The Farewell

USAindex TODAY interviewed Anita Hannig for an article that discusses different cultural expectations around sharing someone’s terminal prognosis. “There’s this idea of ‘filial debt,’ that you owe your mother and father for taking care of you all your life, so when that person gets sick, the family steps up to take care of them,” Hannig says. “These decisions (about health care) then become distributed among the family, and the idea of autonomy gets shifted over to the relatives.” Read the full article here.

Aid-in-Dying Symposium in Montana


Ten years after the landmark Baxter v. Montana decision, the School of Law at the University of Montana convened a symposium on aid-in-dying, featuring the original plaintiffs and one of Baxter’s daughters. Judge Nelson, one of the Montana Supreme Court judges, gave the keynote address.

Interview with Cultural Anthropology


Cultural Anthropology interviews Anita Hannig on how religion, ethics, and gender dynamics intersect with issues of medical aid-in-dying in the United States. They also talk about some pedagogical strategies for teaching death and dying to college students. Read the full interview here.

Flash Forward Podcast — Bodies: Ghostbot

JK430tG5 Anita Hannig appears on this episode of Flash Forward, a podcast about the future hosted by Rose Eveleth. Check out the episode on Ghostbots here. “Today we travel to a future where dying isn’t the end. What if you could live on as a simulation? A bot that knows everything you’ve ever said, and can pretend to be you?”

SAPIENS: Death and Dying 101


“Back in February, on a chilly, windy afternoon in Cambridge, Massachusetts, a group of college students and I stood face-to-face with three ash-covered cremation furnaces at Mount Auburn Cemetery, the oldest garden cemetery in the United States. As we squeezed into the crematory, one of the students asked Joe—the no-nonsense custodian—whether we could peek inside one of the furnaces. ‘Not right now,’ Joe said, shaking his head. ‘There’s someone in there.'”

Read the full SAPIENS article here. Undark Magazine republished this article here.

New Books Network: Beyond Surgery

newbooksnetwork2_130x130Anita Hannig’s first book, Beyond Surgery: Injury, Healing, and Religion at an Ethiopian Hospital (University of Chicago Press, 2017) is an in-depth ethnography of two fistula repair and rehabilitation centers in northern Ethiopia. Focusing on the juxtaposition of culture, religion, and medicine, Hannig turns the heroic narrative of surgery on its head to expose the realities of life for women treated in these centers. Utilizing first-person interviews, she shows the human face to surgery and its aftermath. Moving beyond the easy and cathartic narrative promulgated by the media and non-profit fundraisers, Hannig shows the complex reality of life post-surgery. Hannig’s book is a testament to the importance of good, long-term research in the arena of global public health.

Listen to the full New Books Network interview here.