Gender & Women's Studies

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Medicine Man in Washington: Dr. Joseph Jacobs and the Vitality of Feminized Indianness to U.S. Non-Normative Medicine

Event Type
Lecture
Topics
academic, annual smalley fellowship talk
Sponsor
Department of Gender & Women's Studies
Location
GWS House, 1205 W. Nevada
Date
Apr 26, 2018   12:00 pm  
Views
16

Under liberal U.S. logics, non-normative medicine (what has otherwise been variously called unconventional, alternative, complementary, integrative, irregular, patent, folk, and holistic medicine) is a progressive means of addressing the shortcomings and homogeneity of normative medicine. While gendered and racialized definitional tropes articulate what counts as appropriate non-normative medicine, they also communicate what counts as appropriate alterity. This talk argues that in order to comprehensively study the institutionalization of non-normative medicine in the U.S., one must do so through an analysis of gendered indigeneity. To do so, I examine representations of non-normative medicine at the National Institutes of Health, which has housed the first national body dedicated entirely to the study of non-normative medicine since 1992. I foreground the mass mediation of founding director Dr. Joseph Jacobs’s (Mohawk) American Indianness that swiftly labeled him “the Medicine Man” in Washington, further discussing the implications of flattening indigeneity through quests for the promise of healing.

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