Claire Wendland
Claire Wendland

Ph.D., U Mass Amherst, 2004
Ob/Gyn, University of New Mexico, 1994
M.D., Michigan State University, 1990
Associate Professor of Anthropology
At UW-Madison since 2005

Also Appointed in: Obstetrics & Gynecology; Medical History and Bioethics

Affiliations: African Studies Program; Holtz Center for Science and Technology Studies; Global Health Institute; Global Studies


As a medical anthropologist, I focus on the globalization of biomedicine, particularly in Africa. Related work includes the anthropology of reproduction, sexuality and the body. My first book, A Heart for the Work: Journeys through an African Medical School, was published by the University of Chicago Press in 2010. That book explores the experiences of medical students learning to be doctors in Malawi, and argues that their responses challenge several longstanding assumptions about biomedicine and about African healing. My current research project looks at changing concepts and loci of risk in childbirth in southeast Africa, in a setting in which very high maternal mortality rates force professionals and lay people alike to develop explanations for the link between birth and death. I seek to understand how the narratives of maternal death they produce reflect experiences of a rapidly changing social, economic, and biomedical context.

Selected Recent Publications

I teach an introductory course in medical anthropology, a graduate seminar in anthropology and international health, and various courses in the anthropology of Africa and in general cultural anthropology. I also have an interest in ethics and have taught both anthropological ethics and bioethics courses.

Curriculum Vitae

Claire Wendland CV


Office: 5436 Sewell Social Science Bldg.
Office hours: W 1:15-3:15
Office phone: (608) 262-3874 (no voicemail)
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