Our research

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. We aim to develop an anthropological perspective on epidemics and pandemics, asking how epidemics (or pandemics) become global socio-political crises. How do pathogens 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: Atmospheres of Mistrust and Trust, Mobile Biologies, Bodies and Infection, Vulnerable human-animal-environmental interactionsThe thematic axis Viral atmospheres explores individual and collective feelings to understand how epidemics (or pandemics) become social crisis. Mobile Biologies 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 Vulnerable human-animal-environmental interactions, we exlore the space of improving the protection and care of future interactions between humans, animals, and the environment.


Logo motile outbreak: black letters on white backround. The o in both words loks like a virus.l

Motile Outbreaks

COVID-19 Testing in the DRC and Uganda

Piece of Artwork showing three men in a demonstration

Viral Atmospheres

Anthropology of Trust and Mistrust

Past projects

Trust in Medicine during Ebola epidemics” (2016-2022)

together with Ulrike Beisel (FU Berlin), S Spencer (Fourah Bay College, Freetown), E Mukowa (Njala U), G Akello (Gulu University), J Ganle (Accra University);

funded by the Germany Research Foundation “German-African Collaborations in Infectiology”.


“Humanising the Design of the Ebola response in the DRC” (2019-2020)

together with N. Morisho (Pole Institute, Goma)

funded by R2HC of Elhra, Wellkom Trust, DFID, and NIH


Summer schoolFrom disasters to planetary care: The August 2017 mudslide in Sierra Leone and what it means to become accountable in the Anthropocene” (2019)

together with Sylvanus Spencer (Fourah Bay College, Sierra Leone), Susan Erikson, (Simon Fraser University, Canada);

Funded by the VW Foundation

Research Group Medical Anthropology

Portrait of a male person of color with glasses and dark hair pulled back, wearing a blue shirt.
AG Medical Anthropology

Dr. Sung-Joon (Song) Park

Telefon: +49 40 285380 711

E-Mail: sung.park@bnitm.de

  • The logo shows the letters D, F and G on a white background, next to the lettering "Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft".
  • Large and small black dots Volkswagen Stiftung