Department of Anthropology

Biography

I am a medical anthropologist with field experience in the UK, Ireland, Israel, Lesotho, The Gambia and Nigeria. I currently serve as Associate Editor for Anthropology & Medicine, and Queer Here.

My primary research interests include health decision-making, regulation and rights, particularly with regards to reproduction and child health (feeding; vaccinations). I am committed to working with policy-makers to influence the design of evidence-based policies, and have previously supported Public Health England and All-Party Parliamentary Groups to understand the reproductive care needs of ethnic minority groups in the UK. I also have research interests in the termination of pregnancy, particularly in the context of sex-selection and when access to abortion care is restricted. 

At Sussex I supported an interdisciplinary project exploring family-making decisions, childbearing dynamics, and son preference among British South Asians (funded by the ESRC). The qualitative research of this project is led by Professor Maya Unnithan (Sussex Anthropology), and mixed-methods research is led by Dr Sylvie Dubuc (University of Reading, PI), which will run until November 2020. 

My PhD (Durham, awarded 2016) was funded by the Wellcome Trust and explored cultures of maternity, maternal, and infant care services among the Haredi Jewish minority in the UK. Archival and ethnographic research methods were employed to illustrate how healthcare services/interventions (especially maternity, maternal, and infant care) has been entangled in issues of integration, assimilation and self-protection for the Haredi Jewish minority in ways that are contiguous over time. The research will be published in a forthcoming monograph (Making Bodies Kosher) by Berghahn Books.

More broadly I am interested in the relation between biomedical health interventions and social worlds. I recently conducted research in The Gambia to understand local perceptions of biodetection dogs in possible malaria control programmes.  Past qualitative research has included trauma and reflections of genocide among ageing Shoah survivors, published in Anthropology & Ageing.

Using anthropological research to inform public debates and policy is a personal responsibility for me. In 2017 I co-wrote and submitted recommendations on sex-selective abortion in the UK and India for the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Population, Development & Reproductive Health as part of their hearings on abortion care. I have written articles for The Huffington post, CORTH at Sussex, Ha'aretz, and Times of Israel. Most recently I led a response to claims that the US Center for Disease Control & Prevention was being advised to revise its language (#CDC7words), published in PLOS Public Health Perspectives and Somatosphere. I have also conducted consultancy work for the recent BBC Radio 4 and British Museum series Living with the Gods.

Role

Research Fellow: Department of Anthropology and Centre for Cultures of Reproduction, Technologies & Health.