- Dr Alice Street
- Senior Lecturer; Chancellors Fellow
- G.1 22 George Square Edinburgh UK EH8 9LD
- +44 (0)131 6515573
- Research Interests
- Anthropology of Melanesia, Biomedical knowledge(s), practices and technologies, hospital ethnography, State building, International development, Bureaucratic Power, nutraceuticals
My research focuses on the material politics of global health, with a focus on Papua New Guinea and South India.
Diagnostic Devices in Global Health
In 2017 I started a European Research Council funded project on diagnostic devices in global health. The DiaDev project, Investigating the Design and Use of Diagnostic Devices in Global Health, explores the emergent role that diagnostic devices are playing in the transformation of global health partnerships and national health systems in low and middle-income countries. Drawing on novel conceptual and methodological tools from social anthropology, it investigates the social, cultural and technical processes involved in developing, deploying and using diagnostic devices in resource-limited settings. The goal is to improve our understanding of relationships between technological innovation and health systems strengthening, with a view to guiding global health policy.
Hospitals in Resource-Limited Settings
Research on hospitals in resource-limited settings explores the ways in which people engage with biomedical technologies in conditions of uncertainty and precariousness. My book, Biomedicine in an Unstable Place: Infrastructure and Personhood in a Papua New Guinean Hospital is published by Duke University Press.
Global Health in Fragile States
Research on global health governance has examined the ways in which managerial technologies travel to places of state absence or fragility. I am interested in the ways in which managerial knowledge practices have increasingly underpinned global health in recent years and the emergence of management as form of a state-building in an era of securitisation. Drawing on ethnographic fieldwork in a government health office it has examined issues of bureaucratic materiality and managerial personhood and expertise.
Research on 'Off the Grid' infrastructures examines the relationships that are built into and sustain physical infrastructures for health in locations that are beyond the reach of centrally planned public infrastructures. I examine “humanitarian goods”, such as rapid diagnostic kits or fortified foods, that are developed through public-private partnerships as technical solutions to fragile health systems. In 2013 I was awarded one of the ESRC’s first grants under its new ‘Transforming Social Science’ scheme for a comparative study of infrastructures for living “off the grid”.
I received my PhD in Social Anthropology from the University of Cambridge in 2008. I held an ESRC Postdoctoral Fellowship and a Nuffield New Career Development Fellowship at the University of Sussex until I moved to Edinburgh in 2013.
Publicly Available Lectures
For further information please see: http://edinburgh.academia.edu/AliceStreet
Street, Alice (2014). Introduction: Social Theory after Strathern (co-authored with Jacob Copeman). Theory, Culture and Society Special Issue, edited by Jacob Copeman and Alice Street, Vol 31(2/3): 7-38.
Street, Alice (2012) Affective infrastructure: hospital landscapes of hope and failure. Space and Culture, 15 (1). pp. 44-56. ISSN 1206-3312
Street, Alice and Coleman, Simon, eds. (2012) Special Issue: Hospital Heterotopias: ethnographies of biomedical and non-biomedical spaces. Space and Culture, 15 (1). Sage. ISBN 1206-3312
Street, Alice (2011) Artefacts of not-knowing: the medical record, diagnosis and the production of uncertainty in Papua New Guinean Biomedicine. Social Studies of Science, 41 (6). pp. 815-834. ISSN 0306-3127
Pollard, Amy and Street, Alice (2010) Anthropology through development: Putting development theory into practice. Anthropology Matters, 12 (2).
Street, Alice (2010) Belief as Relational Action: Christianity and Cultural Change in Papua New Guinea. Journal of the Royal Anthropological Institute, 16 (2). pp. 260-278. ISSN 1359-0987
Cross, Jamie and Street, Alice (2009) Anthropology at the Bottom of the Pyramid. Anthropology Today, 25 (4). pp. 4-9.
Street, Alice (2009) Failed Recipients: Extracting Blood in a Papua New Guinean Hospital. Body and Society, 15 (2). pp. 193-215. ISSN 1357-034X
Topics interested in supervising
I am interested in supervising students working in the areas of Melanesia, biomedicine, hospital ethnography, management knowledge, bureaucracy, anthropology of the state.
If you are interested in being supervised by Alice Street, please see the links below for more information: