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HRI Leadership



Sarah S. Willen
Director of the Research Program on Global Health and Human Rights | Human Rights Institute

Sarah S. Willen is Assistant Professor of Anthropology at the University of Connecticut and Director of HRI’s Research Program on Global Health and Human Rights. A medical and sociocultural anthropologist, her primary research interests include the illegalization and criminalization of migrants; immigration and health; health and human rights; embodiment and experience; and anthropological approaches to morality, dignity, and deservingness.

Willen has edited or co-edited seven volumes including A Reader in Medical Anthropology: Theoretical Trajectories, Emergent Realities (2010), Shattering Culture: How American Medicine Responds to Cultural Diversity (2011), and Transnational Migration to Israel in Global Comparative Context (2007), as well as special issues of Culture, Medicine, & Psychiatry (2013), Social Science & Medicine (2012), Ethos (2012), and International Migration (2007). Her work has also appeared in Social Science & Medicine (2012), the Journal of Human Rights (2012), Medical Anthropology Quarterly (2011), and the Harvard Review of Psychiatry (2010), among other venues.

Willen leads the editorial collective for the blog AccessDenied: A Conversation on Unauthorized Im/migration and Health. She also serves on the Executive Board of the Society for Medical Anthropology, the Editorial Board of Culture, Medicine and Psychiatry, and the Advisory Board for the Left Coast Press book series, “Anthropology and Global Public Health.”