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Alison Macdonald

Alison Macdonald

Tel: +44 (0)20 7679 5579

Fax: +44 (0)20 7679 8632


Room: 239

Teaching Fellow in Social Anthropology

PhD Anthropology, UCL (2013)
Funded by the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC), UK (2008-2011)
MRes Anthropology, UCL (2008)
BSc Anthropology, UCL (2007)

Research Interests:

South Asia, especially India; politics of personhood, subjectivity, gender, kinship and the body; cosmologies of health and patterns of well being; breast cancer and communities of health activism; urbanism; anthropological theory and methods. 


Macdonald, A. Under review. Responding to public health challenges surrounding cancer care: the rise of breast cancer voluntarism in urban India. Health and Place, special edition: The Politics of Non-Communicable Diseases in the Global South (Ed, D. Reubi). 

Macdonald, A. (2015) Revealing hope in urban India: breast cancer, vision and patient organisations. In Burke, N., Kampriani, E. and Mathews, H. (eds) Anthropologies of Cancer in a Transnational World. Routledge: London. 

Macdonald, A. (2014) Situating breast cancer risk in urban India: gender, temporality and social change. In Gibbon, S., Joseph, G., Kampriani, E., Mozersky, J., zur Nieden, A., Palfner, S. (eds) Breast Cancer Gene Research and Medical Practices: Transnational Perspectives in the time of BRCA. Routledge: London, 83- 94. 

Macdonald, A. (2009) ‘Real’ and ‘imagined’ women: a feminist reading of Rituparno Ghosh’s Films. Anthropology Working Paper Series, UCL. 

Panels, conferences and workshops organised  

Bioactivism and Health Citizenship in South Asia (organised in collaboration with B. Donegan & C. Heitmeyer), UCL Anthropology (December 2014)

Cancer Cultures. Interdisciplinary workshop (organised with S.Gibbon & E. Kampirini), UCL Anthropology (November 2012)

Moving Scales and Scales of Movement. Cosmology, Religion, Ontology and Culture (CROC) Research Group, International Workshop (convened with A. Elliot, T. Farnetti, and A. Walford), UCL Anthropology (June 2012)

Aesthetics of the body and healing in a globalising world. Panel organiser and convenor (with J. Staples as chair). Association of Social Anthropology (ASA) conference, JNU Delhi, India (April 2012)

Selected seminars and workshop papers 

Selfhood, self-enlightenment and breast cancer voluntarism in urban India. Paper presented at the South Asian Seminar, Department of International Development, Oxford University (October 2014)

Suffering and self-enlightenment: life after breast cancer among Hindu women in urban India. Paper presented at the annual South Asian Anthropologists Group (SAAG), Brunel (July 2014)

Technologies and human ‘becoming’ in two cancer hospitals in urban India. Paper presented on the panel ‘Being human, becoming human and beyond human’ Association of Social Anthropologists (ASA) conference, Edinburgh (June 2014)

Seva, self-care and charity: life after breast cancer among Hindu women in urban India. Paper presented at the Social Anthropology Research Seminar, UCL (March 2014)

Situating cancer care in urban India: movement, practicalities and familial suffering. Paper presented on the panel ‘Global Cancer: Institutions, Stakes and Challenges’ Association American Anthropology (AAA) annual conference, Chicago (November 2013)

Thinking beyond biosociality: breast cancer activism in urban India. Paper presented at the ‘Beyond Biosocialities’ Symposium, University of Amsterdam (January 2013)

Seeing as surviving: the aesthetics of visibility in experiences of breast cancer in urban India. Paper presented at the Association of Social Anthropologists (ASA) conference, JNU, Delhi (April 2012)

Seeing the self as subject: experiences of breast cancer among middle class women in Mumbai. Paper presented at the NGender Seminar Series, Sussex University (February 2012)

Considerations on a ‘novel’ technology: BRCA genetic testing and perceptions of risk in India. 3rd meeting of BRCA Research Network, Geneva (December 2011)

Experiencing breast cancer in Mumbai. Paper presented at the Interdisciplinary Society for International Development, UCL (June 2011)

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