dis)ease of neoliberalism? What gaps have religion and faith healing
filled for populations? In what ways has neoliberalism affected embodiment?

If you are interested in participating on this panel, please send an
abstract (of no more than 200 words) addressing one or more of the
issues/questions discussed above to both Maria Tapias (TAPIAS at Grinnell.edu)
and Jason Pribilsky (pribiljc at whitman.edu). Abstracts must be received by
March 26 to allow enough time to assemble materials and submit the panel
proposal by the LASA-imposed deadline of April 1st. We hope to hear from

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