Amit Prasad

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[Cross-posted from New Books in Technology] In his new book, Imperial Technoscience: Transnational Histories of MRI in the United States, Britain, and India (MIT Press, 2014), Amit Prasad, an associate professor of sociology at the University of Missouri, examines what he calls the “entangled histories of MRI” by studying the development of the technology in the United States, Britain and India. In this way, Prasad deconstructs West/non-West technological and cultural and divisions, as well as elucidating Euro/West-centrism in the histories of technology. To do so, Prasad examines five key aspects of MRI research: invention, industrial development, market, history, and culture. In so doing, Prasad provides a critique of the origin of modern science in the West.

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Paula A. MichaelsLamaze: An International History

May 16, 2014

[Cross-posted from New Books in History] The twentieth-century West witnessed a revolution in childbirth. Before that time, most women gave birth at home and were attended by family members and midwives. The process was usually terribly painful for the mother. Beginning in the nineteenth century, however, doctors started to “medicalize” childbirth. Physicians began to think of ways to ease [...]

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Abena Dove Osseo-AsareBitter Roots: The Search for Healing Plants in Africa

April 10, 2014

[Cross-posted from New Books in Science, Technology, and Society] Abena Dove Osseo-Asare’s wonderful new book is a thoughtful, provocative, and balanced account of the intersecting histories and practices of drug research in modern Ghana, South Africa, and Madagascar. Bitter Roots: The Search for Healing Plants in Africa (University of Chicago Press, 2014) tells the stories of six plants, all [...]

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George E. VaillantTriumphs of Experience: The Men of the Harvard Grant Study

March 27, 2014

[Cross-posted from New Books in Sociology] There are very few studies like the Harvard Grant Study.  Started in 1938, it has been following its approximately 200 participants ever since, analyzing their physical and mental health and assessing which factors are correlated with healthy living and healthy aging.  One of the psychiatrists of the study is George E. [...]

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Ellen J. AmsterMedicine and the Saints: Science, Islam, and the Colonial Encounter in Morocco, 1877-1956

March 16, 2014

[Cross-posted from New Books in Islamic Studies] What is the interplay between the physical human body and the body politic? This question is at the heart of Ellen J. Amster’s Medicine and the Saints: Science, Islam, and the Colonial Encounter in Morocco, 1877-1956  (University of Texas Press, 2013). In this pioneering, interdisciplinary study, Professor Amster explores the French campaign to colonize Morocco [...]

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Carlo C. DiClementeSubstance Abuse Treatment and the Stages of Change: Selecting and Planning Interventions

February 20, 2014

[Cross-posted from New Books in Alcohol, Drugs and Intoxicants] In this episode, I talk with Carlo C. DiClemente, a Presidential Research Professor in the Department of Psychology at the University of Maryland- Baltimore County, about his co-authored book, Substance Abuse Treatment and the Stages of Change: Selecting and Planning Interventions (Guilford Press, 2013). We examine the stages-of-change model (also known as the transtheoretical [...]

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Sharon K. FarberHungry for Ecstasy: Trauma, the Brain, and the Influence of the Sixties

February 20, 2014

[Cross-posted from New Books in Alcohol, Drugs and Intoxicants] It may seem silly to ask why we seek ecstasy. We seek it, of course, because it’s ECSTASY. We are evolved to want it. It’s our brain’s way of saying “Do this again and as often as possible.” But there’s more to it than that. For one [...]

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Karen G. WeissParty School: Crime, Campus, and Community

February 8, 2014

[Cross-posted from New Books in Alcohol, Drugs and Intoxicants] In this episode, I sit down with Karen G. Weiss, associate professor in the Department of Sociology and Anthropology at West Virginia University, to talk about her book, Party School: Crime, Campus, and Community (Northeastern University Press, 2013). We discuss the subculture of the “party university,” and how such an environment normalizes [...]

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Angela CreagerLife Atomic: A History of Radioisotopes in Science and Medicine

January 7, 2014

[Cross-posted from New Books in Science, Technology, and Society] Angela Creager’s deeply researched and elegantly written new book is a must-read account of the history of science in twentieth-century America. Life Atomic: A History of Radioisotopes in Science and Medicine (University of Chicago Press, 2013) traces a history of radioisotopes as military and civilian objects, for experimentation and therapeutic [...]

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Eugene Raikhel and William GarriottAddiction Trajectories

November 26, 2013

[Cross-posted from New Books in Science, Technology and Society] Addiction has recently emerged as an object of anthropological inquiry. In a wonderful, focused volume of ethnographies of addiction in a wide range of contexts, Eugene Raikhel and William Garriott have curated a collection of essays that each follow a particular “addiction trajectory.” Addiction Trajectories (Duke University Press, 2013) includes studies that trace epistemic, [...]

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