Dr. Libby Pfeiffer

Department, Office, or School
Department of Anthropology
  • Assistant Professor

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.

Education

Postdoctoral Fellowship in STD/HIV-1 Research, Department of Microbiology and Immunology, Indiana University School of Medicine (2016)

Ph.D., Indiana University, Bloomington
M.A., Ball State University
B.A., Hanover College

Selected Publications

(Under Contract).  Viral Frictions: Global Health and the Persistence of HIV Stigma.  Special Series in Medical Anthropology: Health, Inequality and Social Justice. New Brunswick, NJ, Rutgers University Press.

(In Press). Pfeiffer, Elizabeth J. and Harrison M. K. Maithya.  The Cultural Politics of Secrecy during Home Counseling and Testing Campaigns in Kenya. Culture, Health & Sexuality.

2018. Pfeiffer, Elizabeth J. “‘The P.E.V. [post-election violence] brought shame to this place’: Narratives, Place, and Moral Violence in Western Kenya.” African Studies Review 61 (2): 183-209.

2018.  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 13 (2): 234-248.

2017.  Brian Joseph Gilley and Elizabeth J. Pfeiffer. “White Man’s Disease:  American Indian AIDS Conspiracy Theory and the Refusal of Synthesis.” Medicine Anthropology Theory 4 (3): 1-20.

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 Foundations in Biosocial Health, edited by Shir Lerman, Bayla Ostrach, and Merrill Singer. Lexington, KY: Lexington Books.

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.

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