Adrienne Strong

Medical anthropology, maternal mortality, hospital ethnography, and dignity in women's health care

I am currently a PhD candidate in sociocultural anthropology at Washington University in St. Louis, USA. I am also pursuing a joint degree with the Universiteit van Amsterdam in the Netherlands. I study maternal mortality and women's health in Tanzania, currently in the Rukwa Region, and conducted my dissertation fieldwork from January 2014- August 2015. From September 2010 through July 2011, I conducted research on access to healthcare services during pregnancy, birth, and the postpartum period in the Singida Region of Tanzania. My doctoral dissertation project focuses on the inner workings of a government regional referral hospital, examining how institutional structures related to hierarchy, bureaucracy, historical precedents, communication and other factors, may influence the capacity of the institution to provide effective maternal healthcare during times of obstetric crisis. My research focuses on biomedical healthcare providers and administrators, groups that are often overlooked in the context of medical anthropology in sub-Saharan Africa. I contextualize the hospital ethnography with interviews, participant observation, and focus group discussions in communities throughout the region, as well as through the use of primary archival sources from the colonial and post-independence eras. 

This is my personal website, which includes updates on my research, collaborations, conference presentations and papers, publications, teaching, and critical responses to current events related to women's health and reproduction.  

Mentions and Public Anthropology

Washington University Feature

Feature on Anthropology Department Website

Research Report on Global Health Hub

Photoessay on

Birth is a Dream Project

I'm always happy to come across something that I don't have to be overly critical about. These beautiful photographs do a far better job than I ever could of documenting health care for pregnant women in Africa. Even though none of the photos are from Tanzania, many of the images remind me of the women and nurses I see every day here. I hope you all enjoy! While documenting some of the difficult conditions in the countries in which the photos were taken, the experience is a universal one and I hope some of these pictures can serve to remind us all that pregnancy can be a time of joy and anxiety for just about everyone.

The first link is to the Huffington Post article and the second is for the project's website.


Powered by Squarespace. Background image from Singida Region, Tanzania by Adrienne Strong