March 2012 Archives

Talk on Pharmaceutical Industry - India and US

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Pharmaceutical Crises and Questions of Value:
Terrains and Logics of Global Therapeutic Politics

Presentation by Kaushik Sunder Rajan

Date: 04/02/2012
Time: 4:00 PM - 5:30 PM
Place: 125 Nolte Center for Continuing Education

Kaushik Sunder Rajan explores how the contemporary global terrain of drug development is constituted by different logics of crisis. He explores this terrain through an empirical focus on pharmaceutical logics and politics in the United States and India today, which are constituted, at the very least, by interrelations between multinational corporate interests, the local generic drug industry, neo-liberal patient consumers, marginalized experimental subjects of clinical trials, and global civil society advocates for access to essential medicines. He argues that the constitutive state of crisis experienced by all of these entities (though in different ways and with different stakes) is a consequence of the playing out of structural logics of global capital and biocapital. These logics are constituted by the value systems of speculative capitalism; the instrument of intellectual property; the imperatives of the globalization of biomedicine; and the way in which health itself comes to be appropriated by capital as a source of value. In the process, he suggests that value in biocapital itself needs to be conceptualized.

Kaushik Sunder Rajan is Associate Professor of Anthropology at the University of Chicago. He works on the political economy of the life sciences, with an ethnographic focus on the United States and India. He is the author of Biocapital: The Constitution of Postgenomic Life (Duke, 2006) and the editor of Lively Capital: Biotechnologies, Ethics and Governance in Global Markets (Duke, 2012).

The Hindi Urdu Flagship program recently released Language for Health (, an open educational resource for the
teaching of intermediate-advanced Hindi and Urdu language and culture.

Featuring over 100 original high quality videos produced in India
specifically for this project, the website combines moving images,
vocabulary lists, and interactive self-correcting quizzes centered around
the experience of the diverse health care system. In India, age-old
practices of Ayurvedic and Unani medicine are often available side-by-side
with the Conventional systems of modern science. This unique relationship
between patient, doctor, and translator creates a terrific opportunity for
advanced and superior level Hindi and Urdu learners to be challenged and
understand the complexities of these two world cultures.

The creators of Language for Health envision the site being used for
courses as well as by health care providers or Non Governmental
Organizations (NGOs) who wish to provide specialized medical, cultural,
and/or language training for the employees and communities.

The website is funded by a grant from The Language Flagship, a national
initiative for Americans to learn languages from kindergarten through
college and graduate school, as well as Liberal Arts Instructional
Technology Services and UT's FAST Tex program.

The site is free for the public top view and use at:

Primary sponsors:

The Hindi Urdu Flagship
The Language Flagship

Selected New Titles in Ames Library - March 2012

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Below you can read a list of selected new titles added to the Ames Library of South Asia in February 2012. Or click here to download a copy.

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