Research Seminar on "Who Owns Acupuncture and Other Stories: Cultural Misappropriation in Medicine"

Nadine Ijaz, PhD, will present "Who Owns Acupuncture and Other Stories: Cultural Misappropriation in Medicine"

Talk Description

Who owns acupuncture? What does it mean for white people to practice yoga? Is ‘curcumin’ really the same as turmeric? Contending with questions of cultural hybridity and fusion alongside intellectual property claims meant to protect indigenous medical knowledges, this talk will use a series of vignettes to critically unpack the concept of cultural misappropriation in the context of contemporary health care. With reference to therapeutic products, practices as well as practitioners, I will deconstruct and reconstruct cultural misappropriation as a problematic but ultimately useful theoretical lens for illuminating the dynamics of neocolonialism and biomedical dominance in the healthcare sphere. The talk will close with a critical examination of the ‘integrative’ health movement in this light.


Nadine Ijaz, PhD, is a postdoctoral fellow working jointly within the University of Toronto’s Leslie Dan Faculty of Pharmacy and Department of Sociology, Faculty of Arts and Sciences. Her research, funded by the Canadian Institutes of Health Research, critically examines the professionalization processes of traditional and complementary medicine practitioners. Using an anti-colonial theoretical lens, her work critically situates ‘integrative’ health practices within their historical and social contexts. She is an award-winning educator and a Board Director with the organization Integrative Medicine for the Underserved.

The Osher Center for Integrative Medicine hosts lunchtime research seminars that are open to the research community at large.  To receive information about upcoming events, sign up for the Osher Center's Lectures for Health Professionals and Research Scientists listserv.

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Tuesday, March 2 at 12:00pm to 1:00pm

Virtual Event
Event Type

Research & Academia


School of Medicine




Osher Center for Integrative Medicine
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