Skip to main content

Dr Hannah Brown

Associate Professor

Ph.D. Social Anthropology

AffiliationRoom numberTelephone
Associate Professor in the Department of Anthropology +44 (0) 191 33 40244
Fellow of the Wolfson Research Institute for Health and Wellbeing  


I am a social anthropologist with specialisation in medical anthropology. My research interests include: economies and practices of care; governance; the state; nursing; hospitals; global health interventions (especially around HIV/AIDS and viral haemorrhagic fevers); development; community-based health care; and public health.

Current Research

My current research work is funded by an ERC starting grant, AliveAFRICA: Animals, Livelihoods and Wellbeing in Africa. This project explores changing animal-based economies in Kenya and Sierra Leone, and the implications of human-animal entanglements for health and well being. This project builds on previous research on zoonotic diseases and epidemic management in West Africa, with a particular focus on Lassa fever and Ebola virus disease. It also builds on my longstanding interest in issues around care, health governance, and relationships between insitituions, modes of governance and health systems bureaucracies. I have worked extensively in Kenya where I carried out extended fieldwork with health managers in 2011 and in a hospital and community development organisation between 2005-7. My Ph.D. (Manchester, 2010) explored responses to HIV/AIDS in Western Kenya through the modality of care. Following my Ph.D. I spent two years as a research fellow at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine before joining the University of Durham in January 2013.

Research interests

  • Science
  • Human animal relations
  • West Africa, Sierra Leone
  • Epidemics (especially HIV/AIDS and VHFs)
  • Work and Management
  • Health Governance
  • Hospitals
  • Community-Based Health Care
  • Global Health and Development
  • East Africa, Kenya

Awarded Grants

  • 2018: Social Science Preparedness for Lassa fever, ESRC-GCRF IAA award £24.980
  • 2015: Anthropology of Ebola: Transmission Dynamics and Outbreak Socialities (£82967.00 from ESRC)
  • 2015: People, animals and infectious disease transmission: A new synthesis (£184889.00 from ESRC)
  • 2014: Participatory behavioural change to reinforce infection prevention and control for Ebola Virus Disease in Sierra Leone, Research for Health in Humanitarian Crises (R2HC) programme (DFID and Wellcome Trust £9155).

Esteem Indicators

  • 2023: : Editorial Board ;Medical Anthropology Quarterly
  • 2023: : Member of the Committee for Biosocial Anthropology, Royal Anthropological Institute


Book review

  • Brown, Hannah (2017). Ebola: How a People’s Science Helped End an Epidemic. The Journal of Development Studies Free eprint:

Chapter in book

Edited book

  • Prince, Ruth & Brown, Hannah (2016). Volunteer Economies: The politics and ethics of voluntary labour in Africa. African Issues. James Currey.

Edited Journal

Journal Article

Other (Digital/Visual Media)

  • Billaud, Julie, Thedvall, Renita, Sandler, Jen, Brown, Hannah, Reed, Adam & Yarrow, Thomas (2017). First virtual meeting on meeting.
  • Billaud, Julie, Thedvall, Renita, Sandler, Jen, Brown, Hannah, Reed, Adam & Yarrow, Thomas (2017). Second virtual meeting on meeting.
  • Bonwitt, Jesse & Brown, Hannah (2017). PLOS Neglected Tropical Diseases (NTDS) journal, live “Ask Me Anything” (AMA) chat.
  • (2015). Spotlight: Managing health crises after Ebola. Sci Dev Net
  • Marí Sáez,Almudena, Kelly, Ann H. & Brown, Hannah (2014). Apuntes sobre el paciente cero: antropología en los tiempos del ébola. Lamarea
  • (2014). Ebola in focus: Rapid Response Roundtable.
  • Marí Sáez, Almudena, Kelly, Ann H. & Brown, Hannah (2014). Notes from Case Zero: Anthropology in the time of Ebola.


Supervision students