Name Card
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Dr Meek, Laura Anne

Title:
Assistant Professor

Contact Information
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Tel:
3917 7937
Office:

Dr Meek, Laura Anne

Title:
Assistant Professor

Short Biography:

Laura Meek is an Assistant Professor in the Centre for the Humanities and Medicine at HKU. She is a medical anthropologist who researches counterfeit pharmaceuticals, bodily epistemologies, and the politics of healing in East Africa. Dr. Meek received her Ph.D. and M.A. in Anthropology from the University of California, Davis, as well as an M.A. in Women’s Studies from George Washington University and a B.A. in Comparative Human Development from the University of Chicago. Her first project, Pharmaceuticals in Divergence: Radical Uncertainty and World-Making Tastes in Tanzania, is based on three years of ethnographic fieldwork in Iringa, Tanzania, and focuses on the proliferation of counterfeits in local biomedical markets, where an estimated 30-60% of drugs are thought to be fake. Dr. Meek approaches this global health challenge through the lens of feminist and postcolonial science studies, as a way to engage both conditions of radical uncertainty and world-making innovation happening in Africa today. Her second project, The Grammar of Leprosy: Temporal Politics & An Impossible Subject, develops a line of inquiry which was prompted by her discovery that the antibiotic cure for leprosy was readily available, and yet inaccessible, for her interlocuters in Tanzania in need of treatment. Dr. Meek is currently developing a multi-sited and interdisciplinary inquiry into the temporal politics of leprosy elimination campaigns across historical archives, scientific knowledge production, and global health initiatives. Additional areas of her scholarship include the medicinal significance of sensory qualities like taste, histories of medicine and healing across the Indian Ocean world, and practices of dreaming as medical interventions in Tanzania.

Professional Qualifications
YearAwarding InstitutionQualification
2006University of ChicagoHonors B.A. in Comparative Human Development
2013University of California, DavisM.A. in Anthropology
2010George Washington UniversityM.A. in Women’s Studies
2019University of California, DavisPh.D. in Anthropology
Biography

Laura Meek is an Assistant Professor in the Centre for the Humanities and Medicine at HKU. She is a medical anthropologist who researches counterfeit pharmaceuticals, bodily epistemologies, and the politics of healing in East Africa. Dr. Meek received her Ph.D. and M.A. in Anthropology from the University of California, Davis, as well as an M.A. in Women’s Studies from George Washington University and a B.A. in Comparative Human Development from the University of Chicago. Her first project, Pharmaceuticals in Divergence: Radical Uncertainty and World-Making Tastes in Tanzania, is based on three years of ethnographic fieldwork in Iringa, Tanzania, and focuses on the proliferation of counterfeits in local biomedical markets, where an estimated 30-60% of drugs are thought to be fake. Dr. Meek approaches this global health challenge through the lens of feminist and postcolonial science studies, as a way to engage both conditions of radical uncertainty and world-making innovation happening in Africa today. Her second project, The Grammar of Leprosy: Temporal Politics & An Impossible Subject, develops a line of inquiry which was prompted by her discovery that the antibiotic cure for leprosy was readily available, and yet inaccessible, for her interlocuters in Tanzania in need of treatment. Dr. Meek is currently developing a multi-sited and interdisciplinary inquiry into the temporal politics of leprosy elimination campaigns across historical archives, scientific knowledge production, and global health initiatives. Additional areas of her scholarship include the medicinal significance of sensory qualities like taste, histories of medicine and healing across the Indian Ocean world, and practices of dreaming as medical interventions in Tanzania.

 
Honours, Awards & Prizes
AwardeesAward DateHonours / Awards / PrizesCategory
2021-07-01Creative Ethnographic Prose Competition, 3rd Prize: Society for Humanistic Anthropology
Research Achievement
2021-05-01MAE–MAT Early Career Paper Award: Medical Anthropology Europe network (MAE) within the European Association of Social Anthropologists (EASA) and the journal Medicine Anthropology Theory (MAT)
Research Achievement
2018-11-01Charles Hughes Paper Prize: Society for Medical Anthropology
Research Achievement
2018-09-01Margaret Clark Award, Honorable Mention: Association of Anthropology, Gerontology, and the Life Course
Research Achievement
2018-08-01Bennetta Jules-Rosette Essay Award: Association for Africanist Anthropology
Research Achievement
2018-11-01David Hakken Prize, Honorable Mention: Committee on the Anthropology of Science, Technology, and Computing- American Anthropological Association
Research Achievement
2018-03-01Outstanding Graduate Student Teaching Award: Graduate Studies, University of California
Teaching Accomplishment
2017-08-01Photography Award: American Anthropological Association
Others
2017-11-01Rudolf Virchow Award: Critical Anthropology for Global Health Caucus
Research Achievement
2017-11-01Paper Prize: Dying and Bereavement Special Interest Group, Society for Medical Anthropology
Research Achievement
2017-04-01First Place, Paper Competition: Southwest Anthropological Association
Research Achievement
2009-05-01Making a Difference Award: Women’s Studies Endowment, George Washington University
Research Achievement
2019-11-01Paper Prize: Science, Technology, and Medicine Special Interest Group- American Anthropological Association
Research Achievement
Professional Societies
Term PeriodPositionProfessional Societies
01/2018-Co-Chair (elected office)Complementary and Alternative Medicine (CAM) / Integrative Medicine (IM) Special Interest Group, Society for Medical Anthropology
01/2015-02/2017Member, Conference Co-OrganizerUniversity of California Collaboratory for Ethnographic Design
03/2015-MemberAssociation for Africanist Anthropology
05/2017-05/2018MemberSociety for the Anthropology of Food and Nutrition
02/2016-MemberAfrican Studies Association
07/2017-MemberCommittee for the Anthropology of Science, Technology, and Computing
10/2019-MemberSociety for East Asian Anthropology
01/2017-Ex-Officio Executive Board Member- Communications CommitteeSociety for Medical Anthropology
03/2015-MemberSociety for Medical Anthropology
08/2011-MemberTanzanian Studies Association
06/2020-Mentor in the 4S Mentoring ProgramSociety for Social Studies of Science
03/2015-MemberSociety for Social Studies of Science
05/2020-MemberCentre for Imaginative Ethnography
07/2017-MemberSociety for Urban, National, and Transnational/Global Anthropology
11/2020-Nominations Committee Member (elected position)American Anthropological Association
03/2015-MemberAmerican Anthropological Association
01/2018-MemberSociety for the Anthropology of Religion
01/2016-Member, Workshop OrganizerReimagining Indian Ocean Worlds Mellon Research Initiative
03/2017-MemberSociety for Psychological Anthropology
07/2018-MemberSociety for Humanistic Anthropology
01/2017-MemberAssociation for Feminist Anthropology
01/2010-09/2016Member, Workshop OrganizerOne Health Initiative, University of California
03/2017-MemberSociety for Cultural Anthropology
03/2017-MemberAmerican Ethnological Society
Media Contact Directory
Area of Expertise:
Area of Expertise (EN)Area of Expertise (ZH)
globalization of biomedicine; medical pluralism
traditional healing; witchcraft; dreaming and visions
Tanzania, Sub-Saharan Africa, Indian Ocean region
bodies, sensory experience, and healing across cultures
global health politics; inequality and disease; structural violence
leprosy & disease elimination campaigns
media coverage of Africa; racism; ethnocentricism; Eurocentricism
gender and feminist theory
science, knowledge, and power in postcolonial contexts
counterfeit pharmaceuticals and other fakes
Spoken Languages:
Spoken Language(s) (EN)Spoken Language(s) (ZH)
Swahili
English
Written Languages:
Written Language(s) (EN)Written Language(s) (ZH)
Swahili
English
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