Anthropological Approaches to
Health Research

New England Regional Conference on
Medical Anthropology


 Medical anthropology is the fastest growing sub-field of anthropology today, with scholars engaged in research from different theoretical perspectives and methods and methodologies, and working across the world in an array of medical, health and healing settings. The medical anthropology community at Yale University reflects this growth and diversity. This community has been engaged in recent years in a weekly colloquium lunch series, a number of speaker series and last year’s conference. This conference builds on the enthusiastic intellectual engagement of this community in order to strengthen ties with scholars and students across the region, to encourage growth in theory, method and research in a spirit of collaborative, open and supportive inquiry. It provides the only opportunity for scholars and students of medical anthropology to meet as a regional body to discuss their work and current theoretical, methodological and ethical topics in medical anthropology.

Goals and Objectives:

 Broadly, the conference has a number of concrete goals and objectives:

  1. Movement towards building a stronger sense of an academic community amongst medical anthropologists in the New England region;
  2. Provide opportunities for both students and scholars to submit and present work;
  3. Facilitate discussion of some current topics in medical anthropology through group discussion and dialogue;
  4. Provide opportunities for the Yale community to engage with a broader range of medical anthropology than represented in Yale medical anthropology community;
  5. Encourage future regional conferences sponsored by other universities in the New England region;
  6. Facilitate collaboration and cooperative work in medical anthropology research in the New England region.

This conference is an event that is intended to provide a forum for the future growth of medical anthropology in the New England area; as such, it is open to those scholars both practicing anthropology and those in academic positions, students of all levels and the Yale community.

 Conference 2003 Schedule

Yale/New Haven Visitor Information

Conference Background:  

On 6 April 2002, the conference "Anthropological Approaches to Health Research" was held at the Yale University Hall of Graduate Studies, with 55 participants in attendance from the Yale community as well as colleagues from New York, Massachusetts and Connecticut. The conference was funded by the Whitney Center for the Humanities, and was co-sponsored by the Yale School of Public Health. The conference co-organizers were Yasmina Katsulis and Catherine Timura, and the organizing committee included Nora Groce, Helena Hansen, Michael Kral, Linda-Anne Rebhun and Diane Whitney.

Anthropological Approaches to Health Research, 6 April 2002

SESSION ONE (10am – 11am):

Catherine Benoît, PhD (Connecticut College)
AIDS in Saint-Martin/Sint Maarten: Human Rights and French Colonialism in the Caribbean.

Merrill Singer, PhD (Hispanic Health Council)
Embalming Fluid: Anthropology in the Study of an Emergent Drug Use Trend in Hartford.

Yasmina Katsulis, PhD 2003 (Yale University)
Work Site Matters: Sex Work, Health, and Occupational Risk in the Tijuana Sex Industry.

SESSION TWO (11am – 12pm):

Sunita Puri – W.H. Rivers Prize Essay, 2001 (Yale College)
Immigration, Isolation, and (Community) Identity: Domestic Violence in South Asian Immigrant Communities in the United States and England.

Jennifer Tilton, PhD 2003 (University of Michigan)
"Dangerous" Youth, Fear and Public Policy: The Limits of Public Health Approaches to Youth Violence Prevention.

Michael Kral, PhD (McGill University/Yale Research Affiliate)
Suicide and Culture: The Case of the Inuit of Nunavut.

SESSION THREE (2pm – 3pm):

Suzanne Zhang-Gottschang, PhD, MPH (Smith College)
The High Quality Child: Inter-National Ideologies of Infant Feeing in an Urban Chinese Hospital.

Helena Hansen (Yale University)
Family Matters: Gender Roles and Family Position among Evangelical Men in

Sandra Lane, PhD (Syracuse University)
Racial Disparity in Maternal and Child Health: Combining Theory and Practice.

SESSION FOUR (3pm – 4pm):

Donald Joralemon, PhD (Smith College)
Body Values: The Case Against Compensating for Transplant Organs.

Lynnette Leidy Sievert, PhD (University of Massachusetts)
Hot Flashes and Bone Pain: The Assessment of Menopausal Symptoms in Puebla, Mexico.

Lynn Morgan, PhD (Mount Holyoke College)
'Properly Disposed Of': Embryo Disposal and the Changing Claims on Fetal Remains.

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