Stacey Langwick receives fellowship for work on toxicity and healing

Langwick in profile

Stacey A. Langwick, associate professor of anthropology and coordinator of the Einaudi Center's Qualities of Life Working Group, has received a fellowship from the American Council of Learned Societies (ACLS) to support her writing on toxicity and healing in East Africa.

Langwick is working on a book titled A Politics of Habitability: Plants, Sovereignty, and Healing in a Toxic World.

"A Politics of Habitability examines toxicity as the ethical substance of the 21st century," she writes. "I explore how reflection on and labor over the toxic have come to define both ethical subjects and emergent objects of knowledge and practice in Africa. My ethnographic research focuses on the rise of a new configuration of plant-based healing in Tanzania and the complex relations between toxicity and remedy. Dawa lishe (nutritious medicine) has emerged as a generative space to articulate, debate, and respond to the toxicity of everyday life. Working across medicine and agriculture, therapies address acute and chronic disease, depletion, and deterioration. Efficacy rests in the cultivation of the forms of strength that make places, times, and bodies livable again. I argue that dawa lishe is redefining healing through a politics of habitability, and, in the process, Tanzanians are re-configuring notions of medicine, property, chronicity, and crisis that are fundamental to global health."

Langwick's first book was Bodies, Politics, and African Healing: The Matter of Maladies in Tanzania (Indiana, 2011)