UCL Anthropology


Caitlin O'Grady


Email: caitlin.o'grady.09@ucl.ac.uk
Year of start: 2010
Subject: Medical Anthropology

Research Topic/ Provisional Dissertation Title

HIV/AIDS in India: Western-oriented health care and traditional schemas of spiritual pollution


David Napier
Sahra Gibbon


Born in South Africa and having lived in India, Cyprus, Russia, Greece, Turkey, Italy and the United States, I have pursued anthropological research into HIV/AIDS on four continents in addition to taking a scholarly historical interest into the perception of and reaction to infectious disease and other social issues.

This research seeks to understand how HIV/AIDS has created tensions within the city of Chennai, the capital of Tamil Nadu, and how residents have formulated local understandings of the virus. In particular, the subjects of caste and spiritual pollution will be studied in relation to explanations about, justifications for, and the treatment of HIV/AIDS. 

Research interests

  • Medical Anthropology
  • South India - Tamil Nadu
  • Caste
  • Spiritual Pollution
  • Women's Health

Academic Background/Education

September 2010 - September 2013 Medical Anthropology, PhD, University College London, London, UK
September 2009 - September 2010 Medical Anthropology, MSc, University College London, London, UK
October 2008 - September 2009 Medieval History, MA, University of York, York, UK
August 2004 - May 2008 History and Anthropology, BA, University of Virginia. Charlottesville, Virginia, USA

Honours and Awards

July 2007 Certificate of Excellence, United States Agency for International Development.
May 2005 Designing Matter Research Grant to study HIV/AIDS in Russia, University of Virginia.
May 2004 American Foreign Service Award for Community Service