Centre for Cultures of Reproduction, Technologies and Health

Past events

CORTH Autumn/Winter 2022 events:

poster detailing corth's autumn programme for 2022

CORTH Spring/Summer 2022 events:


5th April, 4-6pm: Chai Pe Charcha: A roundtable discussion on the recent state election results in India


31st May 2:30-3:45pm: Book launch for Anthropologies of Global Maternal and Reproductive Health: From Policy Spaces to Sites of Practice.

Join us to celebrate the launch of this landmark edited volume, to which CORTH co-director, Prof. Maya Unnithan, has contributed.

More details on the Eventbrite page and poster (click on the front cover image for the Open Access ebook).


CORTH co-sponsored event:


9th June 10am-1:30pm: ‘(Un)safe to be me? Exploring the rights and lived experiences of LGBTI people in the UK’, co-hosted CORTH event with The Human Rights Implementation Centre, University of Bristol.

This interdisciplinary half-day conference, organised by CORTH co-director, Dr Maria Moscati, will explore the legal, social and political rights of LGBTI people in the United Kingdom.  

More details on the Eventbrite page.


poster for corth event























CORTH Events Autumn 2021

CORTH Seminar

Conditional Fertility: Multispecies Kinship, Care and Community

Wednesday 12 May, 4pm

  Speaker: Katharine Dow, Senior Research Associate and Deputy Director, Reproductive Sociology Research Group (ReproSoc), University of Cambridge

Reproductive Democracy and Abortion Law Reform in Argentina

CORTH Seminar

Reproductive Democracy and Abortion Law Reform in Argentina

Wednesday 17 February, 5-6.30pm

Speaker: Paola Bergallo (Universidad Torcuato Di Tella)

Discussant: Alicia Ely Yamin (Harvard Law)

CORTH welcomes Paola Bergallo to discuss her work on abortion law in Argentina and their recent landmark victory for abortion rights.

Register here

Recording available here

Reproductive Democracy and Abortion Law Reform in Argentina

CORTH Workshop

Building Therapeutic Relationships Online: How clinical interactions are changing as sexual reproductive health care goes digital

Friday 29 January, 9am-4pm

Co-organised by Dr Paula Baraitser & Prof Maya Unnithan

Building Therapeutic Relationships Online


CORTH Conversation

Midwifery & Covid-19

Monday 7 December, 4.30 – 6pm (UK time)


Midwifery and COVID-19

  • Saraswathi Vedam, Lead Investigator of the Birth Place Lab and Professor of Midwifery in the Faculty of Medicine at University of British Columbia.
  • Shezeen Suleman, Team Lead for the MATCH (Midwifery and Toronto Community Health) Program.
  • Kathryn Parker-Conway, Clinical fellow in emergency medicine, Brighton and Sussex University Hospitals.
  • Katie Tibble and Jane Cleary, Consultant Midwives, Brighton and Sussex University Hospital

Globally, COVID-19 has disrupted aspects of birth that make it a safe and positive experience for women. In December CORTH lead an international and multi professional exploration into the impact of COVID-19 on Midwifery. The conversation centred around perspectives of midwives from the UK and Canada, working on the frontline during the pandemic. Changes to their practice such as telephone consultations and inhibiting partners from being present at the birth were detailed. Innovative new roles for midwives were also introduced including a social media midwife, to improve communications. Women’s difficult experiences of pregnancy, birthing and their postnatal time were empathically discussed. But also, acknowledgement that for midwives and maternity staff in general, the pandemic imposed incredibly challenging and stressful working conditions. The academic perspective was given by Professor Saraswathi Vedam who pointed out that for many pregnant and birthing women around the world, such as refugees, social distancing and other COVID-19 measures have proven impossible to work with.

Register here 

Recording available here


Sex Education and Activism

CORTH Conversation

Sex Education and Activism

Monday 23 November, 1.30 – 3pm

We are excited to welcome three speakers to our CORTH conversation:

  • Milly Evans (Youth sex education advocate and health journalist at Patient)
  • Ben Kasstan (Vice Chancellor's Fellow and medical anthropologist at Bristol University)
  • Lisa Hallgarten (Head of Policy and Public Affairs at Brook, Healthy Lives for Young People)

Each speaker will discuss their own work in the field of sexual reproductive health and share their perspectives on sex education and activism today.

Find out more...

Baby brokers event
CORTH Webinar

Baby brokers: the role of facilitators in low cost transnational surrogacy

Wednesday 28 October, 1.30 – 3pm

Speaker: Elo Luik

(School of Anthropology & Museum Ethnography, University of Oxford)

Discussant: Craig Lind

(School of Law, Politics and Sociology, University of Sussex)


Caring for Transnational Migrant Women within an HIV Diaspora
CORTH Research Seminar

Caring for Transnational Migrant Women within an HIV Diaspora

Ulla Mcknight (Research fellow, Sociology, School of Law, Politics and Sociology)

Chaired by Hayley McGregor.

Wednesday 20 May 12:00 until 13:00

28 people attended via Zoom

Further details and Zoom recording: Caring for transnational migrant women within an HIV diaspora

Download the poster: Caring for Transnational Migrant Women within an HIV Diaspora

CORTH Research Seminar

Caring for transnational migrant women within an HIV diaspora

Ulla McKnight (Dept. of Global Health an Infectious Disease, University of Sussex)

Wednesday 22 April 12:00 until 13:00
Arts C333

CORTH Conversation

Intergenerational Transfers of Knowledge: Reading the Bloods of our Intellectual Lineages

Carli Coetzee (Dept. of African Languages, Cultures and Literature, SOAS)

Wednesday 25 March 12:00 until 13:00
Arts C333

CORTH Conversation

Reimagining Reproductive Rights in India: The Role of Equality and Non-Discrimination

Gauri Pillai (Department of Law, University of Oxford)

Wednesday 12 February 12:00 until 13:00
Arts C333

CORTH Research Seminar

Corporatisation, re-stratification and the new imperatives in healthcare: a case study from India

Ben Hunter (International Development, School of Global Studies, University of Sussex)

Wednesday 29 January 12:00 - 13:00
Arts C333

CORTH Conversation

'Biographies of antibiotics: Experience from Bangladesh'

Dr. Papreen Nahar (Brighton and Sussex Medical School)

Wednesday 20 November 3-5pm
Global Studies Resource Centre, Arts C175

CORTH Conversation

‘Critical Digital Health’

Dr. Paula Baraitser (SRH 24 and Kings College London)

Tuesday 29 October 12:30-2pm
Bramber House 255

CORTH Research Highlights

Monday 21st October 3-5pm
Pevensey 1-1B2

Presentations from new members (Gitau Mburu, Ben Hunter, Neemah Ahamed)
Updates from existing members (Rebecca Ashley, Gillian Love, Shadreck Mwale)

CORTH Research Seminar

Beyond legality – An ethnography of the Zambian abortion law

Marte Haaland (University of Bergen)

Monday 13 May 3.30pm
Arts C333

Further details: Beyond legality – An ethnography of the Zambian abortion law

CORTH Conversations

Surrogacy and gay male parenting: Balancing the rights and interests of those involved

Bronwyn Parry (Kings College London), Philip Bremner (Sussex), Maria Moscati (Sussex), Craig Lind (Sussex), Maya Unnithan (Sussex) and Danielle Griffiths (Sussex).

Wednesday 1 May 13:30 until 17:00
Moot Room, Freeman Building

Further details: CORTH Conversations Surrogacy and gay male parenting: Balancing the rights and interests of those involved

Sexual & Reproductive Rights in India: Social movements & Legal battles
International Conference:
Centre for Law & Policy Research, CMI Centre on Law & Social Transformations & CORTH

Sexual & Reproductive Rights in India:
Social movements & Legal battles

Siri Gloppen (University of Bergen, Norway), Maya Unnithan (CORTH,  University of Sussex), Jayna Kothari (CLPR), Jashodhara Dasgupta (National Foundation for India), Trinetra Haldar Gummaraju (Manipal University), Vinay Chandran (Swabhava Trust), Saumya Dadoo (CLPR), Gauri Pillai (University of Oxford), Jaya Sagade, (ILS Law College, Pune), Aparna Chandra (National Law University Delhi), Swagata Raha (Restorative Justice & Legal Affairs), Suchitra Dalvie (Asia Safe Abortion Partnership), Sarita Barpanda (Reproductive Rights Unit, HRLN), Anita Ghai (Ambedkar University, Delhi), Nidhi Goyal (Point of View), Renu Addlakha (Centre for Women's Development Studies), Anindita Majumdar (IIT Hyderabad).

April 14-15 2019
Bangalore International Centre (BIC) – Bangalore, India

Further details: Sexual & Reproductive Rights in India: Social movements & Legal battles [PDF 179.01KB]

CORTH Research Seminar

How should we respond to the increased genetic risk associated with close relative marriage in England?

Sarah Salway (Department of Sociolegal Studies, University of Sheffield)

Wednesday 3 April 16:00 until 18:00
Global Studies Resource Centre, Arts C

Cross-country abortion travel in EuropeCORTH Research Seminar

Cross-country abortion travel in Europe:
How women deal with legal restrictions and stigma, and build up effective transnational support networks

Silvia De Zordo and Giulia Zanini (University of Barcelona)

Wednesday 27 March from 3-5 pm
Global Studies Resource Centre, Arts C

Download the poster: Cross-country abortion travel in Europe: How women deal with legal restrictions and stigma [PDF 616.25KB]

SCMR & CORTH Research Seminar

'Where Shall Thou Rest': Death and Dying of Syrian Refugees in Lebanon

Shahaduz Zaman (University of Sussex)

Wednesday 13 March 3:30-5pm
Arts C333

Anthropology Department Seminar Series & CORTH Visiting Speaker

Varieties of life forms and the return of animism

Marilyn Strathern (Department of Social Anthropology, University of Cambridge)

Tuesday 26 February 2019, 3-5 pm
Arts C333

High Pressure: When blood and city come together
CORTH Conversations

High Pressure: When blood and city come together

Soraya Fleischer (Department of Anthropology, University of Brasilia)

Wednesday 20 February 2019, 5-7 pm
Arts C333

Download the poster: High Pressure: When blood and city come together [PDF 664.15KB]

CorthConversations 3
CORTH Conversations

PREVENT Dissent: The self-censorship of NHS staff in counter-terrorism training

Dr Tarek Younis, University College London

Wednesday 5 December 2018, 2-4 pm
Fulton 102

Download the poster: CorthConversations 3 [PDF 235.33KB]

Methods in Research & Practice: CORTH Doctoral Forum
Methods in Research & Practice: CORTH Doctoral Forum

Wednesday 10 October from 13:00 until 16:00
Fulton 214

All doctoral researchers are invited to join us for a forum on methods in research and practice, where we will explore the opportunities and challenges of qualitative and quantitative methods in research around gender, health and wellbeing.

More details: Methods in Research & Practice [PDF 369.98KB]

Corth Conversations 2CORTH Conversations

Experts on Female Genital Cutting. Perspectives in Medicine, Law & Society

Dr Geetha Subramanian (MBE), Honorary Consultant Gynaecologist, Bart's Health NHS Trust

Zimran Samuel (LLM) Human Rights Practitioner, Doughty Street Chambers

Thursday 17 May 2018, from 12-2pm
C333, Arts C

Listen to the conversations

Corth Conversations 1CORTH Conversations

Siri Gloppen on 'sexual & reproductive lawfare'

Professor of Comparative Politics (University of Bergen, Norway)
Director, Centre for Law & Social Transformation (Chr Michelson Institute, Bergen)

Monday 14 May 2018, from 5-6pm
C333, Arts C

Followed by drinks in the IDS bar

Listen to the conversations


Download the Corth Conversations poster: Corth Conversations

Culture, Rights & Mobilities: Contested views on sex-selective abortion in the UK

25 April 2018, 3.30pm Arts C333

Culture, Rights & Mobilities

Children’s Right to Health

11 December, 12-5, Global Studies Resource Centre, Arts C


A CORTH and School of Law joint conference


Transitional Justice, Gender and Reproduction Narratives: Bosnia Herzegovina, Colombia, Estonia, Timor-Leste

8 December, 2-5, Global Studies Resource Centre, Arts C

Sonia Ariza Navarrete (European University Institute)
Ebru Demir (Sussex University)
Noemí Pérez Vásquez (SOAS)
Liiri Oja (European University Institute)
Maya Unnithan (Sussex University)

A research workshop


Transitional Justice, Gender and Reproduction NarrativesMany (feminist) scholars have actively critiqued the lack of “gender lens” in transitional justice processes (Christine Bell, Catherine O’Rourke, Katherine M. Franke, Fionnuala Ní Aoláin). More specifically, Ramona Vijeyarasa wrote in her 2009 article, how reproductive rights and reproduction in general do not receive enough attention in post-conflict development agendas.

Our workshop is fuelled by the same concern – where are reproductive rights issues such as forced pregnancy, abortion, access to contraception, and reproductive violence in transitional justice conversations? However, we set out to approach this question more broadly as we understand reproductive rights not just through lists of services and specific entitlements, but through power relationships and gender narratives. Therefore, in this workshop we bring together the transitional justice experiences of Bosnia Herzegovina, Colombia, Estonia and Timor-Leste, and analyse, how specific constructions of “truth”, “violence”, “silencing” and “victimhood” have contributed to shaping the reproduction and health narratives currently present in these four societies.

We make observations about the existence and strength of feminist movements in these countries, and investigate how cultures and religions have shaped women’s experiences during and after the conflict-, or occupation-related violence. What has happened to women’s bodies? Which roles are assigned to/enforced on women? We explore gaps and disconnects between legislation, implementation of laws, and women’s lived experiences and larger societal narratives. We show, how in transitional justice one size does not fit all, and how some of the experiences are different if not completely opposite.



Biometric governance and food security in India

14 November, 3-5, Pevensey 2D10

Ursula Rao (Professor of Anthropology, University of Leipzig)

Anthropology Department / CORTH seminar

Sussex Rights and Justice Research Centre Workshop: Human Rights, Bodies and Health

7 November, 10-12, Arts C333

Breakfast pastries & coffee, tea provided

Research Workshop 7 Nov 2017 - posterMaya Unnithan (CORTH Director): A Conversation on Rights, Justice and Reproduction (Part 1)

Liiri Oja (PhD researcher at the European University Institute, CORTH visitor): A Conversation on Rights, Justice and Reproduction (Part 2)

Andrea Cornwall (Head of Global Studies): The Politics of Rights: Dilemmas for Feminist Praxis

The  Sussex Rights and Justice Research Centre’s research workshops are the Centre’s flagship activity. They involve short presentations on active research in progress, aiming to bring people together from across the University who are working on thematically similar topics, but often in different disciplines. These short talks are then followed by an extended Q&A/roundtable-style discussion. It is an informal, friendly and vibrant space for colleagues across the university to introduce themselves and their research to each other, and to get valuable feedback on early-stage work.

RSVP: The meeting is free and open to all, but can you please e-mail me at d.karp@sussex.ac.uk by Friday 27thOctober if you plan to come.

Research Workshop 7 Nov 2017 - poster [PDF 2.67MB]

Research Workshop 7 Nov 2017 - handout [PDF 5.34MB]

“Dirty, misbehaving and dangerous” Women: Human Rights-Based Responses to Reproductive Violence

A talk by Liiri Oja
25 October, 1:00-2:00pm, Freeman Building F-39


We are conditioned to think that demeaning stereotypes about women an their bodies are “natural side-effects of being a woman”, or just “misfortunes of life”. In truth, generalised views such as “real women choose vaginal births” set women up for reproductive violence by allowing women to be talked down to, second-guessed, disregarded, shamed, mistreated, and punished for expressing autonomous choices. Thus, stereotypes are shortcuts to human rights violations.

Liiri Oja event flyerThrough analysing case-law from transnational human rights forums regarding forced gynaecological examinations and child birth I show, how transnational human rights forums often miss the opportunities to name, describe and reject stereotypes, and to produce transformative jurisprudence that would fight effectively against reproductive violence.


Liiri Oja is a PhD candidate at the European University Institute. After her legal training in native country Estonia and graduate degrees from Oslo University and Georgetown University Liiri worked as a legal advisor for the Estonian Parliament’s Research Department. During her PhD she has done research at the François-Xavier Bagnoud Center for Health and Human Rights (Harvard University), and the Reproductive Sociology Research Group (Cambridge University).

Her thesis titled “Who is the ‘Woman’ in Human Rights Law: Narratives of Women’s Bodies and Sexuality in Reproduction Jurisprudence” is a feminist critique of power and reproduction. Specifically, she is interested in how transnational human rights forums have constructed narratives about women in reproduction jurisprudence (cases concerning abortion, home birth bans, forced sterilisations, assisted reproduction, “virginity testing”, maternal mortality).

Download the flyer: “Dirty, misbehaving and dangerous” Women [PDF 8.16MB]

Indigenous midwifery and birth place:
Exploring authoritative knowledge, risk, and technology in northern Canada and rural Uganda

Elder Indigenous midwives in northern CanadaElder Indigenous midwives in northern Canada

Thursday October 5, 2017, Arts C Room C333

Abstract: This presentation will follow Rachel Olson’s research in rural and remote midwifery care in northern Canada and in rural, central Uganda. Issues of access to midwifery care, and location of birth place in relation to hospitals will be explored. Understanding the shifting role of Indigenous midwifery in the Canadian context and traditional birth attendants in Uganda will lend itself to a discussion of authoritative knowledge and the negotiation of risk in decision-making in childbearing practices. The introduction of mHealth technologies in the Ugandan research context will also be discussed in relation to potential future research directions.

Rachel Olson is a citizen of the Tr’ondek Hwech’in First Nation from the Yukon territory. She has been a researcher in First Nation communities since 1998, working on various projects, from oral history, traditional land use and natural resource management to First Nations health issues. She has a Master of Research in Social Anthropology from the University of Aberdeen, Scotland. In May 2013, Rachel completed a PhD in Social Anthropology from the University of Sussex, looking at the politics of midwifery care and childbirth in Manitoba First Nations communities.

Download the flyer: Indigenous midwifery and birth place [PDF 1.14MB]

Training a TBA in mHealth in UgandaTraining a TBA in mHealth in Uganda

Landscape from the Canadian northLandscape from the Canadian north

Making sense of micronutrients – Mothers’ views from Guatemala and Peru

Thursday September 21, 2017, 12 – 1:30, IDS, Room 221

Making sense of micronutrients - Mothers’ views from Guatemala and PeruBronwen Gillespie has a PhD in Social Anthropology from the University of Sussex. Her research draws on Quechua-speaking women’s experience as recipients of state programmes and services in the rural Andes to explore contradictions in public health and social policy. Recent publications include ‘Negotiating nutrition: Sprinkles and the state in the Peruvian Andes’ in Women’s Studies International Forum. She has extensive NGO experience in the areas of public health, nutrition and rural development, primarily in Latin America. Most recent projects have included work on refugees’ access to public health services in Europe, gender equity actions in Cuba and perceptions surrounding nutrition programs in Guatemala, as an independent consultant.

Seminar theme:
Peru and Guatemala face high rates of child malnutrition, especially in rural predominantly indigenous areas. Multi-sector nutrition strategies are in various phases of implementation, which include the widespread distribution of multi-micronutrient supplements (sprinkles) through public health services. Based on fieldwork with rural mothers in the Ch’orti’ region of Guatemala and the Quechua-speaking Andes in Peru, this seminar will focus on local response to supplementation programs, for which lack of adherence is an on-going concern. It will be argued that sprinkles are not rejected on cultural grounds, as oft assumed by public health practitioners, but rather limited by conditions of poverty, mediated by women’s relationship with the state, and how these programs feed into their existing fears and desires for their families. Many women face a limited degree of decision-making space. Their experiences invite us to raise questions regarding the potential for these mother-centred programs as well as for the underlying medicalised approach to food scarcity.

Download the poster: Making sense of micronutrients - Mothers’ views from Guatemala and Peru [PDF 186.90KB]

CORTH logo
Centre events for Autumn 2017

Download the PDF: CORTH Centre: Forthcoming Events, Autumn 2017 [PDF 329.15KB]

The Translational Urge in the English Health Economy

Professor Chris McKevitt, Professor of Social Science & Health, King’s College London

28th April 2017, Arts C333, University of Sussex

Christopher McKevittProfessor Christopher McKevitt

Translational research refers to the goal of bringing scientific discoveries made at the laboratory ‘bench’ to the ‘bedside’, where biomedical treatments are administered to patients. In this seminar, I will be sending signals from my embedded position in a London translational research infrastructure whose aim is ‘to turn scientific discoveries into better healthcare for everyone’. I will outline our programme of research investigating the messiness of entangled organisations and work places where translational research is conducted, the multiple repositioning of patients in this emerging bioeconomy, and implications for the practice of embedded ethnography.

Chris McKevitt Event


Download the poster:

The Translational Urge in the English Health Economy [PDF 121.15KB]

Papers arising from this work:

Citizen Participation as Political Ritual: Towards a Sociological Theorizing of ‘Health Citizenship’ [PDF 379.30KB]

Configuring the patient as clinical research subject in the UK national health service [PDF 344.93KB]

Embedding research in health systems: lessons from complexity theory [PDF 593.31KB]

Barriers and opportunities for enhancing patient recruitment and retention in clinical research: findings from an interview study in an NHS academic health science centre [PDF 183.12KB]

CORTH "Meet and greet" Doctoral Forum

Wednesday 8th March 2017, Art C 233, University of Sussex

Download: CORTH "Meet and greet" Doctoral Forum - programme and report [PDF 357.27KB]


Photo gallery: "Meet and greet" Doctoral Forum

Communication during Childbirth
Communication during Childbirth

23 March 2017, 12:30-14:00, Fulton 213, University of Sussex 

Tanja Staehler (Philosophy Department and CORTH faculty member) presents ‘Communication during Childbirth’.

Tanja Staehler will talk about her recent work creating a training module to help midwives communicate with women and their partners during labour.

Download the poster:

Communication during Childbirth [PDF 127.36KB]

CORTH Upcoming Events, Spring/Summer 2017
CORTH Upcoming Events

Spring/Summer 2017

Download the programme:

CORTH Upcoming Events, Spring/Summer 2017 [PDF 368.56KB]

Padmini Iyer event 17th Nov 2016
Whose Future? Skills for the 21st century in low and middle income countries

17 November 2016, 13:00-14:00, Essex House Ground Floor Meeting Room (behind reception)

Joint CIE/CIRCY/CORTH Research Café

Dr Caine Rolleston, UCL Institute of Education and Padmini Iyer, Sussex and Young Lives Project, Oxford

Download the poster:
Whose Future? Skills for the 21st century in low and middle income countries [PDF 426.94KB]

Read The Young Lives Blog, which has up-to-date summaries of research project findings.

Anthropology Departmental Seminars Autumn 2016Fertile Disorder: Spirit Possession and its Provocation of the Modern

15 November 2016, 15:00-17:00, Arts C333

Kalpana Ram is visiting from Macquarie University and will be speaking at a joint CORTH/Anthropology Departmental Seminar.

Download the programme: Anthropology Department Seminars Autumn 2016

CORTH New Health Communication Technologies - Programme
New Health Communication Technologies Workshop

7 November 2016, 13:30-17:00, Global Studies Resource Centre, Arts C175, University of Sussex

Clinics for sexually transmitted infections (STI) aim to support people who have infections to contact and notify sexual partners, as well as providing diagnosis and treatment. Informing and treating sexual partners reduces the risk of re-infection within a relationship, and limits onward transmission to others. With the transformation of communication and diagnostic technologies, the ways clinics talk to patients and partners about "partner notification" has changed. In this interdisciplinary workshop we will explore the social, ethical and legal implications of emerging technologies for patients, partners and health services.

New Health Communication Technologies Workshop - programme [PDF 347.45KB]

Visiting doctoral studentsCORTH Research in Progress Workshop

27 June 2016  10am - 12.30pm  GSRC, Arts C

For further details of the workshop, see:

Sexuality, Sexual Reproductive Health Rights, and the Law Workshop

Sexuality, Sexual Reproductive Health Rights, and the Law Workshop

15 March 2016 11am - 5pm  GSRC Arts C

All welcome though spaces are limited so please register your interest with corth@sussex.ac.uk

More information on the event is on our poster:
Sexuality, Sexual Reproductive Health Rights and the Law Workshop, March 2016 - poster [PDF 545.91KB]

and our report:
Sexuality, Sexual Reproductive Health Rights and the Law Workshop, March 2016 - report [PDF 1008.32KB]

The politics of producing, communicating and using knowledge to improve responses to migration

24 February 2016  3:30 - 5.30pm  Arts C333
Dr Jo Vearey

The Southern African Development Community (SADC) is a region associated with both high rates of population mobility – mostly associated with movement within and across national borders to access improved livelihood opportunities - and a high prevalence of communicable diseases, notably HIV and tuberculosis. Migration is acknowledged to be a central determinant of health and the bidirectional nature of this relationship – with health influencing migration – is increasingly recognised. In spite of this, policy, programmatic and health system responses to health and wellbeing within the SADC region fail to engage with the movement of people. Key to this failure is that discussions related to the development of responses to population mobility and health are inherently political, often fuelled by anti-foreigner sentiments and unsupported claims negatively associating migrants with the spread of communicable diseases. Research shows that evidence-informed responses are lacking and current health responses – including communicable disease control programmes – will continue to struggle unless the movement of people is considered. There is an urgent need to better understand the politics of policy-making as it relates to migration and health within the SADC region which should, in turn, inform the development of improved ways for generating and communicating knowledge on migration and health. Ultimately, this should lead to the development of evidence-informed migration and health policies and programming within SADC.  However, knowledge production and its application is – in itself – a political process, influenced by multiple factors associated with power and positionality.

In this presentation, I aim to explore ways of generating and communicating knowledge that aims to improve policy and programmatic responses to migration and health in SADC. This involves investigating ways of researching and evaluating the processes of knowledge production and communication. I will draw on the migration and health project southern Africa (maHp), recently established at the African Centre for Migration and Society (ACMS), University of the Witwatersrand. Informed by prior research conducted at the Centre and involving a series of unique research and public engagement projects, maHp aims to explore (and evaluate) ways to generate and communicate knowledge in order to improve responses to migration, health and wellbeing in the SADC region. Multiple disciplinary perspectives, mixed method approaches, and the involvement of various stakeholders - including migrants themselves – are considered central. It is hoped that the presentation will offer an opportunity to engage in discussion related to the production and communication of knowledge to improve public policy.


Jo Vearey holds a PhD in public health and is an Associate Professor at the African Centre for Migration and Society, University of the Witwatersrand. Jo’s research focuses on the development of improved responses to migration and health in southern Africa and she was recently awarded a Wellcome Trust Investigator Award to expand this work within the region. She has published widely and is involved in a range of international partnerships.

Doctoral Forum and Impact Workshop reports

November 2015

Impact workshopImpact workshop

Sajida Ally writes up on our ‘Making an Impact with Research on Sexuality and Reproductive Health’ workshop with Pauline Oosterhoff:
Report on Making an Impact with Research on Sexuality and Reproductive Health [PDF 225.60KB] 

and Lavinia Bertini reports on our Autumn 2015 doctoral forum:
Report on CORTH Doctoral Forum November 2015 [PDF 51.89KB]

You can also view the slides from Pauline's talk:
Making an Impact with Research on Sexuality and Reproductive Health [PDF 460.34KB]

and listen to the podcast:

Making an Impact with Research on Sexuality and Reproductive Health

Anthropology and Global HealthMAGic 2015

9-11 September 2015

CORTH is one of the main organisers of MAGic 2015 , an international conference on Medical Anthropology and Global Health hosted by the University of Sussex. We are delighted to have members of the European Medical Anthropology Network (MAN) and the RAI medical anthropology committee on campus for this event.  CORTH will also be present at The Sussex Glocal Health Hive 12.30-14.30 on Thursday 10th September (see below).

For more information on the conference see:

CORTH’s panel at MAGic 2015 reviewed by Mounia El Konti in the American Anthropology Association’s newsletter:
CAR Fall 2015 Newsletter [PDF 659.07KB]

Sussex Glocal Health Hive

10 September 2015

CORTH was present at this networking event, helping to bring together and showcase the wide array of global health related organisations in the Sussex region.

For more information about the Glocal Health Hive event, please see: http://www.sussex.ac.uk/globalhealthpolicy/events/conferences/sussexglocalhealthhive

Population Dynamics and the Sustainable Development Goals

July 2015

Corth members Maya Unnithan and Sajida Ally have contributed to the new report of the UK All Parliamentary Party Group on Population Dynamics and Reproductive Health report launched at the House of Lords on July 8th 2015. The report on Population Dynamics and the Sustainable Development Goals examines the interplay between population dynamics and urbanisation, climate change, migration and conflict. It will be used to guide discussion, funding and programmes of the post 2015 development agenda.

Recommendations from Population Dynamics and the Sustainable Development Goals:

1.    Increase funding for family planning and the wider sexual and reproductive health agenda to 10% of official development assistance and 10% of national development budgets

2.    The Sustainable Development Goals and targets must not be renegotiated. The draft framework contains goals on healthy lives and gender equality and targets on sexual and reproductive health and reproductive rights, including family planning. It is imperative that these goals and targets are subsequently included in all national development plans

3.    Advocate for Sustainable Development Goal indicators at a global level and in national development plans that are reliable and comparable, measure progress in achieving universal access to family planning and the sexual and reproductive health and rights agenda, as listed in the full recommendations. These indicators must be disaggregated by income, gender, age, race, ethnicity, migratory status, disability, geographic location and other characteristics relevant in national contexts

4.    Urgently press for further commitments to reduce resource consumption and carbon emissions, and support investment in low-carbon forms of development

5.    Amend the UK International Development Act 2002 to mandate the Secretary of State to consider the impact of development assistance on population dynamics, and vice versa

6.    Utilise the economic arguments presented in this report to support governments, and finance ministries in particular, to develop appropriate laws, policies and investments that promote universal access to family planning and the wider sexual and reproductive health agenda

7.    Legislate and develop policies to combat gender-based violence and invest in long-term planning capabilities with better quality data on population dynamics, contraceptive prevalence and unmet need for family planning

8.    Support and invest in secondary education for girls to promote gender equality and empower women

9.    Champion universal access to health care and remove unnecessary barriers, particularly for young people and migrant workers

10.  Work with conflict, humanitarian, security and climate change groups to promote a holistic approach to sustainable development that ensures universal access to family planning and sexual and reproductive health and rights

Read more: Population Dynamics and the Sustainable Development Goals [PDF 9.17MB]

Reflections on Body Mapping

23 June 2015

In this seminar, hosted by the CORTH Doctoral Forum, Dr Beth Mills (Institute of Development Studies) and Nondumiso Hwelele (University of Cape Town) shared reflections on their use of body mapping to explore women’s embodied experiences of AIDS biomedicine in South Africa.

Read more: Reflections on Body Mapping

CORTH Methods Workshop

27 March 2015, Arts C333,  3 - 5.30pm

The workshop was hosted by the CORTH Doctoral Forum, and  featured presentations from faculty and doctoral students on visual methods, cross-national methodologies, the life narrative method and mixed-methods research.

More details: CORTH Methods Workshop

Abortion workshop inaugurates new Centre for Cultures of Reproduction, Technologies and Health

On 13th and 14th November 2014, the newly-launched Centre for Cultures of Reproduction, Technologies and Health (CORTH) held its inaugural event entitled Re-Situating Abortion: Bio-Politics, Global Health and Rights in Neo-liberal Times. The event brought together an international group of researchers from a diverse range of disciplines as well as practitioners in order to begin a timely conversation about the relationship between abortion, globalisation and neoliberal reform.

Read the report: Abortion workshop inaugurates new Centre for Cultures of Reproduction, Technologies and Health [PDF 442.78KB]

Details of the workshop: Re-situating Abortion: Bio-politics, Global Health and Rights in Neo-liberal Times

CORTH Doctoral Forum

The first CORTH Doctoral Forum took place at the University of Sussex on 16th October 2014

Read the report: Summary of the first CORTH Doctoral Forum [PDF 95.92KB

Reflections on a symposium: Dislocating Masculinity Revisited

The Dislocating Masculinity Revisited symposium took place at the School of Global Studies, University of Sussex on July4th – 5th 2014. It was organised by Andrea Cornwall, Nancy Lindisfarne and Frank Karioris, and included keynotes from Raewyn Connell and Mairtin Mac an Ghaill.

More details: Dislocating Masculinity Revisited