Originally from Manchester, I completed a BA Hons in Social Work and DiPSW at the University of Salford (2002) and later MA Social Anthropology (2006) and PhD in Social Anthropology (2016) at the University of Manchester. My community and social work career led me from the UK - Mainland Europe - Mexico where I worked in health promotion, substance misuse outreach, HIV and sexual health education and human rights observation in armed conflict zones. Since re-training as a Social and Medical Anthropologist I have researched closely with midwives, families, migrants and sex workers, trans and gender diverse populations on all kinds of health and relationship matters.
Outside of the University I sit on the health strategy working group for Trans Actual UK, an organisation set up in 2017 as a response to increasing press hostility, transphobia and misinformation. Trans Actual are run by the trans community, with the trans community, for the trans community. I am also volunteer child welfare officer for the Northern Powerhouse Boxing Academy in Calderdale and provide support to the LGBTQ+ youth service delivered by Barnardos in Calderdale.
ResearchMy research as a social and medical anthropologist is broad covering all areas concerning barriers to healthcare and social justice. I specialise in sexual, reproductive health matters, and the design and ethics of collaborative ethnography. My broader interests are family life, intimate relationships and life-course in societies or populations affected by violence and/or conflict.
Since 2020 I have been researching barriers to health care for trans and gender non-conforming adults and young people. I have an ongoing project examining the impact of the COVID-19 Pandemic on adult trans related healthcare. Separate to this I am examining the epistemic politics of trans health care and the challenges to young trans people and their families in accessing healthcare.
Since 2017 I have co-led a Peer Ethnographic Evaluation Research community project with female asylum seekers in Manchester looking at all matters of health and social care barriers for people with no recourse to public funds. I aim to extend this project to working with community organisations in Bradford from 2020 onward.
I have researched maternal health, maternal/infant HIV transmission and sexual health in contexts of conflict and violence in Mexico for over a decade. Much of my fieldwork and publications are archived on my personal webpage https://birthritesanthro.wordpress.com/
I am interested in supervising qualitative and ethnographic PhD projects on barriers and enablers to health for minoritized populations, trans lives, personhood, and masculinities.
Anthropology of Health and Diseases, Global Health, Gender and Identity, Anthropology of Ageing and Life-course
Previous Taught Course Units
Introduction to Global Health and Medical Anthropology Diseases and Trauma in Developing Countries Anthropology of Life-Course in Conflict Societies Research Methods in Global Health Humanitarian Diplomacy and Negotiation in Practice Ethnography and Fieldwork Qualitative Research Methods
Humanitarian Response Cross-Generational Perspectives
University of Salford Social Work and Social Policy
Research Methods Ethics and Values in Social Work Introduction to Social Policy International Social Work Cultural Competency Conflict Resolution Safeguarding Children and Young People Mental Health Issues