Cows walk the streets in Torit, South Sudan


As an anthropologist, I study the ways in which people make sense of their lived experience in an increasingly dynamic, globalized, and conflicted world. What especially interests me is how sociocultural and political conditions shape illness and healing, and how medical expertise and ethics influence biopolitics (the governance of life) in transnational healthcare. My research joins a broader effort in the social sciences to study the mobility of medicines and experts in the contemporary world, particularly their convergence and friction in Africa.

Current ResearcH pROJECT

My book project examines China's long-standing medical programs in South Sudan, which offers an alternative to the widely accepted logic and values of medical humanitarianism in places marked by “crisis” or “conflict.” Through extended participant observation, semi-structured interviews, and archival research, I explore the role of medicine from China in South Sudan, a hybrid system that integrates aid and business. My research has been funded by the Wenner-Gren Foundation for Anthropological Research, Duke Global Health Institute, and a multitude of fellowships from Duke University.


Since 2013, I have made a number of research visits to South Sudan and Africa’s Horn and Great Lakes regions, as well as China.