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Durham University

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Dr Cecilia Tomori, PhD, MA

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Assistant Professor in the Department of Anthropology
Member of the Sleep Lab

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Cecilia Tomori studied biology and education at Swarthmore College and obtained her PhD in Anthropology (with a focus on sociocultural and medical anthropology) from the University of Michigan in 2011. She completed a postdoctoral fellowship in public health at Johns Hopkins School of Public Health before joining the faculty there in 2013. Dr. Tomori was appointed Assistant Professor in Anthropology at Durham in 2017. She is an interdisciplinary scholar with interests across multiple areas of anthropology as well as history, public health and women’s studies. Her main research addresses the dynamic intersection of social and biological aspects of breastfeeding and family sleep arrangements.

Research Groups

Department of Anthropology

Research Interests

  • Biocultural aspects of breastfeeding and sleep
  • Social and historical aspects of childbirth and infant care
  • Kinship
  • Personhood
  • Reproduction
  • Political economy and health inequities

Indicators of Esteem

  • 2017: Invited speaker : “Breastfeeding and Infant Sleep: An Integrated Anthropological and Public Health Approach.” Webinar presentation for the Family Spirit Program, Center for American Indian Health, Johns Hopkins University.
  • 2017: Invited speaker : “Contested Moralities: Breastfeeding Stigma in a Cross-Cultural Perspective”, “The Power of Culture in Breastsleeping,”“Anthropological Engagement in Human Lactation More Broadly”Back and Forward to the Future: Introducing Revolutionary Insights into Breastmilk and Breastsleeping, Biology, Culture and Behavior. SWAG Conference, Berkeley, CA.
  • 2017: Invited speaker : “The Cultural Challenges of Nighttime Breastfeeding.” Webinar presentation, iLactation Online Breastfeeding Conference.
  • 2017: Invited speaker :

    Resolving cultural conflicts in nighttime breastfeeding and infant sleep.” Webinar presentation, GOLD Lactation Online Conference.

  • 2017: Invited speaker : “Breastfeeding Controversies: Cultural Ideals and Everyday Realities.”Webinar presentation, International Lactation Consultant Association.
  • 2016: Invited speaker : “Breastfeeding and Safe Sleep.”Sankofa Breastfeeding Coalition Meeting withReaching Our Sisters Everywhere (ROSE) Atlanta, Georgia.
  • 2016: Invited speaker :

    “The Challenges of Nighttime Breastfeeding: Biocultural Approaches.” Webinar presentation the International Lactation Consultant Association.

  • 2016: Invited speaker :

    “Safe Sleep: What’s Breastfeeding Got to Do with It?” Reaching Our Sisters Everywhere (ROSE) Alabama Breastfeeding Summit, Alabama State University, Montgomery, Alabama.

  • 2015: Invited speaker :

    “Changing Cultures of Nighttime Breastfeeding in the U.S.” Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, Department of International Health, Nutrition Group, Baltimore, MD.

  • 2015: Invited speaker :

    “Changing Cultures of Nighttime Breastfeeding in the U.S.” Economic and Social Research Council’s Seminar Series on the “Social experiences of breastfeeding: building bridges between research and policy,” University of the West of England, Bristol, U.K.

Selected Publications

Authored book

Chapter in book

Edited book

Journal Article

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Media Contacts

Available for media contact about:

  • Infant and child health: Breastfeeding, Parent-Infant Sleep