President's Professor at Arizona State University.
My current cv is available here.
My research considers how low social position and resource insecurity interact with disease meanings, experiences, and diagnoses to exacerbate stress and worsen physical and mental health. Put another way, I test empirically potential social and ecological mechanisms by which low power translates into worse health, and identify what can be done about it. .
Currently my work coalesces around three primary problems: 1) when and how we should - or shouldnt - be tackling the "problem" of "obesity," 2) improving household water insecurity, and 3) reducing stigma in global health practice.
My approach to doing anthropology embraces collaboration, transdisciplinarity, a constant quest to learn, and rigorous data collection and analysis using an array of methods. These range from participatory action, to ethnography, to biomarkers, to multi-level modeling. Collaboration with an amazing array of experts from many different countries and fields expands the range of questions we are able to ask and answer. I also collaborate extensively with varied instititions -- like community stakeholders, development agencies, hospitals systems, media, and so on -- as part of an effort to maximize positive impacts for the local communities that generously support and guide our research.
I have always been engaged in community-based research as a way to get novel insights and work toward positive change in ways that those communities most value. I began doing long-term fieldwork in the Pacific islands -- Polynesia and Micronesia -- in the late 1980s, at that time focused on infertility and family planning. Since then, I have expanded to other parts of the globe, including most recently in Ethiopia, Haiti, Zambia, and the US.
You can find a full detailed (and rather boring) biography at the bottom of my cv. Short version: I was born in New Zealand. My PhD is from the University of Arizona, and I did a postdoc at Brown University. I am formally trained in cultural anthropology, biological anthropology, and demography. I previously taught at both University of Auckland and University of Georgia and have written ~6 books and ~200 academic articles.
I also have served in university leadership, lead professional organizations, and served in journal editorships. You can read a bit more about this here.
By the way, I write as and prefer to go professionally by Alexandra Brewis, but my legal name is Alexandra Slade. Techno-bureaucracy means my last name turns up variously in different systems as Brewis, Brewis Slade (no hyphen), Brewis-Slade (hyphen), and Slade. I answer to them all.
Here is a recent headshot if you are looking for one: