Anthropology Faculty

Kathryn A. Rhine

Kathryn A. Rhine  

Assistant Professor,
Socio-Cultural Anthropology
Ph.D., Brown University 2010

Research Areas:
Medical Anthropology; Anthropological Demography; Global Health Politics; HIV/AIDS; Motor Vehicle Collisions; Gender, Sexuality, & Kinship; Mobility; Pharmaceuticals & Biotechnologies; Nigeria; Ghana; Sub-Saharan Africa | Fraser Hall, #631 | (785) 864-3102

Curriculum Vitae [PDF] | Personal Website


Broadly, my research focuses on the transnational flows of policies, professionals, technologies and resources devoted to intervening in global health problems in West Africa. I am particularly interested in understanding how medical technologies transform the ways individuals think about themselves and experience their bodies, as well as the ways they reconfigure families and social relationships.

Most recently, I have a begun a project entitled, Cultures of Collision: Road Traffic Accidents & the Global Health Politics of Injury Control, where I am conducting ethnographic research on global health policies that concern the “scale-up” of trauma systems and the infrastructure required to produce declines in motor vehicle injury and fatality rates in Nigeria, Ghana, and the United States. This work is being supported by: the U.S. Department of Transportation and the Transportation Research Institute at the University of Kansas; a U.S. Department of Education National Resource Center (NRC) faculty research grant, awarded by the Kansas African Studies Center; funding from the International Travel Fund for Humanities Research, provided by the Office of International Programs at the University of Kansas; and finally, support from the University of Kansas General Research Fund.

I am also working on a book manuscript entitled, The Unseen Things:  HIV, Secrecy, and Wellbeing among Women in Nigeria, based on over eight years of ethnographic research on HIV/AIDS in northern Nigeria. In this work, I have found that antiretroviral therapies have provided HIV infected women vital resources for defying the virus’s deadly prognosis; yet as a result, they have encountered new questions over how to live with this deeply stigmatized disease. This book illustrates how chronic illnesses complicate and disrupt membership in Nigerian families, and the ways in which women attempt to (re)constitute their social relationships following an HIV-positive diagnosis.  In support of this project, I have received post-doctoral fellowships and research funding from the American Philosophical Society; the West African Research Association; and the University of Kansas New Faculty General Research Fund.  My pre-doctoral research and writing were sponsored by: a Andrew W. Mellon Foundation/ACLS Doctoral Dissertation Completion Fellowship; a Fulbright Hays Doctoral Dissertation Research Abroad Award; a National Science Foundation Doctoral Dissertation Improvement Grant; a David L. Boren Fellowship and a William J. Fulbright Fellowship.  Additional support was provided by the Population Studies & Training Center; the Cogut Center for the Humanities; and the Graduate School at Brown University.

Together with my K.U. colleagues, John Janzen, Glenn Adams, and graduate student, Heather Aldersey, I am editing a volume entitled, Medical Anthropology in Global Africa:  Current Trends in Knowledge and Practice.  This collection of essays will be based upon presentations given at a conference sponsored by the Kansas African Studies Center in Fall 2010.  This event brought together over 50 presenters and 100 participants whose research spans topics from HIV/AIDS and other infectious diseases, to chronic disabilities and mental health; gender violence and drug use; reproductive health; and malnutrition across sub-Saharan Africa.

Selected publications and presentations:
“Support Groups, Marriage, and the Management of Ambiguity among HIV-Positive Women in Northern Nigeria,” Anthropological Quarterly, 23(2):369-400.

 “Vitalities: The Gendered Politics of Work, Family, and AIDS in Nigeria,” Invited lecture for the Health and Humanities Seminar Series, Hall Center for the Humanities, University of Kansas, Lawrence, KS

“AIDS No Dey Show for Face:  Paradoxes of Secrecy and Wellbeing in a Nigerian HIV Support Group,” Invited lecture for the Kansas African Studies Center Seminar Series, Resources and Social Justice Issues in Africa Today, University of Kansas, Lawrence, KS

“Vital Continuities: HIV/AIDS Beyond the Boundaries of Marriage in Nigeria,” Paper presented at the 2010 annual meetings of the American Anthropological Association, New Orleans, LA.

“Love Potions and Life Therapies: Chronicity and the Aesthetics of Care among HIV-Positive Women in Northern Nigeria,” Paper presented at the 2009 annual meetings of the American Anthropological Association, Philadelphia, PA

“Ambiguity, Beauty, and (In)Conspicuous Consumption:  Living Positively with HIV in Northern Nigeria,” Paper presented at the 2009 annual meetings of the Society for Medical Anthropology, New Haven, CT

Kansas African Studies Center
Transportation Research Institute
University of Kansas Institute for Policy and Social Research
American Anthropological Association
Society for Medical Anthropology

ANTH 501/775:  Global Health  (Spring 2011; Spring 2012)
ANTH 704:  Current Cultural Anthropology (Spring 2011; Spring 2012)
ANTH 664:  Women, Health, and Healing in Africa  (Fall 2010)
ANTH 501/775:  Life and Death in Africa  (Spring 2010)
ANTH 461/761:  Introduction to Medical Anthropology (Fall 2009, Spring 2010, Fall 2010; Fall 2011)
ANTH 501/775:  HIV/AIDS in Anthropological Perspective  (Fall 2009; Fall 2011)

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