Lecture: "Transforming Information into Knowledge: Drugs, Violence and Healing in Southwest China"

Event date: 
Tuesday, March 26, 2013 - 5:00pm - 6:30pm

Department of Anthropology

Transforming Information into Knowledge: Drugs, Violence and Healing in Southwest China

Wenyi Zhang
University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

Since the 1990s, the Kachin in Southwest China have undergone a crisis of HIV/AIDS and drug use. Various governmental and international prevention programs elicit no behavioral response that might hold back the increasing rates of drug use, whereas villagers work with local government officials to design and carry out locally sensitive and effective rehabilitation programs for drug users. As a result, the crisis in the early 2000s had been largely controlled by 2011 in my fieldwork base. Based on my 29 months of fieldwork, I explore why government and international projects were ineffective while the local projects worked. In the local rehabilitation programs, individual rehabilitation is guaranteed by governmental violence, and violence is moderated by drug users’ new identity making. I analyze how such collaboration between violence and rehabilitation transforms public health information, available to everybody, into knowledge vital and urgent for certain individuals to act on. I also propose a perspective for integrating the psycho-somatic dynamics of individual healing/rehabilitation and the socio-political processes of drug use in Southwest China. 


For more information,please call 828-262-2295 or email perryal@appstate.edu

Department of Anthropology
Contact name: 
Amanda Perry
Contact email: 
Contact telephone: 
(828) 262-2295
Three Top Room (Plemmons New Wing)
Admission is free and open to the public

Please consider donating to the Department by selecting "Other" and designating your gift for one of the following funds:

Anthropology Speaker Series
Anthropology Loucks Fund
Anthropology Weller Fund 
Anthropology Keefe Fund
Anthropology Foundation 

Your gift is appreciated and allows us to achieve even greater success with our amazing students! 

Physical Location

The Department of Anthropology is located in Anne Belk Hall. The administrative office is located in Room 342 and all of the faculty offices, classrooms, and labs are located on the 3rd floor.

QEP Global Learning