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Abstract

▪ Abstract 

The joint themes of this volume of the , the body as a public surface and new technologies of communication, are also woven into the design of the new Wellcome Trust Gallery at the British Museum, inspiring the reflections of this chapter. In the museum setting, moreover, an interesting question of scale arises: how particular objects can point sometimes to very particular values and sometimes to very general ones. This museological paradox is explored here. Taking a cue from the Gallery's focus on well-being, we find a parallel in the contrast between particular medicines used for specific complaints and a more general demand made on medicine as a set of organized practices for promoting health. We also find ideas about the whole person. Attending to the whole person requires its own technology, its own artifacts. And looking at artifacts from different times and places compels us to ask, What kind of “whole” is being imagined? The question is posed with materials from early twentieth-century London, mid-century Papua, and turn-of-the-century biomedicine.

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/content/journals/10.1146/annurev.anthro.33.070203.143928
2004-10-21
2024-06-22
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  • Article Type: Review Article
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