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Dr. B. (Branwyn) Poleykett

Faculteit der Maatschappij- en Gedragswetenschappen
Programmagroep: Anthropology of Health, Care and the Body

  • Nieuwe Achtergracht 166
  • Postbus 15509
    1001 NA Amsterdam
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  • Research Profile

    I am a medical anthropologist and an assistant professor in the Health, Care and the Body research group. My research is concerned broadly with the politics and practice of public health and I have conducted most of my research in the West African city of Dakar, Senegal. 

    My most recent research revolves around two parallel projects. The first is a book that uses visual media (cinema, West African AIDS videos, diagrams, murals and public art) to analyse the transformation of postcolonial Senegalese into ‘publics’, imagined to have specific characteristics, dispositions and aspirations. Challenging the idea that “good communication” involves breaking through what is doubtful or undetermined, I argue that global health has much to learn from everyday communication and artistic production in Dakar, a city famous for its residents’ expressive annotation of public space.

    The second strand of my research concerns everyday eating and the emergence of chronic disease in Dakar. This research has focused on how chronic disease is changing how people procure, prepare and share food in the city. I’m increasingly interested in investigating a proposition made by people I work with in Dakar, that the emergence of chronic disease in the city can be best understood as a ‘food crisis’. What does this framing do to our understanding of the social, ecological, political and relational conditions in which food crises originate, and the kinds of policies that might mitigate or meliorate them? 

    To better understand these issues my work increasingly seeks to connect kitchens, markets, clinics and households with key sites where food is produced and transformed.

  • Publicaties


    • Poleykett, B. (2021). A broom to the head: ‘Cleaning Day’ and the aesthetics of emergence in Dakar. Urban Studies. https://doi.org/10.1177/0042098021993357
    • Poleykett, B. (2021). Collective eating and the management of chronic disease in Dakar: translating and enacting dietary advice. Critical public health. https://doi.org/10.1080/09581596.2021.1898545
    • Poleykett, B., & Heney, V. (Accepted/In press). The impossibility of engaged research: complicity and accountability between researchers, ‘publics’ and institutions. Sociology of Health and Illness.


    • Lynteris , C., & Poleykett, B. (2018). The anthropology of epidemic control: technologies and materialities. Medical Anthropology, 37(6), 433-441.
    • Poleykett, B. (2018). Ethnohistory and the Dead: Cultures of Colonial Epidemiology. Medical Anthropology, 37(6), 472-485. https://doi.org/10.1080/01459740.2018.1453507
    • Poleykett, B. (2018). Made in Denmark: scientific mobilities and the place of pedagogy in Global Health. Global public health, 13(3), 276-287. https://doi.org/10.1080/17441692.2017.1414282
    • Poleykett, B. (2018). Public culture and the spectacle of epidemic disease in Rabat and Casablanca. In Plague and the City (pp. 159-172). Routledge.


    • Poleykett, B. (2017). Pasteurian tropical medicine and colonial scientific vision. Subjectivity, 10(2).



    • Poleykett, B. (2015). Molecular and municipal politics: Research and regulation in Dakar. In Para-States and Medical Science: Making African Global Health (pp. 237-256). Duke University Press.


    • Poleykett, B. (2019). Une expérience ambiguë? Catégorisations de la sexualité rétribuée et lutte contre le sida au Sénégal. In Se Mobiliser Contre le Sida en Afrique : Sous la sante globale, les luttes associatives Paris, L’Harmattan Harmattan.
    This list of publications is extracted from the UvA-Current Research Information System. Questions? Ask the library or the Pure staff of your faculty / institute. Log in to Pure to edit your publications. Log in to Personal Page Publication Selection tool to manage the visibility of your publications on this list.
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