Dr Nadine Beckmann

Research Interests

Nadine Beckmann is senior lecturer in social anthropology at the University of Roehampton and a member of the Life Sciences Department at Roehampton. Her work focuses on the intersections of sexuality, illness, and wellbeing, and the interplay between biomedicine and alternative forms of addressing illness and reproductive health issues, particularly in Muslim communities. She has also worked on the politicisation of AIDS activism, biological citizenship, and medical governance in Tanzania, and is especially interested in the global politics of population and disease control and the interrelationships between large-scale global health interventions and local realities in East Africa.

Nadine received her DPhil in anthropology from the University of Oxford, working on life with HIV/AIDS in a Muslim society, notions of morality and uncertainty, the management of sexuality, and the newly introduced antiretroviral treatment for AIDS in Zanzibar, Tanzania. In the last years, Nadine was a John Fell research fellow and deputy director of the Fertility and Reproduction Studies Group at the University of Oxford’s School of Anthropology; a research fellow at the Department of Peace Studies in Bradford, and a lecturer in international development at the University of Leeds.

Selected Publications

2014. 'The Quest for Trust in the Face of Uncertainty – Managing Pregnancy Outcomes in Zanzibar', In E. Cooper and D. Pratten (eds), Living through Uncertainty: Ethnographic Studies of Uncertainty in Africa. Palgrave MacMillan. [opening book in a new series on the theme of 'critical contributions to the ethnography of development']

In print (2014) ‘Pleasure and Danger. Muslim views on sex and gender in Zanzibar‘ (first published in Culture, Health and Sexuality 12(6): 619-32): revised and updated version to be reprinted in E. Stiles and K. Daly-Thompson (eds), Gendered Lives in the Western Indian Ocean: Islam, Marriage, and Sexuality on the Swahili Coast. Ohio University Press.

2014. Strings Attached: AIDS and the Rise of Transnational Connections in Africa. Edited volume (together with Catrine Christiansen and Alessandro Gusman). British Academy/Oxford University Press.

2014, with C. Christiansen, A. Gusman and R. van Dijk. ‘Introduction: the transnationalisation of the AIDS pandemic in Africa’. In N. Beckmann, C. Christiansen and A. Gusman (eds), Strings Attached: AIDS and the Rise of Transnational Connections in Africa. British Academy/Oxford University Press.

2014. ‘Van der Decken’s Travels in East Africa in the years 1859 to 1865’ (with Iain Walker). Etudes Océan Indien 50.

2013. ‘Responding to medical crises: AIDS treatment, responsibilisation and the logic of choice’. In special issue on ‘Therapeutic knowledge, health, crises and processes of diversification and mainstreaming’, edited by Gabi Alex, Kristine Krause and David Parkin, Anthropology and Medicine 20(2): 160-175.

2012. ‘Rationality and responsibilisation. Antiretroviral treatment and the care of the self among HIV-positive people in Tanzania’. Special issue on ‘HIV/AIDS and Rural Communities in Southern Africa: Subjects or Citizens?’, edited by David Lawson, Arrigo Palotti and Mario Zamponi. Afriche e Orienti: 159-194. 

2012. ‘Medicines of hope? Antiretroviral treatment in Tanzania – a critical analysis of a large-scale biomedical health intervention‘. Journal of East African Studies 6(4): 690-708.

2011. ‘The Politics of Global Advocacy and Activism around HIV/AIDS‘. In M. Mbilinyi and D. Kitunga (eds.): A Feminist Political Economy of HIV and AIDS in Tanzania. Dar es Salaam: Tanzania Gender Networking Project, E & D Vision Publishing Limited.

2010. ‘Pleasure and Danger. Muslim views on sex and gender in Zanzibar‘. Culture, Health and Sexuality 12(6): 619-32.

2010. ‘Markets for health, markets for sickness: the commodification of misery’. In R. Van Dijk and M. Dekker (eds.): Health and Healing in Africa: New Arenas and Emerging Markets. Leiden: Brill Publishers.

2010, with Janet Bujra. ‘The ‘politics of the queue’: the politicization of People Living with HIV/AIDS in Tanzania’ Development and Change 41(6): 1041-64.

2009. ‘AIDS and the power of God: narratives of decline and coping strategies in Zanzibar’, in Becker, F. & P.W. Geissler (eds): AIDS and Religious Practice in Africa, pp. 119-54. Leiden: Brill Publishers.

2009. ‘The Global Politics of AIDS Activism’. Report on a workshop held at the International Centre for Participation Studies (ICPS), Department of Peace Studies, University of Bradford, 9 July 2009.

2007. ‘Towards an Ecology of AIDS: Research on HIV/AIDS at Oxford’ (with Elisabeth Hsu). Workshop held on 22 June 2007 at the School of Anthropology, University of Oxford. Available online

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