Emily Mendenhall

Provost's Distinguished Associate Professor, Georgetown University

Professor Emily Mendenhall is a medical anthropologist who writes about how social trauma, poverty, and social exclusion become embodied in chronic mental and physical illness. She is a Provost's Distinguished Associate Professor in the Science, Technology, and International Affairs (STIA) Program in the Edmund A. Walsh School of Foreign Service at Georgetown University. Prof. Mendenhall received her PhD from the Department of Anthropology at Northwestern University and MPH from the Hubert Department of Global Health in the Rollins School of Public Health at Emory University. In 2017, she was awarded the George Foster Award for Practicing Medical Anthropology by the Society for Medical Anthropology.

Prof Mendenhall's most recent project is a book forthcoming with Cornell University Press (2019), Rethinking Diabetes: Entanglements of Poverty, Trauma, and HIV. Rethinking Diabetes considers how ''global'' and ''local'' factors transform how diabetes is perceived, experienced, and embodied from place to place. Drawing from a decade of research and hundreds of interviews among low-income people living with Type 2 Diabetes in Chicago, Delhi, Johannesburg, and Nairobi, this book investigates how deeply embedded social, economic, psychological, and physiological pathways of stress are to their sense of self, illness, and suffering. The four case studies investigate how social, cultural, and epidemiological factors shape people's experiences and why we need to take these differences seriously when thinking about what drives diabetes and how it affects the lives of the poor.


  • –present
    Associate Professor of Global Health, Georgetown University