UCL Anthropology


Personhood and the Body


Key words

embodiment, identity, personhood, patienthood


Research Projects

  • Breast Cancer Survivorship in Urban India: Self and Care in Voluntary Groups (Alison Macdonald, PhD project)
  • HIV/AIDS in India: Western-orientated health care and traditional schemas of spiritual pollution (Caitlin O' Grady, PhD project)
  • The Emergence of Gulf War Syndrome in the UK (Susie Kilshaw)
  • Experiences of Embodied Risk and Genetic knowledge (Sahra Gibbon)
  • Immunology and its Underlying Metaphors (Napier)


  • Cancer Cultures Workshop A two day interdisciplinary symposium in November 2012 to bring together social scientists to further interdisciplinary discussion examining the social and cultural context of the cancer experience at the level of the individual, family, community and social and cultural engagement with the illness and disease of cancer in comparative national contexts. 

Teaching Activities

  • ANTH 3007/GD01 Medical Anthropology
  • ANTH3049 / master's equivalent Sex, Reproduction and Fertility

Selected Publications

  • Kilshaw, S. 2009. Impotent Warriors: Gulf War Syndrome, Vulnerability and Masculinity (Oxford: Berghahn 2009).
  • Kilshaw, S. 2007 Toxic emissions: The role of semen in Gulf War Syndrome illness narratives. Anthropology and Medicine 14(3): 251-258.
  • Napier, A. David. Forthcoming 2013. "How Viruses Live and Die: Days and Nights of the Living Dead." In Veena Das and Clara Han (Eds.), An Anthropology of Living and Dying in the Contemporary World. Berkeley: University of California Press
  • Napier, A. David. 2012. "Non-self Help: How Immunology Might Reframe the Enlightenment." Cultural Anthropology 27, 1: 122-37.
  • Randall Sara. 2011. 'Fat and fertility, mobility and slaves: Long term perspectives on Tuareg obesity and reproduction' Fatness and the Maternal Body: women's experiences of corporeality and the shaping of social policy. edited by Maya Unnithan-Kumar and Soraya Tremayne., Berghahn
  • Randall Sara. 2009. La natalité Touarègue: des représentations coloniales aux réalités post-rébellion : Mémoires et démographie : Regards croisés au Sud et au Nord (sous la direction de R. Marcoux en collaboration avec Jennifer Dion). Collection Cahiers du CIEQ, Presses de l'Université Laval. pp.253-259