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Global Humanitarian Medicine

Contact
Sandrine Frideres
fon +49 30 25491 269
fax +49 30 25491 342
E-mail: sandrine [dot] frideres [at] wzb [dot] eu
Raum: B 315
Reichpietschufer 50
D-10785 Berlin

The Junior Research Group Global Humanitarian Medicine explores the construction of a so-called ‘global’ health field through North-South medical collaborations. It conducts the project ‘Medical Internationalisms and the Making of Global Public Health (Dr.GLOBAL)’, which is funded by a Freigeist (Free Spirit) Fellowship of the Volkswagen Foundation. The project explores the transnational contest for expert authority in the field of global health through a study of French, US, and Cuban health missions in Haiti – a country which has become a paradigmatic laboratory of foreign health intervention.

Dr.GLOBAL seeks to understand how medical aid abroad is connected to domestic expert struggles, thereby creating new spaces of health expertise at home. For example, struggles between (curative) ‘biomedicine’ and (preventative) ‘social medicine’ do not only affect responses to cholera in Haiti. They also affect the lessons learned from missions in Haiti in countries like the US, where social medicine projects developed in Haiti are re-imported to work with underserved communities in the US.

Going beyond Anglo-centric diffusion stories, the project starts from the claim that the export of knowledge from medically developed to developing countries is not a one-way street but a cross-trade of expertise. Combining insights from sociological field analysis, global history, postcolonial studies, and medical history and anthropology, the project aims to lay the groundwork for a transnational sociology of medicine.