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Fall 2018

Details on our past events are here. Many of them have been video-recorded; you will see links to those events on the past events page or visit our video page.


Tuesday, September 25 I 12:00-1:30pm

The Invisible Reality of ‘Chinthat Roge’ (A Life of Chronic Worry): The Illness of Poverty in Dhaka's Urban Slum Settlements 

Sabina Rashid, Professor and Dean, BRAC University School of Public Health, Bangladesh

The biomedical ‘disease’ model that dominates much of public health theory and practice is missing the important connection people make between their bodies and their everyday life worlds. In many parts of the world, health is experienced and embodied in the emotional, mental, spiritual, physical and social, and political-economic worlds people inhabit. Chinthar roge (“worry illness”) as expressed by the impoverished living in Dhaka slum settlements, humanises the medical domain by paying attention to people, not just disease specific worlds to which human beings peripherally belong. For residents, life is one of exhausting and relentless uncertainty, dealing with endemic poverty, erratic jobs, insecurity and crime, precarious living conditions, unstable relationships and networks. Basic services, such as water, education and electricity services remain limited or inaccessible, or they pay high costs for access. Housing is insecure and evictions are routine in the lives of informal settlers. Their very existence is one of continual stress and fragility. Chinthar roge clearly highlights the limits of medicine as most residents’ lives are situated between hope, fear, anxiety and chronic deprivations. Chinthar roge is not an illness borne per say, but to them akin to a ‘way of life’ illness, it is their core being which embodies this everyday pain, worry and suffering and the body then becomes a form of truth telling, and the medicalisation of this illness speaks of the unspeakable of their existence. We need to recognise that health is as much mental, emotional, spiritual as it is physical, and directly impacted by the social, economic and political conditions that people inhabit. Unless we own up to the fundamental reality of the illness of poverty, we will continue to produce short-term band-aid solutions, with little improvement in the lives of the most disadvantaged. 

Stephens Hall, 10 (ISAS Conf. Room)

Sponsored by The Subir and Malini Chowdhury Center for Bangladesh Studies, Institute for South Asia Studies

Co-sponsored by Berkeley Center for Social Medicine


Friday, October 26 I 12:00-1:30pm

Family Separations: Beyond Violence Histories to Build Belonging

Heide Castañeda, Associate Professor of Anthropology, University of South Florida; Ericka Huggins, Human Rights Activist, Poet, Educator; Former Black Panther Party Leader and Political Prisoner; Angie Junck, Supervising Attorney, Immigration Legal Resource Center

Moderator: Seth Holmes, Co-Chair, Berkeley Center for Social Medicine

Banatao Auditorium, Sutardja Dai Hall

Sponsored by Haas Institute for a Fair and Inclusive Society

Co-sponsored by Berkeley Center for Social Medicine


Tuesday, December 4 I 5:30-7:00pm

Health Care Under the Knife: Moving Beyond Capitalism for Our Health

Howard Waitzkin, Distinguished Professor of Sociology, University of New Mexico

Gifford Room, 221 Kroeber Hall

Co-sponsored by National Nurses United and the California Nurses Association


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University of California
Berkeley, CA 94720-5670
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