Medical Anthropology

Medical Anthropology has emerged as one of the most vibrant areas of theoretical and applied research in Anthropology today.  As the study of health and illness through space and time, medical anthropology engages numerous “life and death” issues;  these range from particular disease histories to the structure of the body and its maladies to cross-cultural comparisons of diverse medical systems to the psychic, religious, and somatic experiences of human suffering, to name only a few.

Emory University is known for its strengths in medical anthropology.  The University has a significant community of medical anthropologists doing research and teaching on issues related to health, disease, and medical care.  Within the Department of Anthropology, areas of expertise include medical anthropological theory, international health, gender and health, human reproduction, nutrition, history and ethnography, evolutionary medicine, anthropological epidemiology, religion and therapy, suicide and mental suffering. The cultural anthropologists in the department who are currently most directly involved in this area of teaching and research are Peter Brown and Chikako Ozawa-de Silva though Craig HadleyMelvin KonnerMichelle Lampl, and Carol Worthman are also involved in teaching and research in this area. 

Adjunct faculty come from a number of other Emory Departments, as well as from the Emory School of Medicine, Rollins School of Public Health, School of Nursing, and the Centers for Disease Prevention and Control, which is located near Emory’s campus.  The American Cancer Society and the Carter Center are also in close proximity.  Emory anthropologists are also active in the interdisciplinary Center for the Study of Health, Culture and Society which offers a predoctoral fellowship program that has permitted some graduate students interested in medical anthropology to earn Public Health degrees in addition to a Ph.D. in Anthropology.  Together, these faculty and institutional resources offer impressive opportunities for graduate research and training in medical anthropology.