Suzanne Gottschang is a medical anthropologist whose work contextualizes how individuals navigate governance and knowledge systems at the intersections of health, science, and medicine. Her research and writing are rooted in China and the US and cross anthropology, East Asian studies, gender studies, public health, and science and technology studies. Her current research focuses on the increasing prevalence of chronic diseases in horses and how horses, their caregivers, and veterinarians deal with the uncertainties of treatment and care by drawing on experiential and anecdotal knowledge and practices as well as those of evidence-based veterinary medicine.
Her book, Formulas for Motherhood in a Chinese Hospital, is the first ethnography about how a Chinese hospital’s staff, new mothers, and their families navigated the UNICEF-WHO Baby-Friendly Hospital Initiative’s policies and practices to promote breastfeeding at a time of unprecedented social and economic change. Relations between biomedical practices and heightened expectations of femininity and sexuality demanded by consumer culture, alongside international and national agendas to promote maternal and child health, revealed new agents of maternal governance emerging at the very moment China’s economy heats up. The ethnography provides insight into how women’s creative pragmatism in a rapidly changing society leads to their views and decisions about motherhood. Gottschang has published in such journals as Medical Anthropology Quarterly, Technology and Culture the Journal of the Royal Society of Medicine.
She is committed to collaborative projects in her research, writing, and teaching – ranging from a three-year collaborative research project on everyday technologies in East Asia at Hong Kong University to coaching a student team in Smith College’s Engineering Design Clinic.
Held at the Kahn Institute, 21 Henshaw St. 2nd floor.
Wednesdays 11 a.m.-noon,
Thursdays, 4-5 p.m.
and by appointment