Emily Mendenhall

Emily Mendenhall

Emily Mendenhall, PhD, MPH, is a medical anthropologist and Associate Professor of Global Health at the Edmund A. Walsh School of Foreign Service at Georgetown University. A primary research focus is how social trauma, poverty, and social exclusion become embodied in chronic mental and physical illness. Another research focus is advancing the theory of syndemics; this was the focus of her first book, Syndemic Suffering: Social Distress, Depression, and Diabetes among Mexican Immigrant Women, and a Series of articles on Syndemics in The Lancet. Prof Mendenhall’s next book, Rethinking Diabetes: Entanglements of Poverty, Trauma, and HIV, will be published in 2019. In 2017, she was awarded the George Foster Practicing Medical Anthropology Award by the Society for Medical Anthropology.

Research Interests: medical anthropology, global health, trauma and embodiment, syndemics, diabetes, mental illness

Areas of Concentration: USA, India, Kenya, South Africa

Current Research Project: Prof Mendenhall has numerous ongoing projects. One is a NIH-funded study testing a theory of syndemics in Soweto, a neighorhood in which she works in Johannesburg, South Africa. Another is investigating intersections of food aid, food insecurity, and diabetes in the Somali Region of Ethiopia. She leads a book series with Vanderbilt University Press called: “Policy to Practice: Ethnographic Perspectives on Global Health Systems.”

EMily Mendenhall's Research Team