Department of Anthropology

Biography

I am a Research Fellow based in the Department of Anthropology and am the co-ordinator of the Centre for Cultures of Reproduction, Technologies & Health.

My primary research interests include sexual and reproductive health (SRH) among minority and migrant groups, particularly the challenges that ethnic and sexual minority groups face when attempting to navigate mainstream maternity care, SRH services and child & family health (childhood vaccinations). I also have research interests in termination of pregnancy, particularly in the context of sex-selection and when access to abortion care is restricted. I have field experience in the UK, Ireland, Israel, Lesotho, The Gambia and Nigeria. I serve as Associate Editor for Anthropology & Medicine and Queer Here.

At Sussex I support 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 quantitative research is led by Dr Sylvie Dubuc (University of Reading, PI). 

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 lead 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.