Unraveling some anthropological considerations of bodily collapse (old and new)

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Todd Meyers is Associate Professor of Anthropology and Director of the Center for Society, Health, and Medicine at New York University-Shanghai.

Résumé (en anglais)

The question that faced medicine at the beginning of the twentieth-century was not why, in the face of devastating injury and illness, do things fall apart, but rather why do things hold together––why do some individuals succumb while others recover, why does life cling to some and not to others, and what prevents the human organism from unraveling completely. unpredictably and with little regard for degree of injury?  At least this was the basic problem at the center of research and clinical work for medical thinkers from different fields (neurology, physiology, endocrinology, surgery) during and soon-after the First World War.  Drawing from my recent book (written with Stefanos Geroulanos), The Human Body in the Age of Catastrophe: Brittleness, Integration, Science, and the Great War (Chicago, 2018), I discuss how conceptualizations of integration and disintegration came to be, and how they might offer a window onto complex phenomena related to trauma and illness today.

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This content has been updated on 4 October 2019 at 14 h 13 min.