On Tuesday October 24, medical anthropologist Dr. Anastasia Hudgins will give a talk titled “Drugs, Youth, and Policy: Putting Anthropology to Work in Southeast Asia.” The talk is scheduled for 6:00 p.m. in the Humanities and Social Sciences Building, room B10.
Applied Anthropology research methods lend themselves to learning about and addressing many different kinds of social problems.
In this talk, Dr. Hudgins discusses a recent research project for UNICEF Viet Nam. In this project, she was tasked with getting the “lay of the land” about children who use drugs, the laws and policies that guide treatment, and the treatment itself. In addition to these topics, she used ethnographic research to better understand the social meanings of drugs, the impact of compulsory detention and criminalization in the Vietnamese context, the enduring consequences of stigma, and how health practices are steeped in history and political economy.
Her focus on health and human rights as a scholar and practitioner inform her findings and conclusions: that determining health goals should be built on a framework of consensus between policy makers, healthcare practitioners, and the patient/sufferer, and that achieving these goals should be participatory in nature.
Dr. Hudgins is trained as an anthropologist with expertise in the theories, methods, and interests of medical anthropology and visual anthropology. She is an Adjunct Fellow at the Center for Public Health Initiatives at the University of Pennsylvania, and a Visiting Research Professor at Rutgers University. In 2017, she co-founded a consultancy firm, Ethnologica.
She has worked for clients such as UNICEF Cambodia, UNICEF Viet Nam, Jefferson Hospital, City of Philadelphia, and Scribe Video. Her projects include writing a handbook for Cambodian doctors and nurses on how to treat juveniles who have been sexually or physically abused, understanding the patient experience in urban ER rooms, and understanding the impact of the sweetened-beverage tax on retailers and distributors.
The talk is co-sponsored by the Anthropology Department, Asian Studies Program, and Public Health Program. This year, the Anthropology in Action Speaker Series will cover topics including global health and drug policy, public health and US farm-workers, confederate monuments, and Indigenous rights.