A Postcolonial Ethnography of Subaltern Agency
A presentation from 2021–2022 Radcliffe fellow Chidi Ugwu
Chidi Ugwu teaches anthropology and qualitative methods in the University of Nigeria, Nsukka, and is a guest lecturer in the University of Melbourne’s School of Population and Global Health. His research concerns the asymmetries of knowledge and power in the fields of public health, politics, and religion.
During his fellowship year, Ugwu is working on an ethnographic study that explores how practitioners of complementary and alternative forms of medicine navigate the challenges of patronage thrust upon them in the post-colonial context. Results of the study will be an important lens through which to view changes happening to local systems, which remain relevant despite the hefty pressures from the current global order initiated by European imperialism, as well as the subtle patterns in which these local systems adjust and shape-shift to remain “their authentic selves” amid Eurocentric modernity.