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?