ACADEMIC AND RESEARCH BIO
Laura Meek is an Assistant Professor in the Centre for the Humanities and Medicine, with an affiliation in the Department of Comparative Literature. She is a medical anthropologist who researches counterfeit pharmaceuticals, bodily epistemologies, and the politics of healing in East Africa. Dr. Meek received her Ph.D. and M.A. in Anthropology from the University of California, Davis, as well as an M.A. in Women’s Studies from George Washington University and a B.A. in Comparative Human Development from the University of Chicago.
Her first project, Pharmaceuticals in Divergence: Radical Uncertainty and World-Making Tastes in Tanzania, is based on three years of ethnographic fieldwork in Iringa, Tanzania, and focuses on the proliferation of counterfeits in local biomedical markets, where an estimated 30-60% of drugs are thought to be fake. Dr. Meek approaches this global health challenge through the lens of feminist and postcolonial science studies, as a way to engage both conditions of radical uncertainty and world-making innovation happening in Africa today. Additional areas of her scholarship include the medicinal significance of sensory qualities like taste; histories of medicine and healing across the Indian Ocean world; the politics of enumeration in leprosy elimination campaigns; and practices of dreaming as medical interventions in Tanzania.
At HKU, Dr. Meek teaches courses on feminist and postcolonial science studies; African cultures and representation; and embodiment and body politics.
COURSES TAUGHT AT THE DEPARTMENT
CLIT 2016: The Body in Culture
CLIT 2100: Fugitive Science: Science and Technology Studies (STS) Approaches to Facts and Fakes
CLIT 2101: Imagining Africa Otherwise