Vinay Kamat

Medical anthropology; ethnography; global health; India: outsourcing of clinical drug trials; Tanzania: childhood malaria; East Africa: marine conservation; dispossession; extractive industry; political ecology

I trained as a medical anthropologist with specialization in global health, first at the University of Arizona, Tucson, and then at Emory University, Atlanta, from where I received my Ph.D in Anthropology. I have conducted extensive ethnographic research in India and Tanzania. My research interests revolve around issues of health, illness, and healing that affect the everyday lives of ordinary people, and especially those who live in marginalized communities in India and Tanzania. In the Indian context, I have examined the political economy of the outsourcing of pharmaceutical clinical trials.

In the Tanzanian context, I have conducted ethnographic research on the everyday lived experience of marginalized people who are caught in a process of rapid social transformation engendered through neo-liberal economic reforms. I have specifically examined what the privatization of health care has translated into for the marginalized people in coastal Tanzania at a time of mounting financial burdens, uncertainty, and increasing prospects of being afflicted by life-threatening infectious diseases like HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria. I have also conducted research in Tanzania, specifically examining the community response to the introduction of artemisinine-based combination drug therapy (ACT) in the treatment of childhood malaria. As part of an on-going larger project, I have documented how and why some of the radical shifts in malaria control strategies have occurred in Sub-Saharan Africa in the last few years, and what these changes mean for those who are most severely affected by malaria.

I have documented my research on malaria in Tanzania conducted over a decade in my book Silent Violence: Global Health, Malaria, and Child Survival in Tanzania, published by the University of Arizona Press (2013). More recently, I have developed an interest in documenting the social impact of marine conservation and development projects on the Tanzania-Mozambique border. My current project titled Contested Landscapes: The Social Complexity of Natural Gas Extraction in a Marine Protected Area in Tanzania” is funded by a SSHRC Insight Grant (2018-2022).

I also served as chair of the African Studies Minor Program at UBC (2012-2015). For more information please visit:

I currently hold the Keith Burwell Professorship in Anthropology.

Summer 2020

ANTH227 Introduction to Medical Anthropology Sections

An examination of health and illness, in their social and cultural contexts.

Summer 2020
No ANTH course(s) were found for S2020 term.


Best Undergraduate Teaching Award for 2010-2011. Anthropology Students Association (January 09, 2011)

Best Undergraduate Teaching Award for 2009-2010. Anthropology Students Association (May 27, 2010)

Outstanding Teaching Award 2004-2005: Anthropology & Sociology Undergraduate Society (March 29, 2005)


Dean of Arts, Faculty Research Award, 2019.

SSHRC Insight Grant, “Contested Landscapes: The Social Complexity of Natural Gas Extraction in a Marine Protected Area in Tanzania”, March 2018.

Visiting Research Fellow, The Brocher Foundation, Geneva, Switzerland, October and November 2015.

Wenner Gren Richard Carley Hunt Postdoctoral Fellowship awarded for 12 months starting April 2011.

Early Career Scholar (September 2005 to August 2006): Peter Wall Institute of Advanced Studies.

Canadian International Resources and Development Institute Grant 2015-2016.

Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council, Insight Development Grant 2014-2016.

Martha Piper Fund Grant 2008-2009

Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council, Standard Research Grant 2006-2009

Hampton Research Fund Grant 2005-2006

Prior to coming to UBC

Wenner Gren Foundation for Anthropological Research 2000-2001

National Science Foundation 1999-2000

Emory University Fund for Internationalization 1999

International Research Development Centre, Canada 1994-1996