Vincanne Adams, PhD

Professor
Anthro, History, Social Med
+1 415 502-6483

In my capacity as Vice Chair of the Department and Professor in the joint Program in Medical Anthropology (with UC Berkeley), I am committed to making a contribution to knowledge and insight about the interface between health and the capacity for a flourishing life. I directed the graduate programs at Princeton University (1992-2000) and at UCSF (2000-2012) and continue to advise and mentor many graduate students, and I remain devoted to administrative service to further the mission of UCSF. I have published seven books and numerous articles on a wide range of anthropological topics, including: Asian Medical Systems, Reproductive Health, Global Health, Disaster Recovery, Postcolonial Social Theory, Politics of Knowledge, Climate Change, Chemical Harm, and Industrial Food Systems. I am the current editor of Medical Anthropology Quarterly, the flagship journal for the Society for Medical Anthropology. I am co-editor (with Joao Biehl) of the book series Critical Global Health: Evidence, Efficacy, Ethnography with Duke University Press.

Through national and international collaborations, my scholarly research has always focused on the compromise to flourishing life under conditions of duress. This began with an exploration of how mountaineering and tourism in Nepal produced morbid aspirations among Sherpas of the Everest region. In later work, I documented how the entanglement of politics and medicine in Nepal created a democratic revolution that left a nation nearly entirely dependent on foreign aid in a state of persistent unrest and conflict. In Tibet, my research on women’s health and Tibetan medicine documented how socialist modernity and persistent political surveillance was internalized as assault on sacred conceptualizations of the body, the family, the nation. My work in Tibet also explored the capacity for well-intentioned interventions in safe-motherhood could undermine urgent forms of care and response. This led to a larger body of work tracing the birth of Global Health from its predecessor, International Health, in relation to the deleterious effects of a rising mandate and reliance on quantitative metrics, especially the randomized-controlled trial. In the US, my focus has been on how conditions of neoliberal policy translate into second-order disasters in relation to recovery post-disaster. This includes a book about the effects of disaster capitalism in post-Katrina New Orleans, and also a study in how reliance on volunteerism and charity to reproduce the safety net, including the use of an affective surplus, ultimately undermines resilience and recovery. My current research explores the rise of uncertainty in science in relation to chemical harm, particularly from agrochemical industrial food and food systems. This work has prompted an exploration of the arts of speculation, as well as an investigation of how to teach medical students about the value of food system knowledge.

Publications: 

Re-imagining global health through social medicine.

Global public health

Adams V, Behague D, Caduff C, Löwy I, Ortega F

It Takes More than a Village: Building a Network of Safety in Nepal's Mountain Communities.

Maternal and child health journal

Adams V, Craig S, Samen A, Bhatta S

Introduction: Ethnomedicine and medical anthropology today, in the case of Tibet.

Medicine Anthropology Theory | An open-access journal in the anthropology of health illness and medicine

Vincanne Adams

The work of evidence in critical global health.

Medicine Anthropology Theory | An open-access journal in the anthropology of health illness and medicine

Joao Biehl, Vincanne Adams

What is critical global health?.

Medicine Anthropology Theory | An open-access journal in the anthropology of health illness and medicine

Vincanne Adams

Alternative accounting in maternal and infant global health.

Global public health

Adams V, Craig SR, Samen A

Slow research: thoughts for a movement in global health.

Medical anthropology

Adams V, Burke NJ, Whitmarsh I

The Making of a Disaster.

Vincanne Adams

Le « geste glorieux » du don de sang en unité de travail et les désirs postsocialistes en Chine urbaine.

Les enjeux du don de sang dans le monde

Kathleen Erwin, Vincanne Adams, Phuoc Le

Ethnography and the making of modern health professionals.

Culture, medicine and psychiatry

Adams V, Kaufman SR

Aging disaster: mortality, vulnerability, and long-term recovery among Katrina survivors.

Medical anthropology

Adams V, Kaufman SR, van Hattum T, Moody S

Encounters with Efficacy.

Asian Medicine

Vincanne Adams

Anticipation: Technoscience, life, affect, temporality.

Subjectivity

Vincanne Adams, Michelle Murphy, Adele E Clarke

Glorious Deeds: Work Unit Blood Donation and Postsocialist Desires in Urban China.

Body & Society

Kathleen Erwin, Vincanne Adams, Phuoc Le

Public health works: blood donation in urban China.

Social science & medicine (1982)

Adams V, Erwin K, Le PV

Global health diplomacy.

Medical anthropology

Adams V, Novotny TE, Leslie H

How to make consent informed: possible lessons from Tibet.

IRB

Miller S, Le PV, Craig S, Adams V, Tudor C

The Tibetans . Matthew T. Kapstein.

The China Journal

Vincanne Adams

Having a "safe delivery": conflicting views from Tibet.

Health care for women international

Adams V, Miller S, Chertow J, Craig S, Samen A, Varner M

The Creation of Normativities as a Biopolitical Project.

Vincanne Adams, Michele Rivkin-Fish

The Production of New Subjectivities.

Vincanne Adams, Michele Rivkin-Fish

Society for Cultural Anthropology.

Anthropology News

Bonnie Urciuoli, Vincanne Adams

Society for Medical Anthropology.

Anthropology News

Nancy Vuckovic, Janelle Taylor, Vincanne Adams

Randomized Controlled Crime.

Social studies of science

Vincanne Adams

Ultrasonographic diagnosis of pelvic echinococcosis: case report and review of the literature.

Journal of ultrasound in medicine : official journal of the American Institute of Ultrasound in Medicine

Ranzini AC, Hale DC

Establishing proof.

Vincanne Adams

Social Suffering.

American anthropologist

Vincanne Adams

Tigers of the Snow and Other Virtual Sherpas: An Ethnography of Himalayan Encounters.

Journal of the Royal Anthropological Institute

David Holmberg, Vincanne Adams

Dreams of a Final Sherpa.

American anthropologist

Vincanne Adams

Tourism and Sherpas, Nepal Reconstruction of reciprocity.

Annals of Tourism Research

Vincanne Adams

BOOK: (In Progress) Soft Tissue and the Arts of Speculation in the Era of GE Foods

BOOK: (In Progress) Soft Tissue and the Arts of Speculation in the Era of GE Foods

Vincanne Adams

BOOK: (in Progress) Preoccupied: Life Under Surveillance in Tibet

BOOK: (in Progress) Preoccupied: Life Under Surveillance in Tibet

Vincanne Adams

BOOK: Doctors for Democracy: Health Professionals in the Nepal Revolution Cambridge University Press (Series in Medical Anthropology), 1998

BOOK: Doctors for Democracy: Health Professionals in the Nepal Revolution Cambridge University Press (Series in Medical Anthropology), 1998

Vincanne Adams

BOOK: Markets of Sorrow, Labors of Faith: New Orleans in the Wake of Katrina Duke University Press 2013

BOOK: Markets of Sorrow, Labors of Faith: New Orleans in the Wake of Katrina Duke University Press 2013

Vincanne Adams

BOOK: Medicine Between Science and Religion: Explorations on Tibetan Ground London: Berghahn Publishers 2010

BOOK: Medicine Between Science and Religion: Explorations on Tibetan Ground London: Berghahn Publishers 2010

Vincanne Adams, Sienna Craig and Mona Schrempf

BOOK: Metrics: What Counts in Global Health Duke University Press 2016

BOOK: Metrics: What Counts in Global Health Duke University Press 2016

Vincanne Adams, ed.

BOOK: Sex and Development: Science, Sexuality and Morality in Global Perspective Durham: Duke University Press 2005

BOOK: Sex and Development: Science, Sexuality and Morality in Global Perspective Durham: Duke University Press 2005.

Vincanne Adams and Stacy L. Pigg

BOOK: Tigers of the Snow and Other Virtual Sherpas: An Ethnography of Himalayan Encounters Princeton University Press, 1996

BOOK: Tigers of the Snow and Other Virtual Sherpas: An Ethnography of Himalayan Encounters Princeton University Press, 1996

Vincanne Adams

BOOK: What's Making Our Children Sick? How Industrial Food is causing an epidemic of chronic illness and what parents (and their doctors) can do about it. Vermont: Chelsea Green Publishers, 2018

BOOK: What's Making Our Children Sick? How Industrial Food is causing an epidemic of chronic illness and what parents (and their doctors) can do about it. Vermont: Chelsea Green Publishers, 2018.

Michelle Perro and Vincanne Adams