Gathering Dust: Producing Therapeutic Natures in Post-socialist Siberia

Tatiana Chudakova, PhD Candidate, Department of Anthropology, University of Chicago, and Visiting Research Associate, SAR

Colloquium, SAR Boardroom

Wednesday, October 31, 2012, 12:00–1:00 pm, Free

Since the beginning of the 1990s, Russia has seen an unprecedented proliferation of traditional medicine and a concerted effort by state and private institutions to simultaneously regulate these therapeutic forms and find ways to incorporate them into official medical practice. In Buryatia, a border region in southeastern Siberia, the increasing institutionalization of a Buddhist form of care, frequently labeled “Buryat-Tibetan medicine,” makes visible the tensions that these attempts at incorporation generate. This presentation traces the unruly assemblages of the “Buryat-Tibetan” pharmacon. In so doing, it reflects on the valuation of local knowledge, the management of situated post-socialist bodies and subjectivities, and the production of therapeutically efficacious “natures” in post-Soviet Inner Asia.

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