Bodies, Politics, and African Healing

Bodies, Politics, and African Healing : The Matter of Maladies in Tanzania

4 (11 ratings by Goodreads)
By (author) 

Free delivery worldwide

Available. Dispatched from the UK in 3 business days
When will my order arrive?


This subtle and powerful ethnography examines African healing and its relationship to medical science. Stacey A. Langwick investigates the practices of healers in Tanzania who confront the most intractable illnesses in the region, including AIDS and malaria. She reveals how healers generate new therapies and shape the bodies of their patients as they address devils and parasites, anti-witchcraft medicine, and child immunization. Transcending the dualisms between tradition and science, culture and nature, belief and knowledge, Langwick tells a new story about the materiality of healing and postcolonial politics. This important work bridges postcolonial theory, science, public health, and more

Product details

  • Paperback | 320 pages
  • 152.4 x 223.52 x 22.86mm | 453.59g
  • Indiana University Press
  • Bloomington, IN, United States
  • English
  • 24 b&w illus., 2 maps
  • 0253222451
  • 9780253222459
  • 1,329,536

Review quote

This is an important and convincing reframing not only of the meaning of healing in postcolonial Tanzania, but also of what healing does. Bodies, Politics, and African Healing successfully challenges us to reconsider the very way in which we think about African healing. * Bulletin of the School of Oriental and African Studies * Stacey Langwick draws on the insights raised by science technology studies and anthropological-historical analyses to reconsider what health and healing means in the town-district of Newala, situated on the edge of the Makonde Plateau, in southeastern Tanzania. . . She pushes readers to consider seriously how healers bring into material being the often unseen entities from other realms, an important part of their therapeutic practice39.2 May 2012 * American Ethnologist * Bodies, Politics, and African Healing is a bold and imaginative account that deserves to be read not only as an ethnography of medical pluralities in postcolonial Tanzania but also as an exemplary investigation into the field of ontological politics that unsettles deep-seated assumptions about truth and power. It will change the way many anthropologists think and write about medical ontologies in Africa and elsewhere. * Anthropology and Humanism * This book contributes to the understanding of traditional medicine in a contemporary African setting. It makes clear the inequalities that shape the space under which healers must operate, and their efforts to work this to their advantage. * Anthropos *show more

About Stacey Ann Langwick

Stacey A. Langwick is Assistant Professor in the Department of Anthropology at Cornell University. She is a contributor to Borders and Healers (IUP, 2006).show more

Table of contents

AcknowledgmentsA Note on Translation Prologue: AIDS, Rats, and Soldiers' Belts 1. Orientations Part 1. A Short Genealogy of Traditional Medicine 2. Witchcraft, Oracles, and Native Medicine 3. Making Tanzanian Traditional MedicinePart 2. Hailing Traditional Experts 4. Healers and Their Intimate Becomings 5. Traditional Birth Attendants as Institutional EvocationsPart 3. Healing Matters 6. Alternative Materialities 7. Interferences and Inclusions 8. Shifting Existences, or Being and Not-Being Conclusion: Postcolonial Ontological Politics EpilogueGlossaryNotesReferencesIndexshow more

Rating details

11 ratings
4 out of 5 stars
5 27% (3)
4 55% (6)
3 9% (1)
2 9% (1)
1 0% (0)
Book ratings by Goodreads
Goodreads is the world's largest site for readers with over 50 million reviews. We're featuring millions of their reader ratings on our book pages to help you find your new favourite book. Close X