About

dinner me 2

I pursue an approach to the social study of medicine that is grounded in ethnographic studies of contemporary medical practices, my clinical experience working in hospitals, and collaborations with historians, doctors, artists, museum specialists and craftspeople. My research spans the fields of anthropology, science and technology studies, medical education and medical humanities and health sociology. My empirical cases focus on the anthropology and history of technological medical practices, especially concerning questions of sensorality, embodiment and learning. I also write about hospital infrastructures (see my blog www.pneumaticpost.blogspot.com and my twitterfeed @pneumaticpost). I have held research posts at Maastricht University, University of Exeter and the University of Melbourne, and been a visiting researcher at the University of Amsterdam, McGill University, RMIT (Melbourne), Brocher Foundation and the Max Planck Institute for the History of Science.

On a personal note …

I grew up on the island of Tasmania, spending the mild summers on quilts under apricot trees with stacks of library books. In school I was fascinated by two things in particular: the body and the “world out there”, beyond the island shores. So I studied medicine, dissected bodies, laboured over anatomical drawings for my bedroom walls and learned chemical equations off by heart. In my spare time I kept reading and making things, pulling apart clothes and putting them back together again, knitting, sewing, beading. When I graduated I worked as a doctor in rural Tasmania, then rural England, then the Australian border town of Tweed Heads. All the while I travelled as much as I could. There was a pandemic during one trip (SARS) and I became fascinated by questions of public health and cultural differences in medicine. I eventually applied to study medical anthropology back in Australia for a Masters degree, then after much thought, more travelling, returned for a PhD. I still love reading novels from the library and making things with my hands, including more recently cooking, becoming somewhat obsessed by cookbooks, lugging around a growing collection from place to place. I am fascinated with craftsmanship, whether related to medical practice, making objects or cooking food, thinking about how things are put together, tinkered with, how people are instructed and learn skilled practices, the sensory knowledge involved, and how this tells us something about bodies – what bodies can do, how they change and how they work with tools and technologies.

Follow me on Academia.edu

Visit my LinkedIn page here.

Contact details:

  • Email: a.harris@maastrichtuniversity.nl
  • Postal address: Technology & Society Studies Department, Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences, Maastricht University, PO Box 616, Maastricht 6200MD, The Netherlands
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