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Rezensionen Morality, Hope and Grief




"We have come to expect that an emergent disease, once the initial hysteria it sparks has died down, will either be eradicated by money and medicine, or it will settle into the prosaic landscape of ordinary maladies with attendant routines, inconveniences, and bureaucratic exasperations. In Africa, AIDS has not followed either pathway. This outstanding collection of essays takes explicit aim at the tensions that this ‘non-resolution’ has generated in the world region that has felt the greatest impact of the disease: eastern and southern Africa. In these papers, we see vividly how the potential death warrant that AIDS presents to couples, households, children, has institutionalized new forms of social stigma and, at the same time, new levels of collective resilience and courage."  ·  Caroline Bledsoe, Northwestern University

“This volume brings together some of the best, most thoughtful scholarship on AIDS in Africa. The essays are grounded in the troubling economic realities and intimate moral politics of daily life amid widespread existential angst. Together they offer novel insights into contemporary African social processes and experiences. Paying careful attention to the ways people create and tend to local moral worlds, Dilger and Luig have made a compelling, important book.”
  ·  Julie Livingston, Rutgers University

“[This book offers] a set of reports on how a whole range of issues in daily social life in Africa have been shaped by the presence of AIDS. Even more powerfully, these chapters about experience in the age of AIDS tell us about how ordinary people have re-created their social and cultural worlds under the threat of a new disease, and also in the face of extremely challenging economic conditions...an extremely valuable book.”
  ·  Steven Feierman, University of Pennsylvania




"The introductory chapter, by Dilger, offers one of the best overviews of anthropological research available on HIV in Africa. It is concise, well structured, and to the point, successfully positioning HIV research within the field of anthropology and providing a historical overview of the emergence of anthropological research on HIV in Africa […] Overall, this book should be considered an important collection, relevant for researchers working on HIV in Africa and elsewhere. The findings presented, although often quite particularistic, also have much wider implication for other geographic locales. [...] Although there are seemingly countless studies on HIV, some of the best scholars in the field of anthropology are represented in this volume, and the studies they present contain rich, thick descriptions filled with specificity and compelling analysis."  ·  Eileen Moyer, Medical Anthropology Quarterly 2013.

"This extraordinary collection includes social histories of the AIDS epidemic, its antecedents in societies and cultures, and theoretical insights into the scope of the moral and social crisis that HIV/AIDS has wrought in countries across the African continent. Ethnographies of southern and eastern Africa explore the various and variable ways that African leaders and peoples affected by the pandemic have responded to the threat posed to their families and social worlds in the past three decades. The collection uses thick description to examine how this long wave of unprecedented suffering and dying has been shaped by and in turn has affected local economies, kin and gender relations, healing practices, religious and moral expression and by the wider political economy of our increasingly globalized world."  ·  Brooke Grundfest Schoepf, Canadian Journal of African Studies 2013.

"Although the book is intended for development workers and anthropologists with an interest in sub- Saharan Africa, it is interesting to anyone who wishes to understand the social and cultural context of the people of this region in relation to the dynamics of HIV infection. [...] A strength of the book is its provision of extensive experiences of localities and societies that represent multiple countries and regions of Africa dealing with many aspects of the epidemic. As an African nurse, I believe that the in-depth ethnographic account that these research papers provide opens a new way of ethically approaching the issue of HIV without disregarding local culture and traditional values." · Million B. Mesfun, Journal of the Association of Nurses in AIDS Care 2013

"A great merit of these books, and one of their most important contributions, is that rather than discussing morality in the abstract, they examine the ways in which morality is empirically and theoretically tied to sociality, as illustrated through rich and compelling ethnography. [...] [T]hese volumes provide some of the most compelling accounts of the social and emotional dimensions of HIV-related sickness and death produced in the burgeoning anthropological literature on AIDS in Africa. [...] [T]he depth of the ethnographic evidence, and the overall coherence of the chapters are impressive."  · Daniel Jordan Smith, African Studies Review 2013 (reviewed together with Geissler & Prince, The Land is Dying)

"This is a fascinating and thought-provoking collection, in which every chapter speaks of the resilience as well as the suffering of Africans coping with the effects of the AIDS epidemic. [...] It particularly advances understanding of the ramifications of the increasing, but still limited, availability of anti-retroviral drugs in the under-resourced health systems of Africa."  ·  Felicitas Becker, Africa 2012

"Morality, Hope and Grief: Anthropologies of AIDS in Africa is a worthy contribution to the growing literature that documents and analyzes the human face of HIV/AIDS as it unfolds in eastern and southern Africa [...] Themes include the metaphysical explanations that people bring to AIDS, coping with loss, loneliness, and stigmatization, the behaviour of health providers and other caregivers, and new (sometimes but not always hopeful) responses to the disease as anti-retroviral therapies become more widely available."  ·  Marc Epprecht, Canadian Journal of African Studies 2013.

"[T]he very high quality of the analysis renders this book an outstanding contribution to the debate. Few collections reach so directly to the heart of the lived realities of AIDS in Africa. In this sense, the book is also vehemently dedicated to anthropological enlightenment. By rigorously employing local perspectives, it renders intelligible especially those responses to AIDS that often appear as tragically irrational to students who are unfamiliar with the subject."  ·  Marian Burchardt, African Affairs 2011

"[A] thought-inspiring collection of articles describing and analyzing how individuals and groups explain, interpret, and respond to HIV and AIDS in sub-Saharan Africa. Some of the articles are of outstanding quality and will motivate anthropologists to design additional anthropological studies, which will help to better understand the local realities of HIV/AIDS, their impact on individuals and groups, and how to alleviate the immense suffering caused by the epidemic."  ·  Alexander Rödlach, Anthropos 2011


SFB 1171 Affective Societies
Berlin Southern Theory Lecture