Stupid Deaths

In 2018-2019 we read “‘Landmine Boy’ and Stupid Deaths” by Paul Farmer in Guest’s Reader for a Global Age. This comment page was for Cultural Anthropology 2019. The topic of “stupid deaths” re-emerged in Cultural Anthropology 2020 when we discussed healthcare as a human right and the “stupid deaths” of the coronavirus pandemic.

And for an attempt to explore these issues in Intro-to-Anthropology 2021, see Medical Anthropology which uses the textbook Anthropology: What does it mean to be human? to explore Farmer’s work:

In the reader, Guest included two prompts that helped tie Farmer’s article to the theme of Ethnicity:

  • How does Farmer’s article reveal processes of constructing or inventing ethnicity?
  • What is Farmer’s challenge to anthropologists (and anthropology students) about their role in addressing violence, genocide, and stupid deaths?

Living Anthropologically means documenting history, interconnection, and power during a time of global transformation. We need to care for others as we attempt to build a world together. This blog is a personal project of Jason Antrosio, author of Fast, Easy, and In Cash: Artisan Hardship and Hope in the Global Economy. For updates, follow on Twitter, watch on YouTube, or subscribe to e-mail list.

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