Therapeutic landscapes: Anthropological perspectives on health and place

Margaret Winchester, Janet McGrath
2017 Medicine Anthropology Theory  
The motivation for this special issue was to fill a void in the conversation between geography and anthropology. Margaret Winchester, the editor of this issue, is a medical anthropologist who completed her postdoctoral training in health geography. In her work on health care access in South Africa and her reading of geographic literature, she struggled to find language on the symbolic nature of space, beyond that of a static notion of emplacement. The concept of therapeutic landscapes emerged
more » ... andscapes emerged as a possible bridge between the disciplines, though one that had not been theorized in anthropology in a systematic way. In 2014, Winchester organized a session at the American Anthropological Association meeting in Washington, DC, which garnered strong interest and a collection of thoughtful papers. As discussant for the section, Janet McGrath provided invaluable comments linking the papers together and contextualizing therapeutic landscapes within broader trends in medical anthropology. This special issue is an extension of the original session, with additional articles, photo essays, and invited commentaries. Together these pieces represent new ways of engaging with a traditionally geographic concept through an ethnographic lens, and they illuminate some of the challenges in building theory. To introduce this special issue, we first describe several components of the concept of therapeutic landscapes as employed in the literature on health geography and then explore
doi:10.17157/mat.4.1.472 fatcat:7t4w2hzi7rb3tpn2vimdbw4lvy