Wenner Gren Hunt Postdoctoral Fellow 2008
Postdoctoral Research Fellow
University College London, UK 2005
University College London, UK 2005
University College London, UK 1998
- Medical Anthropology
- Qatar and the Middle East
- Emergent illness
- Pregnancy and loss
- Genetics and new medical technologies
My work focuses on new illnesses, post-combat illnesses, health anxieties and the impact of new medical technologies. The thread running through my research portfolio is an interest in the impact of culture on illness beliefs and experiences, particularly in the UK and also in the Middle East.
In a major project I examined the emergence of Gulf War Syndrome (GWS) in the UK. I explored the way the illness has been influenced by the culture in which it developed. This project led to my work on emergent illnesses and the way in which some health anxieties or illnesses become the focus of public concern, while others are ignored.
I am currently undertaking fieldwork in Qatar exploring the communication of genetic knowledge, primarily amongst families of those affected by genetic disorders. Genetic disorders are particularly significant in the Gulf Region and the Middle East because of marriage among close relatives, which is a risk factor for genetic disorders. This project, funded by the Qatar Foundation, is looking at the social impact of genetic discourse on those most affected by it. The project will provide a socially, culturally and historically grounded analysis of popular and professional genetic discourse in Qatar.
Impotent Warriors: Gulf War Syndrome, Vulnerability and Masculinity (Oxford: Berghahn 2009).
Obligations to Veteran Informants: Contentious Research and Stakeholder Engagement. Anthropology News 50(5) (2009): 28-9.
Gulf War Syndrome: A reaction to psychiatry’s invasion of the military? Culture, Medicine and Psychiatry 32(2) (2008).
Toxic emissions: The role of semen in Gulf War Syndrome illness narratives. Anthropology and Medicine 14(3) (2007): 251-258
Is GWS about more than the Gulf War? An anthropological approach to the illness” In Lee, H. and Jones, E. (eds). War and Health: Lessons from the Gulf War. Chichester: John Wiley & Sons (2007).
On being a Gulf veteran: an anthropological perspective. Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B. 361 (1468) (2006): 697-706.
Friendly Fire: The Construction of Gulf War Syndrome Narratives. Anthropology and Medicine 11 (2) (2004): 149-160.
Gulf War Syndrome. Psychiatry 3 (8), (2004): 17-20.
Between Worlds: Health Action Zone Mediation Project Final Report. London: HAZmp (2002).
Teen-aged mothers in contemporary Britain. Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry. 43 (2002): 727-742.
“Medical dialogues are rarely solely about medical matters but serve as a proxy for feelings about the self and the way that an individual relates to others. Indeed, the inclusion of transcripts of interviews and discussions is of particular value…a brave book that challenges popular assumptions about Gulf War syndrome; her analysis of the long-term effects of military service will serve as an important record not only for those with an interest in the armed forces, but also for researchers in the field of illness perception.” · The British Journal of Psychiatry
“This is an important anthropological study, which I believe is set to become a classic. The theoretical perspectives are clearly presented and applied to compelling ethnographic material. The publication of this manuscript will make it accessible to both undergraduate and graduate students of anthropology, as well as students of political science, sociology and military studies.” · Vieda Skultans
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