Call for papers: Health in Africa

Dear all,

I am writing to invite paper proposals for a AAA panel focused on transnational health and Africa. Please find below the panel abstract. This panel aims to explore the transnational health issue generally related to Africa. If you are interested, please email me your paper proposal by April 12th, 2015 to [email protected]

Transnational Migrant’s Health in sub-Saharan Africa

Keywords: Transnationalism, Migration, Health, Africa, Medical Anthropology
Organizer: Beibei Yang, ABD student, Anthropology Department, Southern Methodist University

In past decades, the increasing importance of transnational activities among contemporary immigrants has drawn the particular attention of scholars in medical anthropology and public health. Much research has been conducted with the goal of exploring health issues of Africans who have emigrated to more developed countries (especially Western countries). Since the beginning of the 21st century, the booming economy of many African countries has enhanced recent transnational migration towards sub-Saharan Africa. However, the ways in which the health and healthcare-seeking behaviors of emigrants can be impacted by transnational practice is not yet well deciphered.

This panel will examine how transnational migrants’ health (particularly physical health) and healthcare-seeking behaviors are shaped by their transnational activities through the relationships between the motivation to emigrate, relations between the host/migrant countries, the availability of medical resources, and different aspects of transnational activities in the destination countries located in sub-Saharan Africa. In focusing on the relationship between transnational activities and their health-related outcomes, we expect to advance an interdisciplinary dialogue on themes that include medical anthropology, global health, migration studies, and health administration.

We will explore the illness experience of different migrant flows to Africa, including low-end laborers, merchants/traders, and skilled workers and professionals (so called “brain drain”), and the dependents of these three types of migrants as well. Drawing on theories of political economy, structural violence, critical theory, social capital theory, world system theory, and adaptation theory, this panel engages with theorists such as Wallerstein, Baer, Singer, Farmer, and Nichter (etc.) whose explanatory potential has been largely overlooked in an African context.