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Teaching Associate Professor

Email: marthae(@)


Office: 403D

Fax: 919-962-1613

Department of Anthropology

University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill

301 Alumni Bldg

CB #3115

Chapel Hill, NC 27599-3115



Areas of Interest:

ontologies of the body; belief systems; cultures of biomedicine; genomics & society / ELSI; clinical encounters; epistemologies of pluralism; identity; folk practice; Anabaptists, the Amish; the US South



Ph.D. Anthropology, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill 2014

M.A. Folklore, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill 2006

B.A. Archaeology and Ancient History, Furman University 2000



I am a cultural anthropologist and folklorist working on the intersections of practice, communities, belief systems, health, medicine, genetics, and the body. My current research considers the bodily care employed in Amish communities and their relationships with biomedicine. In conceptualizing the body as the site where culturally produced illness narratives, social aspects of genetics, and social identities interact, my research utilizes ethnographically focused methods to extend and add vital richness to understandings of these closed communities. In turn, it expands knowledge of the potential fields of contention in genetic medicine’s interaction with patient populations. I also work in representation in ethnographic research, social issues of returning genetic data in sick populations, the production of knowledge in biomedicine, and folk practices in the US South.



When teaching Anthropology I aim to move my students toward understanding the nature of multiplicitous worldviews while uncovering the cultural construction of their own experience. We work together to grasp at the world around us by making the familiar strange. With a dedication to experiential learning, I strive to facilitate students’ improved critical thinking skills and expect them to move beyond a mode of knowledge acquisition toward active analysis, synthesis, and evaluation of material.



ANTH 270- Living Medicine (Anthropology of Biomedicine I)

ANTH 390- Health and Medicine in the American South

ANTH 470- Medicine and Anthropology (Anthropology of Biomedicine II)

ANTH 473- Body and Subject

ANTH 490- Practicing Medical Anthropology

ANTH 585- Anthropology of Science