Sarah S. Willen

Co-Director, Research Program on Global Health and Human Rights

Professor, Anthropology

Sarah S. Willen is an associate 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 current research explores how different idioms of social justice mobilization – for instance, “health equity,” “human rights,” and “humanitarianism” – are employed by different actors in their efforts to promote health. Her other research interests include critical perspectives on migration and health; clinical education; embodiment and experience; and moral concepts like “dignity” and “deservingness.”

Willen’s work has appeared in The Lancet, the Harvard Review of Psychiatry, the Journal of Human Rights, and Medical Anthropology Quarterly, among other venues. She has also edited or co-edited seven volumes special issues of Culture, Medicine, & Psychiatry, Social Science & Medicine, Ethos, and International Migration, as well as Shattering Culture: How American Medicine Responds to Cultural Diversity, A Reader in Medical Anthropology: Theoretical Trajectories, Emergent Realities, and Transnational Migration to Israel in Global Comparative Context. Her first monograph, Indignity and Indignation: Migrant Lives on Israel’s Margins, is forthcoming from the University of Pennsylvania Press.

A former NIMH Postdoctoral Fellow in Global Health and Social Medicine at Harvard Medical School, Willen currently serves on the editorial boards of Medical Anthropology Quarterly and Culture, Medicine and Psychiatry.