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Dr Laura Meek   Dr Laura Meek

 

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.