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PhD Candidate Joseph Jakarasi Making the Most of his Ballard and Seashore Fellowship

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Joseph Jakarasi is a historian of health and healing in Africa. This semester he was awarded the Ballard and Seashore Fellowship to help him focus on finishing his dissertation.  The dissertation, which investigates the role of family members in a rural missionary hospital in Zimbabwe, argues that the tradition of the tending of the sick by family members is a longstanding one. This tradition became particularly important as rural Zimbabweans dealt with the burden of HIV/AIDS in an underfunded and peripheral public health system.

Joseph has been using his fellowship time to write the dissertation, which is based primarily on a combination of hitherto unused records from the rural hospital, oral histories, and ethnographic methods. Below are some of the pictures from Joe’s fieldwork.  In the pictures below, Joseph is seen sifting through some of the records he uncovered in his research. With him is a nurse during his lunch hour. Some of those casual conversations ended up giving him the chance to hear extraordinary stories about nurses’ experiences in this hospital.  The other pictures show the mission’s records’ room. He was the first to be granted permission to use these records.

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