"Shifting Gears: Traffic and Trauma in Mumbai"

Feb 26, 2016, 12:00 pm1:30 pm
Bowl 1, Robertson Hall
Free & open to the public


Event Description

Global Health Colloquium

Harris Solomon, Department of Anthropology and the Global Health Institute, Duke University

Harris Solomon is Assistant Professor of Cultural Anthropology and Global Health at Duke University, as well Associate of the Duke Initiative for Science & Society. His work is situated at the intersections of medical anthropology, South Asian studies, science & technology studies, global health, and food studies. His research focuses on the connections between the body and its environments in urban India.

Solomon’s first book, Metabolic Living: Food, Fat, and the Absorption of Illness in India (forthcoming with Duke University Press), explores metabolism as an ethnographic, biomedical, and political phenomenon, in light of India’s portrayal as a country that is experiencing an epidemiological shift from infectious to chronic disease burdens. With India’s rising rates of obesity and diabetes as its backdrop, Solomon’s book examines relationships forged between food, fat, the body, and the city of Mumbai. He draws on ethnographic fieldwork carried out in Mumbai's home kitchens, metabolic disorder clinics, and food companies, in order to better understand what have been termed India's “diseases of prosperity.” 

Solomon’s new project is an ethnographic study of road and railway injuries and of trauma surgery in Mumbai. In the context of urban density and crowds, this research examines how traffic is a problem for medicine to solve in circumstances of traumatic injury. Through detailed case studies that unfold across the injured, their families, the staff of a trauma ward in central Mumbai, and the overlapping specialties of surgery and intensive care, he tracks encounters that call into question the separation of traffic in the city from traffic in the ward. Across these sites and others, he is interested in how moving through the city transports people between living and dying. 

Lunch will be served beginning at 11:45am

Organized by the Program in Global Health & Health Policy

Co-sponsored by the Woodrow Wilson School and its Center for Health & Wellbeing, and the Department of Anthropology.