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Assistant Professor

Email: aalyia(@)

Phone: (919) 962-1243

Office: Alumni 401B

Areas of Interest

Medical Anthropology; Aging; Care; Disability; Demographic Transitions; Emergent Biomedical Technologies; Health; Political Culture; Violence; Contemporary Social Theory; Paraethnography; Storytelling; Africa, with a special focus on Rwanda.


Ph.D., Anthropology, Yale University, 2020

M.A., Sociology of Health & Medicine, University of the Witwatersrand (Wits), 2011

B.A., Anthropology, Sociology and Political Science, University of the Witwatersrand (Wits), 2010

Research and Activities

I am a cultural and medical anthropologist who studies aging, biomedical technologies, care, and political culture in postconflict societies. Over the last decade, I have carried out ethnographic fieldwork on these topics in Rwanda. My first book (in progress), “After-After-Lives: Aging and the Making of Ordinary Time,” documents the experiences of women and men whose adulthoods were interrupted by multiple episodes of political and ethnic conflict between the late 1950s and early 1990s. Combining historical and ethnographic methods, “After-After-Lives” examines how members of this generation—who are now growing older in a period of relative political calm—are piecing their lives back together through reviving everyday cultural practices from their childhood and creating new ones with the young. Some of these practices include reciting local forms of poetry, configuring kinship arrangements according to social circumstances, and preparing for death. At the center of “After-After-Lives” is a consideration of the possibilities that emerge when social theory is not defined by any boundaries or produced in isolation from the people whose experiences form the fulcrum of anthropological knowledge.

Selected Publications

“Hands Holding Life.” 2022. Theorizing the Contemporary, Fieldsights, December 1.

“Death in an Ordinary Time: Reflections from Rwanda.” 2022. Medical Anthropology Quarterly 36 (2): 198-216
*Winner of the Charles Hughes Paper Prize, Society for Medical Anthropology (2020); Honorable Mention Bennetta Jules-Rosette Award, Association for Africanist Anthropology (2020)Winner of the Doctoral Student Paper Award, Dying and Bereavement Special Interest Group, Society for Medical Anthropology (2019)

Sadruddin, Aalyia and Marcia C. Inhorn. 2020. “Aging, Vulnerability and Questions of Care in the Time of COVID-19.” (editor reviewed). Anthropology Now 12 (1): 17 23

“The Care of ‘Small Things’: Aging and Dignity in Rwanda.” 2020. Special Issue on “Aging, Care, and Chronicity,” Narelle Warren and Dikaios Sakellariou, eds. Medical Anthropology: Cross-Cultural Studies in Health and Illness 39 (1): 83-95.

Sadruddin, Aalyia, Liliana A. Pontuga, Anna L. Zonderman, Kyle S. Wiley, and Catherine Panter-Brick. 2019. “How do Grandparents Influence Child Health and Development? A Systematic Review.” Social Science & Medicine 239: 1-33.

Ice, Gillian, Aalyia Sadruddin, Amy Vagedes, Jaja Yogo, and Elizabeth Juma. 2012. “Stress Associated with Caregiving: A Test of the Stress Process Model Among Kenyan Luo Elders.” Social Science & Medicine 74 (12): 2020–2027.



ANTH 328  Anthropology of Care (Fall 2021, 2022, Advanced Undergraduate Medical Anthropology Seminar)

ANTH 464  Life and Violence (Spring 2022, Spring 2023, Advanced Undergraduate  Medical Anthropology Seminar)

ANTH 898  Aging in the Contemporary World (Spring 2022, Graduate Seminar)

ANTH 89    Don’t Dis My Disability (Fall 2022, First Year Seminar)

ANTH 390 Aging Across the Life Course: Multispecies Perspectives (Spring 2023, Advanced Undergraduate Medical Anthropology Seminar)