I am a cultural anthropologist at Victoria University of Wellington, New Zealand. I completed my PhD at Cambridge University in 2010. I research and write about medical anthropology, ethics, gender and kinship, inequality and wellbeing, contested illness, and environmental health, with a focus on Aotearoa/New Zealand and Oceania.
Since 2009 I have been researching military veterans’ claims for healthcare and the politics of recognition, proof, care and responsibility. Specifically, I examine New Zealand and British nuclear test veterans who seek state recognition, increased healthcare entitlements, and compensation for ill health that they attribute to radiation exposure. I am currently finishing a book manuscript that explores the politics of proof in radiation-related illness claims and the translation work required to make proof efficacious across legal, medical, archival and political spheres.
I have recently begun a new research project that explores precarity, everyday ethics and wellbeing, and the politics of bureaucratic proof in New Zealand.
I am also part of Te Āta Hura: Exploring the possibilities for kinship in Aotearoa with Hayley Aikman, Tarapuhi Vaeau, Zoe Poppelwell and Hannah Gibson. Together we are exploring diverse sites of kinship in Aotearoa, such as surrogacy, foster care, neonatal care and queer families, and are experimenting in collaborative research and writing methods.
I am a founding member of the Ethnography Commons, a local and international collective exploring the commoning of ethnographic practice, methods and knowledge. I am also co-editor (alongside Eli Elinoff, Nayantara Sheoran Appleton and Lorena Gibson) of the international, open access and peer reviewed journal Commoning Ethnography.
I am the secretary of SOMAA, the Society of Medical Anthropology in Aotearoa.
I also write poetry, short fiction, and an on-the-road blog Car Pie Trip about the homemade pies found in the dairies, stores and tearooms of Aotearoa New Zealand. This and other public writing can be found here.