Medical Anthropology

Medical Anthropology is a research area at the crossroads of the biological and social sciences dedicated to the study of human health and health care cross-culturally and over evolutionary time, in diverse social, political, economic, cultural, and gender contexts. Recently, the Department added medical anthropology as an approved field in its graduate program. Graduate students interested in medical anthropology can work with faculty in physical and/or social anthropology. Undergraduate courses in Medical Anthropology are offered at UTSC and St. George campuses.

Anthropologists at the University of Toronto investigating socio-cultural dimensions of health include Holly Wardlow, whose research focuses on international health, gender and sexuality, HIV/AIDS and Papua New Guinea. Hilary Cunningham’s research interests include bioethical aspects of recent research on, and commericalization of, human genetics. Research following these factors over time include Susan Pfeiffer’s work on health change from an evolutionary perspective and Larry Sawchuk’s historical demographic research on social and economic determinants of health. Janice Boddy’s and Michael Lambek’s research focuses on cultural and gender dimensions of physical and mental health. Krista Maxwell’s research is broadly concerned with the ethnographic and historical analysis of Canadian settler colonialism and indigenous sovereignty in the domains of healing, healthcare and social welfare. Bianca Dahl’s work in Botswana explores the social effects of international humanitarian organizations’ efforts to provide aid during Africa’s HIV pandemic. Katie Kilroy-Marac focuses on transcultural psychiatry and postcolonial transformations in Senegal.

Medical Anthropology Faculty

Janice Boddy – Social cultural anthropology, gender, embodiment, symbolism, religion, medical anthropology, colonialism; Sudan, Africa, Middle East

Bianca Dahl – Medical and sociocultural anthropology, anthropological demography, HIV & AIDS, children, humanitarianism, human rights, kinship, social stigma, affect/emotion; Botswana

Tracey Galloway – Indigenous health, circumpolar populations, nutrition transition, food security, chronic disease, child growth, public health policy, Northern Canada

Michael Lambek – Social and cultural anthropology, hermeneutics, ritual, medical anthropology, ordinary ethics, historicity, person and subjectivity; Africa, Madagascar, Europe

Krista Maxwell – Medical anthropology, anthropology and history, settler colonialism, indigenous health and healing, child welfare; Canada, Nigeria, urban Britain

Lawrence Sawchuk – Biological anthropology, genetic demography, medical anthropology, statistics & computers; Gibraltar, eastern Canada

Holly Wardlow – Medical anthropology, feminist anthropology, international health, gender and sexuality, HIV/AIDS; Papua New Guinea

Medical Anthropology on the Internet