|Assistant Professor in the Department of Anthropology||0191 334 0246|
|Chaplain (Quaker) in the Chaplains||+44 (0) 191 33 40246|
|Fellow in the Durham Research Methods Centre|
I received my doctorate in Anthropology from Emory University, where I also gained a Master’s degree in Global Health. After two post-doctoral research positions (in Global Health at Emory, and in Evolutionary Anthropology at UCL), I began my teaching career at Durham (2014-15), and then taught medical anthropology at UCL for three years (2015-18). I took up the position of Assistant Professor at Durham in 2018.
My research focuses on the following topics:
- Child development. I am interested in how societies’ investments in children shape the kinds of lives children have an opportunity to pursue; and, more broadly, how social and environmental changes get under the skin. My doctoral research followed the development of a cohort of children in Ethiopia over the course of their first years of life, with a focus on the influence of parents’ schooling on patterns of child-rearing and responses to illness.
- Hunger and thirst. In collaboration with public health professionals and NGOs, I have carried out mixed-methods research on food and water insecurity in Ethiopia. This has led to new ways of measuring access to water at the household level.
- Social inequalities. Poverty is a fundamental determinant of disease. But how do we measure socio-economic status in settings where wealth is based primarily not on cash income, but on access to livestock or farmland? Or where the currencies in which status is reckoned are contested, or in flux?
My current work examines the intersection of these issues in the context of dam and irrigation schemes that are transforming the landscape of Ethiopia’s Lower Omo Valley (link to Open Access paper here). As co-founder of the Omo-Turkana Research Network, I have helped to bring together researchers across disciplines and from the global North and South to draw attention to the changes underway in this river basin, and the challenges they present for the people of the region.
I encourage prospective PhD students to contact me.
- child development
- hunger and thirst
- mixed methods and epistemologies
- socio-ecological change
- social inequality
- Horn of Africa
Chapter in book
- Stevenson, E. G., & Kamski, B. (2021). Ethiopia’s ‘Blue Oil’? Hydropower, Irrigation and Development in the Omo-Turkana Basin. In E. Gabbert, F. Gebresenbet, J. Galaty, & G. Schlee (Eds.), Lands of the future: Anthropological perspectives on pastoralism, land deals and tropes of modernity in Eastern Africa (292-308). Berghahn Books
- Hodbod, J., Stevenson, E. G., & Fekadu Mulugeta, M. (2021). Resilience dynamics in a rapidly changing social-ecological system: Shifting inequalities in Ethiopia's Lower Omo Valley. In J. Lautze, M. McCartney, & J. Gibson (Eds.), The Omo-Turkana Basin: Cooperation for Sustainable Water Management. Routledge. https://doi.org/10.4324/9781003169338
- Stevenson, E., & Worthman, C. (2014). Child Well-Being: Anthropological Perspectives. In A. Ben-Arieh, F. Casas, I. Frønes, & J. Korbin (Eds.), Handbook of Child Well-Being: Theories, Methods and Policies in Global Perspective (485-512). Springer Verlag. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-90-481-9063-8_20
- Stevenson, E. (2013). Maternal education; an Ethiopia. In J. Ainsworth (Ed.), Sociology of Education: An A-to-Z Guide. SAGE Publications
- Stevenson, E., & Mekonnen, J. (2012). Two rivers: water and power in Ethiopia. In E. Mendenhall, & A. Koon (Eds.), Environmental Health Narratives: A Reader for Youth. University of new Mexico Press
- Larrain, M., & Stevenson, E. G. (2022). Controversy Over Tongue-Tie: Divisions in the Community of Healthcare Professionals. Medical Anthropology, 41(4), 446-459. https://doi.org/10.1080/01459740.2022.2056843
- Stoler, J., Brewis, A., Kangmennang, J., Keough, S. B., Pearson, A. L., Rosinger, A. Y., …Stevenson, E. G. (2021). Connecting the dots between climate change, household water insecurity, and migration. Current Opinion in Environmental Sustainability, 51, 36-41. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.cosust.2021.02.008
- Molenaar, J., Hanlon, C., Alem, A., Wondimagegn, D., Medhin, G., Prince, M., & Stevenson, E. G. (2020). Perinatal mental distress in a rural Ethiopian community: a critical examination of psychiatric labels. BMC Psychiatry, 20(1), Article 223. https://doi.org/10.1186/s12888-020-02646-5
- Staddon, C., Everard, M., Mytton, J., Octavianti, T., Powell, W., Quinn, N., …Mizniak, J. (2020). Water insecurity compounds the global coronavirus crisis. Water International, 45(5), 416 -422. https://doi.org/10.1080/02508060.2020.1769345
- Stevenson, E. G. (2019). Water access transformations: Metrics, infrastructure, and inequities. Water Security, 8, Article 100047. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.wasec.2019.100047
- Hodbod, J., Stevenson, E. G., Akall, G., Akuja, T., Angelei, I., Bedasso, E. A., …Tebbs, E. (2019). Social-ecological change in the Omo-Turkana basin: A synthesis of current developments. AMBIO: A Journal of the Human Environment, 48(10), 1099-1115. https://doi.org/10.1007/s13280-018-1139-3
- Pertaub, D., & Stevenson, E. G. (2019). Pipe Dreams: Water, Development and the Work of The Imagination in Ethiopia's Lower Omo Valley. Nomadic Peoples, 23(2), 177-194. https://doi.org/10.3197/np.2019.230202
- Stevenson, E. G., & Buffavand, L. (2018). “Do Our Bodies Know Their Ways?” Villagization, Food Insecurity, and Ill-Being in Ethiopia’s Lower Omo Valley. African Studies Review, 61(01), 109-133. https://doi.org/10.1017/asr.2017.100
- Olivero, J., Fa, J. E., Farfán, M. A., Lewis, J., Hewlett, B., Breuer, T., …Nasi, R. (2016). Distribution and Numbers of Pygmies in Central African Forests. PLoS ONE, 11(1), Article e0144499. https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0144499
- Stevenson, E., Ambelu, A., Caruso, B., Tesfaye, Y., & Freeman, M. (2016). Community Water Improvement, Household Water Insecurity, and Women’s Psychological Distress: An Intervention and Control Study in Ethiopia. PLoS ONE, 11(4), https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0153432
- Stevenson, E., & Hadley, C. (2014). Comment on A.Wutich and A. Brewis, 'Food, water, and scarcity: Toward a broader anthropology of resource insecurity'. Current Anthropology, 55(4), 459-460. https://doi.org/10.1086/677311
- Hadley, C., Stevenson, E., Tadesse, Y., & Belachew, T. (2012). Rapidly rising food prices and the experience of food insecurity in urban Ethiopia: impacts on health and well-being. Social Science & Medicine, 75(12), 2412-2419. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.socscimed.2012.09.018
- Stevenson, E., Greene, L., Maes, K., Ambelu, A., Tesfaye, Y., Rheingans, R., & Hadley, C. (2012). Water insecurity in 3 dimensions: water and women's psychosocial distress in Ethiopia. Social Science & Medicine, 75(2), 392-400. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.socscimed.2012.03.022
- Stevenson, E. (2014). Dealing with unforeseen consequences: Methods and ethics in an Ethiopian primary school