Experts in: Viet Nam
Directrice, Professeure titulaire
- Colonization and decolonization
- South-Eastern Asia
- 19th century
- 20th century
- Viet Nam
I am a medical historian and specialize in Southeast Asia. I have been working for over 15 years on the development of health policy and practices from the 19th century to the present, with a particular focus in recent years on the multiple "encounters" between Western (biomedicine) and so-called alternative and traditional forms of medicine. I am a determined advocate of a multidisciplinary, transnational approach, and recently developed projects and published on medications as a social object, immigrants' health practices and the identity of Vietnamese medicine.
I have held the Canada Research Chair in Healthcare Pluralism since 2007, and I work to improve our understanding of changes in health indicators in modern societies, over-medication and rejection of vaccination, as well as the enthusiasm for alternative medicine - all behaviours that are giving rise to increasing concern but also to different interpretations, which deserve to be revisited and examined from a historical perspective.
Themes that animate my recent work include:
- Scientific (in)capacity in Africa as a lived social and material reality, and in relation to global health inequalities
- The afterlives of scientific materiality and labour in settings of economic uncertainty
- Civic subjectivities – pertaining to duty, public service and entitlement – in relation to scientific expertise in colonial and postcolonial Africa.
- The role of science (and its absence) in the unprotection – that is, the active production or preservation of gaps in protection – of health and, more broadly, of livelihoods and environments, particularly from toxic exposures.