The political ecology of health is a scholar activist approach that integrates medical anthropology, political economy and environmental justice to improve health in marginalized communities. Anthropologists in solidarity with neighborhood members critically engage in wellness issues to alter power relations and influence policies about health for communities and natural environments. Ethnographers and community leaders seek to reduce conflicts over and find solutions to food deficits, health disparities, environmental racism and human rights violations that disproportionately impact disenfranchized individuals and communities.
The class is designed as a practicum and participants will conduct engaged anthropology, an approach that prioritizes experiential learning through socially relevant, ethnographic research and practice. Students and the instructor will perform a fieldwork project using visual strategies (e.g. ethnographic video, documentary video, digital storytelling, photo voice project, montage video, website, blog, spoken word, graphic novel, art exhibit) with a community group that will prompt theoretical, methodological and ethical insights on doing ethnography in places and spaces that anthropology is designed to serve.