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Durham University

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Mr Fredrik Nyman, BA, MA, PGCAP, FHEA

Contact Mr Fredrik Nyman (email at

1. Biography

Fredrik Nyman was born and raised in Stockholm, Sweden. He joined the Department of Anthropology at Durham University in October 2016, where he is studying for a PhD in the Wellcome Trust-funded project "Life of Breath" located in the Institute for Medical Humanities (IMH). Fredrik is currently writing up his PhD dissertation on the theme of self-management practices in support groups for elderly people with chronic respiratory diseases, which is due for submission in early 2020. He conducted 14 months of ethnographic fieldwork between 2017 and 2018 in the North East of England, primarily focusing on three support groups located in Bishop Auckland, Darlington, and South Shields.

After finishing his BA in Social Anthropology (2010-2013) at Stockholm University, Sweden, Fredrik obtained his MA in Social Anthropology (2013-2015) in the same department at Stockholm University, with the thesis: "From Deadly Disease to Chronic Condition: A Study of the Gay Casualties in the ‘War on AIDS’ in Sweden". This thesis explored HIV/AIDS prevention and treatment in Sweden, focusing on how gay and bisexual men historically have been associated and blamed for the spread of the HIV virus in Sweden.

2. Teaching


Department of Anthropology

  • People and Cultures
  • Cultures and Classifications

School of Medicine, Pharmacy and Health

  • Medicine in the Community (Medicine MBBS)

Department of Anthropology

  • Health, Illness, and Society

Fredrik completed the Durham University Learning and Teaching Award (DULTA) in October 2017, which enabled him to become an Associate Fellow of the Higher Education Academy (AFHEA) in the UK. He later became a Fellow of the HEA in March 2019, and completed the Postgraduate Certificate in Academic Practice (PGCAP) in November 2019.

3. Conferences

Panels organised
  • (2017) “Sensations and Symptoms: Embodied Experiences and Responses to Illness" (w/ Dr Christina Dobson). EASA Medical Anthropology Network Biennial Conference. University of Lisbon, Portugal, July 5-7.

Papers presented (Selected)
  • (2019) “Enhancing Teaching through Intercultural Reflection on Teaching: the IntRef Project” (w/ N. Reimann, T. Rajab, T. Dragas, M. Murray, and J. Rattray). Durham Learning & Teaching Conference. Durham University, September 9.

  • (2019) “The epidemic that never was: An ethnographic account of HIV/AIDS in Sweden.” 10th Annual Meeting of the Medical Anthropology Young Scholars Network. University of Turin, Italy, July 4-5.

  • (2019) “A theatrical performance—but for whom? Formalities and informalities in support group meetings for people with chronic breathlessness.” 3rd Advanced Workshop for Anthropological Research on Health, Medicine, and Wellbeing. Durham University, United Kingdom, April 1-2.

  • (2018) “Living from experience: Studying support groups for people with chronic lung disease in the North of England.” X Medical Anthropology at Home (MAAH) Conference. Rovira i Virgili University, Spain, October 18-21.

  • (2018) “Living from experience: Studying chronic lung disease in the North of England.” Biennial Conference of the Edinburgh Centre for Medical Anthropology. University of Edinburgh, United Kingdom, September 4-5.

  • (2018) “‘Breathing together’: Studying support groups for people with chronic breathlessness in northern England.” Durham Anthropology Postgraduate Conference. Durham University, United Kingdom, April 24.

  • (2018) “‘Shifting conditions’: Doing ethnography of a support group in transition.” 2nd Advanced Workshop for Anthropological Research on Health, Medicine, and Wellbeing. University of Edinburgh, United Kingdom, April 16-17. 

4. Podcasts

5. Publications

Book reviews
  • (Accepted) Breast Cancer Meanings: Journeys across Asia, edited by Cynthia Chou and Miriam Koktvedgaard Zeitzen, accepted by Anthropology in Action.

  • (2019) Kenner, Alison 2018. Breathtaking: asthma care in a time of climate change. Minneapolis, MN: University of Minnesota Press. 238 pp. Pb.: US$24.95. ISBN: 9781517902872, Social Anthropology, 27(3), 567-568.

  • (2019) AIDS and Masculinity in the African City: Privilege, Inequality, and Modern Manhood, Anthropology & Medicine, 26(1), 121-122.

  • (2019) Book Review: Chronic Illness, Vulnerability and Social Work: Autoimmunity and the Contemporary Disease Experience, Sociological Research Online, 24(1), 127-129.

Online writing

6. Research Groups

Department of Anthropology:
Institute for Medical Humanities:

7. Research Accolades

  • 2019: Ustinov College ArkLight Research & Travel Award
  • 2018: Ustinov College ArkLight Research & Travel Award
  • 2018: "Best Presentation" Award
    (2nd Advanced Workshop for Anthropological Research on Health, Medicine, and Wellbeing)
  • 2016: Wellcome Trust PhD Studentship in Medical Humanities ('Life of Breath')

Research Interests

  • Biosociality
  • Breath, breathing and breathlessness
  • Chronic illness
  • Embodied symptoms
  • Health anthropology
  • Lung disease
  • Medical anthropology
  • Patient activism and advocacy
  • Public health interventions
  • Stigma
  • Support groups

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