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Elizabeth Pfeiffer

photo of Elizabeth Pfeiffer Gaige Hall 147
(401) 456-9622

Academic Background

Postdoctoral Fellowship in STD/HIV-1 Research, Department of Microbiology and Immunology, Indiana University School of Medicine (2016)
PhD (Anthropology): Indiana University, Bloomington (2014)
MA (Applied Anthropology): Ball State University (2005)
BA (Anthropology and Sociology): Hanover College (1998)

Research Interests

Dr. Pfeiffer is an engaged social-cultural anthropologist with specializations in medical anthropology and African Studies. Her teaching and research interests broadly include infectious diseases (especially HIV/AIDS), health disparities, global public health, and gender and sexuality in sub-Saharan Africa, the USA, and Jamaica. Central to Dr. Pfeiffer’s scholarship is a concern with how people “on the ground” negotiate decisions about their lifestyles and health care when they are facing inequitable conditions, marginalization, and rapid social change. Her primary research and current book project explores the intertwining linguistic, social, and structural roots sustaining HIV/AIDS-related stigma and discrimination during a period of increased access to HIV services in western Kenya. As a scholar who collects data through long-term field research that is based on personal, face-to-face interviews, shared experiences, and significant relationships with individuals facing myriad forms of violence and living in conditions characterized by poverty and uncertainty, Dr. Pfeiffer is committed to linking theory to practice and seeks ways to inform the development of new global and public health policies, interventions, and programs in efforts to alleviate human suffering and distress.

Areas of Expertise

Medical Anthropology, African Studies, Development/Globalization, Global Health, Infectious Diseases, HIV/AIDS, Gender and Sexuality, Science and Technology Studies, Social Inequalities, Stigma and Discrimination, Education, Applied Anthropology

Selected Publications

In Press. “The Post-Election Violence Has Brought Shame on This Place”:Narratives, Place, and Moral Violence in Western Kenya. African Studies Review.

In Press. Joseph Gilley and Elizabeth J. Pfeiffer. White Man’s Disease:  American Indian AIDS Conspiracy Theory and the Refusal of Synthesis. Medical Anthropology Theory.

2017. Pfeiffer, Elizabeth J., Harrison M. K. Maithya, Mary Ott, and Kara Wools-Kaloustian.  “Dangerous Bodies, Unpredictable Minds: HIV/AIDS, Mental Disorders, and Stigma Syndemics in Western Kenya.” In Spoiled Identities, Stigma Syndemics and the Making of BioSocial Health, edited by Shir Lerman, Bayla Ostrach, and Merrill Singer. Lexington: Lexington Books.

2016. Pfeiffer, Elizabeth J., and Harrison M. K. Maithya. “Bewitching Sex Workers, Blaming Wives: HIV/AIDS, Stigma, and the Gender Politics of Panic in Western Kenya.” Global Public Health 0 (0.0): published online 2 September.

2016. Pfeiffer, Elizabeth J., Kyle A. McGregor, Barbara Van Der Pol, Cathlene Hardy Hansen, and Mary A. Ott. “Willingness to Disclose STI Status to Sex Partners among College-Aged Men.” Sexually Transmitted Diseases 43 (3): 204–206.​​

Page last updated: November 27, 2017