Rebecca Marsland

Rebecca Marsland
Dr Rebecca Marsland
Senior Lecturer
Social AnthropologySchool of Social and Political ScienceUniversity of Edinburgh
3.20 18 Buccleuch Place Edinburgh UK EH8 9LD
+44 (0)131 651 3864
Research Interests
Medical Anthropology, Tanzania, East Africa, Funerals, International development, HIV and AIDS, Witchcraft, Human-animal relationships, Bees

Office Hours

I am on research leave until 2016.


  • Humans and Other Species
  • Anthropology of Health and Healing
  • Anthropology of International Health
  • East Central Africa
  • Ethnography
  • Magic, Science and Healing


I currently hold an ESRC Transforming Social Sciences Award for a project called Beelines.

My research in Tanzania focuses on on the entry of public health discourses about malaria into discussions about local "tradition". I am currently working on a book, The Words of the People, which will revisit classic ethnographies of the Nyakyusa, through the lens of public heath and development discourse. The book aims to put contemporary debate about the morality of tradition in Kyela into historical perspective.

Selected Publications

Prince RJ and Marsland R (eds) 2014. Making and Unmaking Public Health In Africa: Ethnographic Perspectives Athens: Ohio University Press.

Marsland, R. 2014. Who are the public in public health? Debating crowds, populations and publics in Tanzania. In Making and Unmaking Public Health In Africa: Ethnographic Perspectives (eds) R. Marsland & R. Prince, J. Athens: Ohio University Press.

Marsland. 2013. Pondo Pins and Nyakyusa Hammers: Monica and Godfrey in Bunyakyusa. In Inside African Anthropology: Monica Wilson and her Interpreters (eds) A. Bank & L.J. Bank. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

Marsland, R. 2012. (Bio)sociality and HIV in Tanzania: Finding a Living to Support a Life. Medical Anthropology Quarterly 26, 470-485.

Marsland, R. & R. Prince, J. 2012. What Is Life Worth? Exploring Biomedical Interventions, Survival, and the Politics of Life. Medical Anthropology Quarterly 26, 453-469. 

Marsland, R. (2007). The modern traditional healer. Locating 'hybridity' in modern traditional Medicine. Journal of Southern African Studies 33 (4): 751-765.

Marsland, R. (2006). "Community participation the Tanzanian Way: Conceptual Contiguity or Power Struggle?" Oxford Development Studies 34 (1): 65-79.


Topics interested in supervising

Interested in supervising students in areas related to: Medical Anthropology Anthropology of Science/Development East Africa Human and Animal Relationships

If you are interested in being supervised by Rebecca Marsland, please see the links below for more information:

PhD in Social Anthropology; MSc (R) Social Anthropology; MSc (R) Sociology and Anthropology of Health and Illness