of Medical Anthropology
15-17 Tavistock Place
My research to date has focused on issues related to diagnosis, contested conditions and chronic illness in the UK and other high-income societies. With a strong commitment to contemporary social theory, I am interested in how innovative social science might provide both critical insight and influence in aspects of contemporary biomedical practice.
I have become fascinated by the role of fluids, both inside and outside the body: how they relate to health, their general absence in medical anthropology and sociology accounts, and the extent to which their constant movement and flow might demand a new way to think about old problems. Together with Rebecca Lynch, work on blood & blood donation, a project on urinary incontinence, and preliminary work on human waste, are all serving as introductory cases to think with.
In parallel, my general interest in practice theory has recently led to an ESRC end of life project, called Forms of Care, with my colleages Annelieke Driessen and Dr Erica Borgstrom. Drawing on ethnographic research conducted amongst London palliative care teams, we are interested in whether 'not doing' and 'not saying' constitute a form of 'doing', and the extent to which they are often a silenced form of medical care.
I am the Faculty Reserach Degree Director and a member of the current ESRC Bloomsbury DTC Board. I am also driector of the new Faculty's Anthropology and Sociology hub, which will grow to become a lively place for collaboration, discussion and the showcasing of work that has a strong anthropology or sociology component.