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The escalating Ebola crisis affects us all, and has shown a need for greater cooperation in developing public health communication and strategies. On October 2, 2014 (important to note this is a Webinar THURSDAY) 1 PM EST, the American Anthropological Association will be hosting a virtual event panel discussing the role anthropologists play in not only research, but infrastructure and policy, in light of the escalating Ebola outbreak in western Africa. The panel will include Adia Benton, Robert Hahn, Jacklyn Lacey, and Michael McGovern; with Julie Livingston as the acting moderator. We will also be trying a new format for this webinar: tapping into Google Hangout On the Air. We will be streaming the event live on YouTube, where you will be able to interact with the panelists directly through comment submission. Come be a part of this important conversation and technological experiment.
Adia Benton is an assistant professor of anthropology at Brown University. She holds a PhD in social anthropology from Harvard University, an MPH in international health and infectious diseases from Emory University’s Rollins School of Public Health, and an AB in human biology from Brown University. Her work focuses primarily on the politics and culture(s) of health institutions, the issues they prioritize and the communities in which they work; among the topics she studies are HIV/AIDS, infectious disease epidemiology, gender violence, and access to surgical care. She is the author of HIV Exceptionalism: Development through Disease in Sierra Leone (University of Minnesota Press 2015).
Robert A. Hahn has served as an epidemiologist at the CDC since 1986 and is a member of the Senior Biomedical Research Service. He received his doctorate in anthropology at Harvard University and his masters of public health in epidemiology from the University of Washington. He is the author of Sickness and Healing: An Anthropological Perspective and co-editor of Anthropology and Public Health: Bridging Differences in Culture and Society.
Jacklyn Lacey is curatorial associate of African and Pacific Ethnology at the American Museum of Natural History. The two major themes in her work currently are intersections of infectious disease epidemiology, medical anthropology, sociology and anthropocene studies as well as analyzing museum discourses on African culture and technology. She has a background in virology and medical anthropology, previously working in public health education in Tanzania, HIV/AIDS testing and research at African Services Committee in Harlem, and in Drew Cressman’s NSF-funded immunology lab at Sarah Lawrence College.
Mike McGovern is a political anthropologist who works in West Africa and uses a variety of sources from kinship idioms to the aesthetics of state-sponsored folklore to try to understand postcolonial states within the arc of longer historical trajectories. He has taught anthropology at Yale and was also the West Africa Project Director of the International Crisis Group, a Brussels-based think tank that analyzes the causes of armed conflict.