Testing Knowledge: Legitimacy, healing and medicine in South Africa

Susan Levine
Date and Time: 
Wednesday, November 6, 2013 - 5:30pm

Department of Anthropology
Main Quad - Building 50
Room 51A (Colloquium Room)


Based on her research in the Western Cape Province of South Africa, Susan Levine considers the challenges of ethnographic fieldwork with traditional healers in the context of HIV/AIDS, where quackery and the punting of ineffective remedies for HIV/AIDS has led to devastating consequences. The talk also raises questions old questions about science and medical legitimacy through the stories of Sangoma’s trying to offer care in contexts of extreme poverty and deprivation.


Susan Levine, Ph.D., an anthropologist at the University of Cape Town, works on childhood as well as on medical anthropology. She’s been interested in the way that structural inequality impacts childhood experience, and the ways in which applied research can identify spaces for political intervention. Here’s her website: http://www.socanth.uct.ac.za/people/academic-staff/dr-susan-levine