Professor Shelley Lees
in Anthropology of Public Health
15-17 Tavistock Place
The main focus of my research is exploring gender, violence, and epidemic diseases. My theoretical area focuses on the intersections between feminist anthropology and biopolitics.
With 25 years of working and living in Tanzania I have conducted anthropological studies to explore gender and power with a focus on sexuality and violence. My anthropological research on disease epidemics in Tanzania and Sierra Leone focuses local experiences of biomedical research and epidemic response. In this field, I also provide critical perspectives on biomedical practices.
I have taught on a number of modules including Primary Health Care, Principles of Social Research, and Health Policy, Process and Power. I am currently part of the teaching group for the Medical Anthropology and Public Health module.
In Mwanza I am co-investigator and anthropological lead on the Maisha Trial (strive.lshtm.ac.uk/projects/maisha-microfinance-and-gender-training-reduce-violence-against-women). I am also conducting a study exploring impacts on gender equality and intimate partner violence with the UZIWKASA programme in Pangani (www.uzikwasa.or.tz). I have also conducted research on sexual violence against children in Zanzibar with Karen Devries and Louise Knight, which has also explored constructions of childhood amongst the Swahili and IPV. I have recently completed a study on cash transfers and IPV in Mali.
My research on anthropology of epidemics has included research on sexuality and HIV as part of a microbicides trial and more recently, research on young women's experiences of PrEP (app.lshtm.ac.uk/projects/empower/), both conducted in Mwanza, Tanzania.
A more recent focus of my research has been on emergent epidemics, including Ebola. I am the lead anthropologist on the EBOVAC-Salone Trial (www.ebovac.org) and work package lead on the ALERRT consortium, focusing on the social science of community engagement (www.alerrt.global). Finally, I am the PI on an anthropological investigation of vaccine deployment during epidemics (AViD) (avidproject.co.uk)