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/ Department of History

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Experts in: Viet Nam

MONNAIS, Laurence

Directrice, Professeure titulaire

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.

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TOUSIGNANT, Noémi

Chercheuse invitée

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.
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