Culture of Medicine Club Discussion Series: Polio in Nigeria: The Often Forgotten Reservoir of Endemic Poliovirus
The Culture of Medicine Club discussion series looks at the relationship between ethics, culture, and medicine, and awareness about cultural competence in health-related professions.
Elisha P. Renne is a professor in the Department of Anthropology and the Center for Afroamerican and African Studies, University of Michigan-Ann Arbor. Her research in Nigeria reflects her continuing interest in issues relating to medical/demographic anthropology, gender relations, religion, and textiles. Her earlier monographs include Cloth That Does Not Die (University of Washington Press, 1995) and Population and Progress in a Yoruba Town (University of Edinburgh Press/University of Michigan Press, 2003). She is also the co-editor of the volumes, Regulating Menstruation: Beliefs, Practices, Interpretations (with E. van de Walle; 2001); Population and Development Issues (with J.A. Ebigbola; 2001); and Yoruba Religious Textiles: Essays in Honour of Cornelius Oyeleke Adepegba (with B. Agbaje-Williams, 2005). During the summer 2005, she received a Fulbright Senior Fellowship to work with Dr. Salihu Maiwada, Ahmadu Bello University, on the project, New Technologies of Machine-Embroidered Robe Production and Changing Gender Roles in Zaria, Nigeria. She is also continuing research, begun as a 2005-2006 fellow in the Michigan Institute of the Humanities, which considers gender authority and spiritual ties maintained through white garments used by members of Cherubim & Seraphim churches in Nigeria and the United States with Dr Olufunke Okome. Renne’s on-going work includes a study of the international polio eradication initiative in Northern Nigeria, focusing on the historical, cultural, political context of this campaign, with publications in Social Science & Medicine (2006), Post-Polio International (2008), and in the edited volume, Anthropology and Public Health: Bridging Differences in Culture and Society (2009). The book, The Politics of Polio in Northern Nigeria, was published by Indiana University Press in July 2010. Her most recent research examines the history of veiling/turbaning, textiles production, and religious movements in Northern Nigeria.