Research Group Medical Anthropology

Research Group Medical Anthropology

Research Team
Comic-collage with scenes of a disease outbreak presumably in Africa.
Bats in the sky of the Democratic Republic of the Congo
Several men can be seen standing outside a house close to a veranda.
The picture shows a worn-out Ebola certificate.

The research group explores the co-production of societies and epidemics. We conduct ethnographic field research on Ebola outbreaks and the Covid-19 pandemic in the DR Congo, Uganda, and in Germany. The research group aims to develop an anthropological perspective on epidemics and pandemics, asking how epidemics (or pandemics) become global socio-political crises? How do viruses behave in damaged ecologies? And, looking at the formative social anthropological debates of recent years, what biosocial transformations are made visible by newly emerging infectious diseases? How do pandemics change social imaginaries of future health.

Our research projects engage these questions along the 4 thematic axes: Viral Atmospheres, Mobility and Mutations, Bodies and Infection, Mistrust and Trust. The thematic axis Viral atmospheres explores individual and collective feelings to understand how epidemics (or pandemics) become social crisis. Mobility and Mutation attempts to connect anthropological analysis and molecular biological analysis of outbreaks to explore the circulation of viruses in damaged ecologies. Bodies and Infection explores central biosocial transformation made visible by newly emerging epidemics. Under the axis Trust and Mistrust, we ask how collective action enables social imaginaries of future health.

Our research projects engage these questions along the 4 thematic axes: Viral Atmospheres, Mobility and Mutations, Bodies and Infection, Mistrust and Trust. The thematic axis Viral atmospheres explores individual and collective feelings to understand how epidemics (or pandemics) become social crisis. Mobility and Mutation attempts to connect anthropological analysis and molecular biological analysis of outbreaks to explore the circulation of viruses in damaged ecologies. Bodies and Infection explores central biosocial transformation made visible by newly emerging epidemics. Under the axis Trust and Mistrust, we ask how collective action enables social imaginaries of future health.

Research Group Medical Anthropology

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