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.
Areas of Research / Professional Expertise
Anthropology, science and technology studies, medicine, medical practice, medical education, craft, bodies, learning