Nancy N. Chen

Medical anthropologist
Engaging scientific knowledge, Nancy N. Chen examines the intersections of medicine, political economy and social inequality.

Why you should listen

Nancy N. Chen's research is animated by concerns for well-being, especially self-care and caregiving through food and dietary practices. In addition to her deep understanding of cultural formations of health, she's trained in human biology. She documents how ordinary citizens use kitchen knowledge and street wisdom as resourceful practices of preventative care that enable living through systemic and ecological challenges. Her book Food, Medicine, and Quest for Good Health examines the crossover between food and medicine in both historical and contemporary contexts. Chen engages students to comparatively analyze local formations of biosecurity, regional infrastructures of disease prevention and national or global assemblages of science and biomedicine to carefully document and attend to complex issues of health and well-being.

Nancy N. Chen’s TED talk

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