Penn Calendar Penn A-Z School of Arts and Sciences University of Pennsylvania

Entanglements of Care: Medicine, Militarism, and Ethnography in Kashmir

A Virtual Book Talk with the Author
in partnership with South Asia Center and Department of Anthropology

Saiba Varma
Assistant Professor, Psychological/Medical Anthropology, UC San Diego
Thursday, February 25, 2021 - 12:00
A Virtual CASI Seminar via Zoom — 12 noon EST | 10:30pm IST

About the Book:

Situating Kashmir as a site of affective, humanitarian, and military overinvestments by the Indian state, The Occupied Clinic: Militarism and Care in Kashmir (Duke University Press, 2020) shows how Indian military rule over Kashmir is articulated in the idiom of love and care, but in fact, is buttressed by a shrewd combination of biopolitical and necropolitical strategies, violence and care, rationality, and nervousness. Drawing extensively on clinical, psychiatric, and humanitarian encounters, the book elaborates care as state strategy that produces new forms of harm, but also as an unstable site of action that has fraught, unexpected outcomes for both patients and providers.

About the Speaker:
Saiba Varma is an Assistant Professor of the Psychological/Medical Anthropology subfield at UC San Diego. She is a medical and cultural anthropologist working on questions of violence, medicine, psychiatry, and politics as they pertain to Indian-controlled Kashmir and South Asia more generally. She conducts ethnographic research in Kashmir, the site of a chronic, unresolved conflict, and one of the most militarized places on earth. Her research explores how spaces of psychiatric and humanitarian care confront, but also become microcosms of the broader politics of violence and occupation that characterize life in Kashmir. At UCSD, she is also an Affiliate Faculty in Critical Gender Studies, Ethnic Studies, Global Health, and Science Studies. She currently serves as the Associate Director of the South Asia studies minor.