UCLA » College » Social Sciences » Anthropology
November 14, 2019
10:30am to 11:30am
352 Haines
Laurie Hart

Ramah McKay, Assistant Professor History and Sociology of Science, University of Pennsylvania.

"Local pharmaceuticals? Making more-than-global health between Maputo and Mumbai"      

Pharmaceuticals, and the transnational supply chains through which they are manufactured, have become privileged objects of anthropological analysis in recent years. Scholars have shown, for instance, how globalized practices of financial, chemical, and biomedical speculation shape intimate practices of consumption and possibilities for health and wellbeing. Yet actors from public health agencies, corporate consulting firms, private investors, and manufacturers both large and small are increasingly advocating for the localization of pharmaceutical production through the construction of new factories, especially on the African continent. What can be learned from these efforts to make pharmaceuticals local? Drawing from fieldwork and interviews in Mumbai, India and Maputo, Mozambique, this talk examines the “localization” of pharmaceutical production in the context of a global industry. Through what relations and practices of production, procurement, and disbursement do pharmaceuticals become “local” or “global” in Mozambique? How do these relations produce or impede claims to quality? How do they build histories of place, race, and national origin in to pharmaceuticals, and with what effects for the health of consumers, especially poor consumers, in and beyond Maputo?

Ramah McKay is the author of Medicine in the Meantime: The Work of Care in Mozambique (2018). Her current work examines how manufacturers, regulators, and health activists are conceptualizing new geographies of regulation and production of medical goods and devices in and beyond Mozambique.

Culture, Power, and Social Change is concerned with a broad range of issues in sociocultural anthropology. As the name of the group suggests, we are particularly interested in how the workings of culture, and of different forms of power and inequality, play out in the contemporary world. And behind these two issues are questions of social change, that is, of the ways in which the rapidly changing world of today impacts people’s lives, and in turn, how people in different circumstances seek to bring about change in the world. CPSC I hosts talks by both in-house faculty members and visiting post-doctoral and faculty level scholars; CPSC II hosts talks by advanced graduate students. All CPSC events are open only to UCLA faculty, students, and invited guests.