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Durham University

Email and Telephone Directory

Staff Profile

Dr Hannah Brown, Ph.D. Social Anthropology

Associate Professor in the Department of Anthropology
Telephone: +44 (0) 191 33 40244

Contact Dr Hannah Brown (email at


I am a social anthropologist with specialisation in medical anthropology. My research interests include: economies and practices of care; governance; the state; nursing; hospitals; global health interventions (especially around HIV/AIDS and viral haemorrhagic fevers); development; community-based health care; and public health.

Current Research

My current research work centres on zoonotic diseases and epidemic management in West Africa, with a particular focus on Lassa fever and Ebola virus disease. This work builds upon a longstanding interest in issues around care, health governance, and relationships between insitituions, modes of governance and health systems bureaucracies. I have worked extensively in Kenya where I carried out extended fieldwork with health managers in 2011 and in a hospital and community development organisation between 2005-7. My Ph.D. (Manchester, 2010) explored responses to HIV/AIDS in Western Kenya through the modality of care. Following my Ph.D. I spent two years as a research fellow at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine before joining the University of Durham in January 2013.

Research Groups

Department of Anthropology

Wolfson Research Institute for Health and Wellbeing

Research Interests

  • Community-Based Health Care
  • East Africa, Kenya
  • Epidemics (especially HIV/AIDS and VHFs)
  • Global Health and Development
  • Health Governance
  • Hospitals
  • Human animal relations
  • Science
  • West Africa, Sierra Leone
  • Work and Management


Edited book

Edited Journal

  • Brown, Hannah & Nading, Alex (2019). Human Animal Health in Medical Anthropology. Medical Anthropology Quarterly, 33 (1).
  • Brown, Hannah, Reed, Adam & Yarrow, Thomas (2017). Meetings: Ethnographies of organizational process, bureaucracy and assembly. Journal of the Royal Anthropological Institute, 23 (S1).
  • Brown, Hannah & Prince, Ruth (2015). Focus on voluntary labour in East Africa. African Studies Review, 58 (2).

Chapter in book

Journal Article

Book review

Other (Digital/Visual Media)


Selected Grants

  • 2021: ALIVEAfrica: Animals, Livelihoods and Wellbeing in Africa. ERC Starting Grant (€1.5m)
  • 2018: First generation scholars at Durham: A collaborative action-research initiative. (£6946 from Durham University Enhancing the Student Learning Experience fund)
  • 2018: Researching Africa Network (£7000 from GCRF IAA)
  • 2018: Social Science Preparedness for Lassa Fever (£24,980.00 from ESRC IAA)
  • 2017: 'Care in Crisis: Ethnographic Perspectives on Humanitarianism. Workshop funding. Co-organiser. €9500 Fritz Thyssen Stiftung
  • 2017: DDS Award for Abigail King "Patients through the screen: Virtual care and the transformation of patienthood in the American Southwest" (approx. £92,000)
  • 2016: DDS Award for Danson Mwangi "One Health at the borderlands: Human-baboon interaction in Nthongoni, Eastern Kenya" (approx. £92,000)
  • 2015: Anthropology of Ebola: Transmission Dynamics and Outbreak Socialities (£82967.00 from ESRC)
  • 2015: People, animals and infectious disease transmission: A new synthesis (£184889.00 from ESRC)
  • 2014: Participatory behavioural change to reinforce infection prevention and control for Ebola Virus Disease in Sierra Leone, Research for Health in Humanitarian Crises (R2HC) programme (DFID and Wellcome Trust £9155).